President Mauricio Macri announced yesterday in an interview that he will nominate Inés Weinberg de Roca for the position of Attorney General, an office Alejandra Gils Carbó emptied after her resignation last December. In the meantime, Eduardo Casal has been taking care of the job, but a nomination was expected to take place sooner or later.
Weinberg de Roca is currently the President of the City of Buenos Aires’ Superior Tribunal of Justice, the jurisdiction’s highest court, a post she has held since 2013. “I know her. I believe she did a great job at the City’s Superior Tribunal of Justice and I hope she undertakes a project to implement reforms and modernize the Attorney General’s office in its task of investigating and fighting crime,” Macri said.
The future nominee has got an impressive career, especially in the international landscape: between 2003 and 2008, she was a member of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which ruled over the genocide committed in the country in 1994, and was dissolved in 2015. In addition to this, she was also a judge at the appeals court of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia between 2003 and 2005, a Tribunal created by the UN’s Security Council and dissolved in 2017.
Moreover, she was appointed as a member of the UN’s Appeals Tribunal for the 2009-2016 period and she was the first judge to preside over it – since its conception until 2010. Despite her international experience, however, her career began in the national landscape in 1993, and in a rather uncommon way. Following several unfruitful attempts to become a judge, she approached then-President Carlos Menem at a reception held for him by Hamburg’s Ibero-American Institute and told him about her struggle. Shortly after, in 1993, she was appointed as a first instance judge in the national civil justice, a post she held until the year 2000.
From there, she went on to integrate the Court of Appeals at the newly created Administrative and Tax Courts (Tribunales Contenciosos Administrativos y Tributarios) until 2003. After a hiatus in which she held the mentioned posts at the tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, she returned to the administrative court in 2009 and stayed there until 2013, since her post was compatible with the one she was holding at the UN. Ever since, she has presided the highest court in the City.
Now, her nomination will have to go through the following steps in order for her to be officially appointed. First, Macri will have to officially communicate his decision to the Justice Ministry, so it publishes the news on high-circulation newspapers and provide the possibility for her supporters and/or detractors to present opinions in favor or against her nomination. Human rights, professionals and academic organizations, as well as private citizens, will be enabled to submit opinions.
Then, a public hearing will be held to debate the nomination. If everything goes smoothly, the President will send it to the Senate, where two thirds of the members present at the confirmation session will have to vote in favor of appointing her.
However, the leader of the Partido Justicialista caucus in the Senate, Miguel Ángel Pichetto, anticipated shortly after the announcement that he and his colleagues will not make it easy for her, so “smoothly” doesn’t seem to be an accurate description of what’s to come.
The process will begin shortly, but is likely to extend for quite some time, so don’t hold your breath waiting for her to be appointed.