El Salvador


The Judicial Branch is comprised of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Courts of Second Instance, and the remaining Courts that are established by secondary laws. The legal basis for this Branch is found in Title VI, Section One, Chapter III of the Constitution, specifically Articles 172 to 190. Its powers and responsibilities are further delineated in the Organic Law on the Judiciary.

The Judicial Branch has exclusive power to pass judgment and enforce its judgments on Constitutional, civil, criminal, commercial, labor, agrarian, or administrative litigation matters, as well as others determined by law. The administration of justice is free of charge.

Justices and judges are independent in the exercise of their jurisdictional functions, and are only subject to the Constitution and the laws.

Supreme Court of Justice

The Supreme Court of Justice is comprised of 15 Justices, one of whom is its President, for the Constitutional Chamber and the Judicial Branch.

The Supreme Court shall have a Constitutional Chamber which shall hear and rule on cases based on the unconstitutionality of laws, decrees, regulations, amparo and habeas corpus proceedings, and any disputes between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch.

Included among the powers of the Supreme Court are the following: to hear amparo proceedings; to coordinate any pleadings or letters rogatory issued to conduct proceedings outside the country and to follow through on those originating in other countries, without prejudice to the provisions of treaties; grant extradition; grant permission to carry out decisions issued by foreign courts, according to the law; ensure the prompt and complete administration of justice; and appoint judges to the courts of appeal and the trial courts.

National Judiciary Council

There is a National Judiciary Council which is an independent institution in charge of proposing candidates to serve as justices on the Supreme Court and judges for the courts of appeal and the trial courts. It is responsible for organizing and operating the Judicial Training School, whose purpose is to ensure the enhanced professional training of judges and other judicial officers.

Public Ministry

Aside from the three branches of government there is a Public Ministry, which consists of the General Prosecutor of the Republic, the Attorney General, and the Prosecutor for the Defense of Human Rights, all of whom remain in their posts for three years and can be re-elected. This is regulated by Title VI, Section One, Chapter IV of the Constitution, specifically Articles 191-194.