DESCRIPTION OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF ECUADOR
Based on the Constitution of 2008, the Ecuadorian Judicial System guarantees due process, due diligence, and efficiency. Justice cannot be denied because of the lack of formalities. Every act produced by members of the Public sector can be appealed in the ordinary justice system, as established by law. The members of the Judiciary are entitled to the due safeguards for the exercise of their functions; therefore, stability in office.
Bodies of the Judicial Branch:
a. National Court of Justice, which has jurisdiction in all the State's territory. It is located in Quito and acts as a Court of Cassation through specialized chambers, according to Law.
b. Provincial Courts, which have jurisdiction over the territory of each province. The National Court will create provincial courts as needed.
c. Tribunals and Judges appointed by law, whose independence is guaranteed by the State and can only be subject to the Constitution and the Law.
d. The National Council of the Judicature, which is an administrative and disciplinary body of the Judiciary.
e. Public Defendants’ Office; an independent body of the Judicial Branch responsible for providing legal assistance to those who may not afford the services of a private lawyer, in order to protect the right to a fair trial.
f. State Attorney’s Office: an independent body that investigates criminal accusations.
The 2008 Constitution introduced witness protection programs as part of its duties to protect the right to a fair trial.
The Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court has national jurisdiction and functions in Quito. It is formed by 9 chairmen, each with one replacement. They perform their duties for four years and may be reelected. They are to know about the unconstitutionality or certain administrative acts produced by members of the Public Administration. The Constitutional Court has the power to stop provisionally or partially, all its effects. It will also attend unconstitutionality requests on law projects and suspend totally or partially their effect. It can hear as a court of appeal, those resolutions in which the constitutional mechanisms have been denied. It has to establish the coherence between international treaties and the constitution, for further ratification. (Dictaminar de conformidad con la Constitución, tratados o convenios internacionales previo a su aprobación por el Congreso Nacional.) However, decisions taken by the Judiciary are not subject to revision from the Constitutional Court.