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Blog | Mexico’s Supreme Court: A Look Ahead

Minister Arturo Zaldívar will conclude his four-year term as Chief Justice of Mexico’s Supreme Court in January 2023. Mexico’s highest court will have to choose his successor, an election that will demonstrate how independent the judicial branch truly is from the Executive. The Chief Justice of Mexico’s Supreme Court serves for a period of four years without reelection. Therefore, Minister Zaldívar will have the constitutional obligation to step down, despite the fact that a year ago there were attempts to extend his presidency for 2 more years, or until 2024. During his tenure, Chief Justice Zaldívar played a fundamental role in implementing a new judicial reform that expanded and consolidated the judicial branch, strengthened gender parity in the federal judiciary, and set binding judicial precedents. Yet, in the last four years, the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary have experienced one of the most politically complicated environments since Mexico’s transition to a democracy in 2000. To analyze the future of the Supreme Court and the independence of the judiciary branch in Mexico, the Mexico Institute will publish a series of short essays to assess the implications of past elections of Chief Justices, an overview of Chief Justice Zaldívar’s tenure, and the challenges and opportunities that his successor will face in the years ahead.