After several embarrassing scandals involving members of Colombia’s Supreme Court and Constitutional Court, the Colombian government is attempting to regain the trust of its citizens by proposing several reforms to the justice system. The reforms will be put to a national referendum on March 10, 2018, the same date that citizens will vote and elect their congressional representatives.
In a recent Gallup Poll, a large majority of Colombians (83%) have a negative opinion of their country’s judiciary. The Supreme Court has a negative rating of 72%, and the constitutional court has a 63% non-favorability rating.
Referendums in Colombia are non-binding, and an affirmation from the public would only serve to put the law into the hands of congressmen, who would need to pass the final law. Referendums in the country are also sometimes ignored, most famously when current President Juan Manuel Santos put the 2016 Havana Accords to a vote, but implemented the accords anyway after they were rejected by Colombian citizens.