Page:Constitution of the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela.djvu/88

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or modified without authorization in advance from the National Assembly. The Judicial Power is not authorized to establish any charges or tariffs, nor to demand any payment for its services.

Article 255: Appointment to a judicial position and the promotion of judges shall be carried out by means of public competitions to ensure the capability and excellence of the participants, with selection by the juries of the judicial circuits, in such manner and on such terms as may be established by law. The appointment and swearing in of judges shall be the responsibility of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. Citizen participation in the process of selecting and designating judges shall be guaranteed by law. Judges shall be removed or suspended from office only through the procedures expressly provided for by law.

Measures shall be taken by law to promote the professionalism of judges, and the universities shall cooperate to this end, organizing their corresponding law schools' pensa to specialized studies in judicial practice.

Judges are personally liable, on such terms as may be determined by law, for unjustified omissions, delay or errors, for substantial failure to observe the rules of procedure, for denial of justice, for partiality and for the criminal offenses of bribery and prevarication in office.

Article 256: In order to guarantee impartiality and independence in the exercise of their official functions, magistrates, judges, prosecutors in the Office of Public Prosecutions and public defenders, from the date of their appointment until they leave office, shall not be permitted, otherwise than by exercising their right to vote, to engage in partisan political, professional association, trade union or similar activism; nor to engage in private activities for profit which are incompatible with their official functions, either directly or through any interposed person; nor to perform any other public functions, with the exception of educational activities.

Judges shall not be permitted to form associations among them selves.