Minister of Justice, Margarita Cabello Blanco, and the President of the Council of State (supreme court for administrative matters in Colombia), Lucy Jeanette Bermúdez, recently introduced Bill No. 07/19 before Congress, aiming to amend the Procedural Administrative Code in order to modify certain aspects related to competence and jurisdiction for specialized judges in administrative matters.
The Bill proposes assigning authority to the Administrative Tribunal of Cundinamarca, for ruling on annulment actions initiated against administrative acts related to industrial property rights in Colombia, at a first-instance level. To date, such invalidity claims are brought before the Council of State on a single instance-no appeals proceeding.
The Bill has been merely published, and four debates are needed before final approval by Congress. If approved, the initiative would lead to considerable annulment action backlog reduction given the Tribunal has more available judges, manages fewer cases, and has more available courtrooms. Under the new scenario, the Council of State would only resolve appeals, which means that the authority would focus on relevant case aspects without conducting long and time-demanding proceedings. Finally, Prejudicial Interpretations regarding applicable Andean law would become mandatory for second instances only, also aiding to streamline proceedings.