December, a month of legislative and judicial progress, but full of setbacks due to measures set by the Executive Body

by: Andrés Beck
Beck EN

Panama managed to obtain positive reviews regarding the establishment of standards that promote entrepreneurship and freedom of profession. As well as criteria issued by the Supreme Court of Justice defending the Rule of Law by imposing limits to members of Congress.

The Law on Entrepreneurial Corporations marked the beginning of judicial acknowledgements in Panama, including significant support to the freedom of association, economic freedom and fiscal freedom with taxation. Even though this measure may position Panama among the countries with the best standards and platforms to start a business and commerce, improvements can still be made regarding the State’s over-surveillance as suggested by its text.

Also, a measure that has been considered as a positive one in the promotion of freedom of profession has been the hiring of foreign medical doctors that provide additional support to the Panamanian health system - severely affected by the current Coronavirus pandemic. We consider that this measure may be a good practical starting point when facing the subsequent release of restrictions on professions in Panama. The inclusion of foreign medical doctors, albeit temporary, to the health system in Panama, may be seen as an example of releasing restricted professions, and thus, indirectly fostering development and competence.

Regarding the measures affecting the freedom of its citizens, the Executive Body has once again decreed confinement measures that attempt against the freedom of movement, and therefore intervene in the free disposition of private property. Even though these measures have been debated and decided against in other jurisdictions, Panama continues without proper judicial criteria declaring confinement and movement restrictions measures as unconstitutional. Defiantly, the Executive Body has vested its powers on deciding on the life, freedom and assets of its citizens, irrationally and loosely based on scientific and judicial evidence of other countries.

Panama continues accruing negative points on measures that place their freedoms at risk.