a. To exert judicial review: the Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of legal precepts (including executive decrees that are equivalent to statutes), preemptively (a priori) and subsequently (a posteriori) of being enacted, either by way of inapplicability or unconstitutional remedies. Preemptive review can be classified as discretionary (at the request of the President of the Republic, the Chambers of Congress, or a number of its members in office) and as compulsory (regarding interpretative constitutional laws, organic constitutional laws, and international treaties dealing with matters that should be regulated by organic constitutional laws). The [Constitutional] Court also reviews, preemptively and subsequently, proposals of amendment of the Constitution, and international treaties subject to congressional approval. It also exerts preemptive and subsequent monitoring of executive orders and similar secondary legislation (decrees and resolutions). Finally, it resolves questions of constitutionality concerning regulations (Autos Acordados) issued by the highest judicial courts of the country (Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals), as well as those issued by the Electoral Court.

b. To settle inter-organic disputes: It resolves disputes between political or administrative authorities and courts that should not be resolved by the Senate.

c. To decide about inabilities, incompatibilities, resignations and grounds for removal from certain public offices, such as the President of the Republic, Ministers and Legislators.

d. To decide about constitutional wrongs: It declares as unconstitutional organizations, movements or political parties, as well as the President (in office or elected), who have committed the constitutional wrongs set forth by the Constitution in Article 19 No. 15, sixth and following paragraphs.

Chile’s Constitutional Court is composed of ten members who are called ‘Ministers’. The highest authority of the Constitutional Court is its President, who is elected by its members, by majority vote, lasts two years in office, and may be reappointed for the following term.

The order of precedence is determined by the Court itself, and the President is subrogated by the Minister who follows in that order of precedence.

The Court works as a Grand Chamber or Plenum to exercise its powers, especially to judge the constitutionality of laws, or divided into two Chambers. The Plenum is made up of eight members, while the Chambers are made up of four.

Decisions and agreements require simply majority, as a general rule, and judgments must be granted according to law. Chambers shall rule on the admissibility of inapplicability remedies and of applications for stay of proceedings appealed within those remedies.

In accordance with the provisions set forth in Article 92 of the Constitution, the ten Ministers comprising the Constitutional Court are appointed as follows:

– 3 are freely appointed by the President.

– 4 are elected by the National Congress: 2 are straightforwardly appointed by the Senate, and the other 2 are also appointed by the Senate but after the proposal from the Chamber of Deputies (or House of Representatives).

– 3 are straightforwardly appointed by the Supreme Court by secret election.

The Court has two Acting Ministers, who are elected every three years, [and] who shall take the place of Ministers and form part of the Grand Chamber (or Plenary Court) or of either of the chambers only if the quorum for holding sessions is not reached. Acting Ministers are appointed by the President of the Republic, with approval of the Senate, chosen from a list of seven names proposed by the Constitutional Court after a public competition.

The Court has a lawyer who acts as Secretary Attorney and Certifying Officer. Court officials are subject to the immediate authority of the Secretary or of the Rapporteur Attorney, or its subrogate, if any. Currently, the Court has four Rapporteur Attorneys.

The Court appoints its officials following a public exam and a merit-based selection process.