World

Argentina's congress approves limits on judicial independence, creates new courts

  • Demonstrators gather outside the National Congress during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013.  Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Demonstrators gather outside the National Congress during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • A couple kiss, outside the National Congress, during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    A couple kiss, outside the National Congress, during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman holds a banner reading in Spanish; "Traitors," during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    A woman holds a banner reading in Spanish; "Traitors," during a protest against comprehensive judicial reform proposed by President Cristina Fernandez outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Lawmakers began debating major changes to the country's justice system Wednesday. Some of the changes would end indefinite injunctions against government actions, expand and popularly elect most of the magistrate's council and require executive, legislative and judicial authorities to publish their tax declarations online. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

Argentina's Congress has passed judicial reforms it says will "democratize" the country's courts.

Opponents say the laws weaken judicial independence and guarantee that President Cristina Fernandez and her appointees will have free reign to govern without court interference.

After shouting at each other throughout the night, deputies on Thursday approved strict limits on injunctions against government policies, with only a few exceptions for environmental and human rights cases and "socially vulnerable" plaintiffs.

They also approved three new appellate courts.

Senators already approved these measures, so now they'll be law.

Another key measure designed to make it easier to discipline and fire judges now goes back to the Senate next week for final approval.