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4 d’oct. 2017

Rule of Law

  • The rule of law is sacred to the Catalans and her government. But note that a majority in the Spanish parliament has deliberately amended laws to strengthen powers to be able to repress Catalan officials. A good exemple is the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court, which in 2015 was given special executive powers to ensure the implementation of its instructions. It can now (article 92) impose daily fines of €3,000 to €30,000 on officials or lay citizens, or suspend them in their duties, for not complying with its orders. The Venice Commission was critical of such changes... but such measures have been implemented against Catalans.
  • It is unheard of that a parliamentary Speaker (and membres of the Bureau) can face severe penalties for allowing a debate, and that a constitutional court can ban a debate.
  • It is unheard of that a constitutional court can actually ban a plenary session of a Parliament.
  • What law can possibly prevent a democratic parliamentary majority from legislating to put a question to its citizens? Naturally, the implementation of the majority opinion expressed at the ballot box may or not require legal changes. It may or not be in accordance with the existing constitutional framework.
  • The international covenants the State subscribes to form part of the legal framework, according to the constitution itself. And both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in article 1 para 1 are perfectly clear: "All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development." All peoples. Not just colonies. All peoples. 
  • The rule of law states that a Statute of Autonomy has to be ratified by the people in a referendum. Well, the governing party in Spain got the Constitutional court to study every nook and cranny for unconstitutional paragraphs, sentences, clauses, even individual words. The court duly amended the Statute of Autonomy in 2010. But the resultin text has not been put to the people... as laid down in the Constitution.
  • The rule of law ensures freedom of expression, yet Spain prosecutes local councillors for saying that to make an omelette you have to break the egg; the autors of a manifesto inviting Catalan football supporters at the 2015 Cup Final to do what they have been doing for years since at least 2009: to boo the National Anthem, in response to Spain's treatment of the Catalans.

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