November 5, 2021
The former president of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell, leaving prison after the pardons of the politicians imprisoned by the ‘procés‘ / EP
The Constitutional Court denies that the inviolability protected Forcadell in her work in the ‘procés‘
The court recalls that the president of the Parliament “stubbornly” disregarded its warnings, thereby favoring the Catalan Chamber to be placed outside the law
The Constitutional Court (TC) has ruled that the work of the former president of Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell in promoting and continuing the so-called disconnection laws of the Catalan independence ‘procés’ of 2017 was not protected by parliamentary inviolability.
That rejection of the inviolability of Forcadell, who was sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison for sedition, is one of the main arguments that the magistrates of the TC set out in the sentence issued this Friday and whose ruling was known last week.
Two dissenting votes
A resolution that, as usual, has not had the support of all the magistrates, as two of them, the progressives María Luisa Balaguer and Juan Antonio Xiol, have submitted a dissenting vote in which they believe that the TC should have considered the appeal of protection of Forcadell for having had a “disproportionate penalty”.
The rest of the magistrates, however, have continued to fully support the Supreme Court ruling and consider that the penalty for sedition is neither disproportionate nor dissuasive with the freedom of assembly and demonstration.
She breached the warnings in a “relentless” manner
The sentence, under the drafting by magistrate Ricardo Enríquez, emphasizes that Forcadell, who ended up being pardoned by the Government, failed to comply with and “persistently” disregarded the warnings of the TC, and favored the Parliament to stand outside the law, “with express resignation to the exercise of the constitutional and statutory functions that are proper to it “.
“The legitimate exercise of these functions is a presupposition of the protection that parliamentary inviolability exempts the members of the Chamber” and, therefore, the actions of Forcadell, which served as “support for the decisions adopted by the Chamber, are not protected by parliamentary inviolability by manifestly deviating from the purpose of the prerogative”.
The ruling highlights that Forcadell promoted “the processing, debate and voting” of parliamentary initiatives that sought to provide support and continuity, “bypassing the constitutional reform procedures”, to the procés.
Rejection of the Constitution
It also adds that the express repudiation of the Catalan Chamber of the binding nature of the Spanish Constitution “deprived the provisions and acts thus adopted of any presumption of legitimacy, and also those who promoted, processed and approved were deprived of the possibility of invoking the powers and prerogatives associated with the exercise of the parliamentary function”.
Judges Xiol and Balaguer maintain, however, and as has happened with other convicted persons that, “without contesting the criminal relevance of Forcadell’s conduct,” according to them, the criminal response could have been more adjusted, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
They underline the singularity that her conviction was not based on her direct participation in the events declared seditious, but on her activity as president of the Parliament in promoting the processing of the disconnection laws, and they believe that those actions “were not sufficient to consummate the criminal contribution “, given that the majority vote of the members of the Bureau and of the Plenary was needed,” outside of her control and parliamentary functions.”