Fidel Masreal interviews Joan Ridao (former senior lawyer of Catalan Parliament)
4 April 2021
The former senior lawyer of the Parliament, Joan Ridao. / XAVIER GONZÁLEZ
Joan Ridao: “The conflict can turn into a draw of powerlessness”
“It would be healthy for all the actors to redirect the conflict to the political framework. And I say this in the plural”
“The Constitutional Court made a moderate opening in 2014, the Parliament continued to approve political resolutions”
“There have been people who have interestedly wanted to use the lawyers of the Parliament to their benefit”
Joan Ridao (Rubí, 1967) says goodbye to the position of senior lawyer of the Parliament with a great book under his arm: ‘Lleis politiques de Catalunya’ (Marcial Pons, 2020), an extensive compendium of the entire Catalan legal framework, commenting in detail on the contents of each law. A text with which Ridao wants to send a message in favor of conciliation.
What is the purpose of this book?
It is a considerable volume with no antecedents in the public law of the country. It takes stock of the work of the Government and the legislative work of the Parliament to realize that since 2010, with the operational disappearance of the Statute because of the Constitutional Court (TC), the deployment of the new Statute and the potential it had, has not been possible. .
In the Constitution and on the unity of Spain, the book points out that a self-determination referendum is contrary to the constitutional and statutory order for competency and substantive reasons…
The inaugural sentence of the TC on the ‘procés‘ is the 42/2014, which is ambivalent but represents a moderate opening of the TC’s response to the conflicts that arise in Catalonia. It annulled the declaration of sovereignty of the Parliament but was receptive. It affirms that this is a legitimate political aspiration, among the preparatory acts to define the political objective of a territory there may be a consultation, and it calls on the political actors to resolve their differences in the field of dialogue.
Didn’t anyone pick up that glove?
The Parliament continued to pass political resolutions. And there was an inflection in the TC that, according to the political scheme, redirects the conflicts to the jurisdictional route.
It seems that the TC, when it sees that the Parliament maintains the challenge, opens a way ‘the hard way’ …
The TC chooses not only to declare unconstitutionality, but also opts for fines. The Government has a certain position and in Catalonia there are changes in the roadmap. There is a moment in which the laws of disconnection no longer value the right to decide, but instead, as a consequence of the rejection of attempts at negotiation, it shifts towards the right to self-determination and a unilateral declaration of independence. .
In this legislature, the pro-independence movement has even requested the dismissal of the secretary general of the Parliament, Xavier Muro, for not publishing certain decisions. How do you live this internally?
There has been criticism from all sides and also recognition. We want to attribute to the lawyers a function of control of legality and what we do is advising. We have been in the midst of stormy waters and there have been people who have interestedly wanted to implement us and put us in a delicate situation.
So you are on the horns of a dilemma?
I am aware that a period of as much or more complexity is coming. It would be healthy for all the actors to redirect the conflict to the political and dialogue framework. And I say it in the plural: the Government, the Generalitat, the ordinary justice and very specifically the TC. That is to say, a certain return to 2014. If not, the conflict will be an infinite draw of powerlessness.