Maria Jesus Cañizares 3/17/2021
Laura Borràs talks by video call with Carles Puigdemont after taking office as president of the Parliament / EFE
The pro-independence leader will change the regulations of the Chamber to avoid her suspension, but she cannot prevent Justice from acting. “To disobey, you do not need to reform anything”, ironizes a lawyer.
“If you want to disobey, you don’t need to reform anything. Inviolability? If that means that the Parliament can decide without control, it is clearly unconstitutional”. This is how forceful a former legal adviser of the Catalan Chamber is in conversation with Crónica Global. “A regulation can never be above the legal system”, adds another lawyer.
They refer to the statements of Laura Borràs, who promised to shield the Chamber from the “interference” of the Constitutional Court, in reference to future pro-independence resolutions. At the moment, the progress of the MCP is aimed at shielding herself, that is, at reforming article 25.4 of the Parliament’s regulations, relating to parliamentarians accused of corruption, so that the suspension is only effective when there is a final ruling and not when the opening of oral proceedings is decreed. As is known, the Supreme Court investigates Borràs for splitting contracts when she was director of the Institución de las Letras Catalanas.
“Inviolability does not give the right to disobey”
“If it is about reforming the regulations so that Borràs does not have to resign if an oral trial is opened against her for corruption, it seems unfortunate from the point of view of political aesthetics, if such a thing exists, but legally possible. The deprivation of the seat is only required after a disqualification sentence”, explains Xavier Arbós, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona (UB). Another thing, he says, is to pretend that there is an inviolability against resolutions of the TC. “That is not constitutional. Inviolability does not grant the right to disobey the decisions of the courts”, says Arbós.
“The regulations are not above the regulatory framework”, explains Joan García (Citizens), who was vice president of the Mesa del Parlament in the previous legislature. “It is an immature reflection. By that rule of three, is it inviolable whatever I do?”
For other jurists, Borràs’ statements are still a play on words. “The Parliament is already inviolable, the MCPs have their prerogatives recognized: they are inviolable for what they say and vote, and an attenuated immunity, since they can be prosecuted by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia”, says Josep Maria Castellà Andreu, professor of Constitutional Law of the University of Barcelona (UB) and president of the Club Tocqueville.
He specifies that “unlike the Spanish Cortes, it is not necessary to request a petition from the Parliament to judge them. This is so because the Catalan Statute regulates it in this way”.