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Home » Content » More than 200 jurists and legal experts support a manifesto in favour of a “possible and necessary” Amnesty Law
The text, whose signatories include leaders of Izquierda Unida, Sumar and Unidas Podemos, defends amnesty as an instrument to "normalise the relationship between Catalonia and the State".

Editorial, 6 November 2023

The text, whose signatories include leaders of Izquierda Unida, Sumar and Unidas Podemos, defends amnesty as an instrument to “normalise the relationship between Catalonia and the State”.

The Manifiesto ‘Juristas por la Amnistía, la Democracia y la Convivencia’, a document in defence of the Amnesty Law that arose from a meeting between lawyers, already has more than 200 signatures from jurists and people linked to the field of law, just a few hours after being promoted. This was announced on Monday by the political party Izquierda Unida (IU) in a press release.

In the document, different lawyers and legal operators show their “concern for the attacks on a possible and necessary Amnesty Law”, as well as for the “destabilisation of democratic institutions” organised “by the right wing” in social, political and judicial aspects.

Likewise, they also rely on current international law to clarify that the objectives of amnesties are “to encourage social reconciliation and contribute to the re-establishment of normal relations in the life of a country”. In the document they also defend the fact that the Constitution “does not prohibit amnesty” and define as “pure demagogy” that “organisations of jurists with mere partisan aims describe as cheating regulatory processes that have not yet begun”.

According to the manifesto, the amnesty does not imply the decriminalisation of conduct, but rather “the exceptional application of a legal institution to contribute to the normalisation of the political situation between Catalonia and the state”.

Among the first signatories of the text are the parliamentary spokesperson of Izquierda Unida, Enrique Santiago; the deputy of the same party, Engracia Rivera, and its coordinator in Congress, Juan Moreno. It has also been signed by other leaders of Sumar, such as its deputy and member of the Congress Bureau Gerardo Pisarello, as well as the MEP of Unidas Podemos María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, both of whom are also law professors.

The intention of the promoters of the ‘Manifiesto Juristas por la Amnistía, la Democracia y la Convivencia’ is to wait a few more days to collect more signatures and, subsequently, to send it to the different European institutions. Its main objective is for them to have first-hand knowledge of its content and to be able to verify the strength and support it has, according to the communiqué.

The full text of the Manifesto is reproduced below:

Manifesto ‘Jurists for Amnesty, Democracy and Coexistence’.

“Democracy and the Constitution came to Spain in spite of the political right. The PP was founded by seven ministers of the Franco dictatorship, has voted against all initiatives to condemn the dictatorship debated in the Plenary of Congress, and when in 1978 the Plenary of Congress approved the Constitution, half of the deputies of the then Alianza Popular (today PP) did not vote in favour.

In the current context, an attempt is being made to artificially generate a legal problem by those who violate the Constitution whenever it is in the interests of their political objectives, failing to develop social rights, violating the fundamental rights of individuals, and instrumentalising institutions in a partisan manner, as is the case with the blocking of the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary for the last 5 years, maintaining the body that was elected during the government of Mariano Rajoy in December 2013, with a conservative majority.

A General Council of the Judiciary that, instead of assuming its outdated reality and contrary to the law, breaking its institutional role, while failing to fulfil its obligations and deadlines for the mandatory reports on draft legislation in a systematic way, or is unable to regulate the workload of the judiciary, makes political positions unrelated to its function on future legal texts and on the political situation as if it were a political party.

Pardons, waivers of criminal prosecution, amnesty or other equivalent legal concepts have been used in different parts of the world. Just as in Spain, with normality. In France, Italy and Switzerland there are amnesty laws. In Portugal, an amnesty for young people was approved on 18 July last, due to the Pope’s visit. Amnesty is a figure included in International Treaties in force in Spain and also in different laws in force approved during the constitutional period, such as the General Regulation of the disciplinary regime for personnel in the service of the Administration of Justice, the Law on Criminal Proceedings or the Law on Democratic Memory. The only exclusionary limit for amnesty in our law, as in any civilised country, are international crimes: crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, etc.

The objectives of amnesties, according to current international law, are to encourage social reconciliation and contribute to the re-establishment of normal relations in the life of a country.

The Constitution does not prohibit amnesty, which operates on conduct, but it does prohibit general pardons, which operate on final criminal convictions. The prohibition of general pardons did not prevent a single Council of Ministers under President Aznar (PP) from approving 1,443 pardons on 1 December 2000, without citing any reason of general interest. Nor did the PP oppose the pardon granted to General Armada in 1988, sentenced to 30 years in prison for being the man most responsible for the attempted coup d’état of February 1981, in which military forces kidnapped the entire government and the entire legislative branch.

Amnesty for tax crimes has been used profusely in our democracy by all governments except the current one, including those of the PP, the most important being those of 1984, 1991 and 2012.It can only be described as pure demagogy that organisations of jurists with mere partisan aims describe as cheating regulatory processes that have not yet begun, or apocalyptically define as the beginning of the end of democracy, the approval of regulations in the parliamentary seat, and by qualified majorities.Amnesty does not mean the decriminalisation of a conduct, but the exceptional application of a legal institution to normalise a conflictive situation, in this case the normalisation of relations between Catalonia and the rest of the State after the pro-independence tensions of the past decade, tensions which, thanks to the efforts of Catalan and Spanish society in recent years, have been diminishing, and which could disappear definitively thanks, among other measures, to a possible amnesty.

These reasons move us to publicly support that the parliamentary majority can approve measures such as an Amnesty Law to help normalise the political situation between Catalonia and the State. We call for an end to destabilising attempts and attacks on the normal functioning of constitutional institutions, allowing parliamentary processes and constitutional control by the Constitutional Court to decide, respectively, without pressure or interference, on the approval of laws and the examination of their constitutionality, if applicable”.

Among the first 100 signatures leading the adhesion to the Manifesto are the following:

Javier Pérez Royo, Catedrático de Derecho Constitucional, María José Fariñas Dulce, Catedrática de Filosofía del Derecho de la UC3M, Antonio Baylos Grau, Catedrático de Derecho del Trabajo, Guillermo Portilla Contreras, Catedrático de Derecho penal, Joan J. Queralt, Catedrático de Derecho penal, María José Romero Rodenas, Catedrática de Derecho del Trabajo y Seguridad Social, Nicolás García Rivas, Catedrático de Derecho penal, Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas i Sayrol, Catedrático de Derecho Procesal, Amparo Merino Segovia, Catedrática de Derecho del Trabajo y de la Seguridad Social, María Carmen López Aniorte, Catedrática de Derecho del Trabajo y de la Seguridad Social, Joaquín Aparicio Tovar, Catedrático emérito de Derecho del Trabajo, Joan Carles Carbonell Mateu, Catedrático de Derecho penal, Paz De la Cuesta Aguado, Catedrática de Derecho Penal en la Universidad de Cantabria, Hernán Hormazábal Malarée, Catedrático jubilado de Derecho Penal, Joaquín Urías, Profesor de Derecho Constitucional, Francisco José Trillo Párraga, Profesor de Derecho del Trabajo, Gerardo Pisarello, Profesor de Derecho Constitucional, Fernando Fita Ortega, Profesor de derecho del trabajo, María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Profesora de Filosofía del Derecho, Carol Proner, Asociación Brasileña de Juristas por la Democracia, Abogada y Profesora, Elena García Testal, Profesora de derecho del Trabajo y SS, Ricardo Morón Prieto, Profesor de Derecho del Trabajo y de la Seguridad Social, Emilio Camacho, Profesor de Derecho Constitucional (Paraguay), Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, Abogada y profesora de derecho UBA (Argentina) Ex Ministra de Argentina, Emma Rodríguez Rodríguez, Profesora de Derecho del Trabajo y de la Seguridad Social, Matías Movilla García, Abogado y Profesor de Derecho del Trabajo, Lídia Santos Arnau, Profesora de Derecho Internacional Privado, Juan Manuel Alcoceba Gil, Profesor de Derecho Procesal, Larissa Ramina, Profesora de Derecho y abogada, Maravillas Espin, Profesora de Derecho, Javier Mira Benavent, Profesor derecho penal, Andrés Boix Palop, Profesor derecho Administrativo, Antoni Llabrés Fuster. Profesor derecho Penal, Carlos Amoedo Souto. Profesor Derecho Administrativo, Iñaki Rivera Beiras, Profesor Derecho Penal, Alberto Alonso Rimo, Profesor Derecho Penal, Joan Ridaó. Profesor de Derecho Constitucional y Letrado del Parlament, Carlos H. Preciado Domènech, Magistrado, Antonio Seoané García, Magistrado (jubilado), Faustino Rodríguez García, Magistrado (jubilado), Antonio María Giménez Raurell, Juez jubilado, José Antonio Mora Alarcón, Magistrado, Juan Pedro Yllanes Suárez, ex magistrado, Félix Pantoja García, Fiscal de Sala jubilado, Baltasar Garzón Real, Juez Audiencia Nacional (1988-2012), Concepción Sáez Rodríguez, Letrada de la Administración de Justicia, Antonio Fernández Mata, Juez, Jordi Agustí Julia. Magistrado emérito del TS, Verónica Martínez Barbero, Inspectora Trabajo SS, Magdalena Márquez Martín, Técnica Junta de Andalucía, Consolación García, Inspectora de Trabajo y SS, José Luis Rivera Arias, Letrado de la Administración Local, Ana Martín Arahuetes, Inspectora de Trabajo y Seg. Social (Jubilada), Engracia Rivera Arias, funcionaria de la AEAT, Primitivo Baquero Fuentes, Funcionario jubilado, Ramón Enrique Lillo Pérez, Abogado, Aina Díaz Vargas, Abogada, Ana María Cortés López, Jurista, Enrique Santiago Romero, Abogado, Antonio Segura Hernández, Abogado, Rafael M. Salazar Amat, Abogado, Carlos Vázquez Galán, Abogado, Raúl Maíllo García, Abogado, Marta Balmaseda Franco, Abogada, Maria Luisa Turrion Santa Maria, Abogada, Mauricio Valiente Ots, Abogado, Jaume Durà Tohus, Abogado, Jaume Asens Tolra, Abogado, Manuel de la Rocha Rubí, Abogado, Víctor García Rivas, Abogado, Altamira Gonzalo Valgañon, Jurista, Rafael Velasco Rodríguez, Abogado, Rosario Guerrero Martin, Abogada, Maria Duran Febrer, Abogacia, Bernardo García Rodríguez, Abogado laboralista, Sara Parra Alberca, Abogada, África Ortiz López, Abogada, Carmen Cañedo Vega, Abogada, Pedro Feced Martínez, Abogado, Harold Correa, Abogado Chile, Julio Santos Palacios, Abogado, Damián Loreti, abogado, Jesús Mª Benito Suena, Abogado, Angel Martín Aguado, Abogado, Virgilio Hernández Enríquez, Abogado/ Parlamentario Andino, Giovanna Erika Venegas Benavides, Abogada, Jordi Pedret Grenzner, Abogado, Lola Montejo Bombin, Abogada, Fuco Antas Pérez, Abogado, Juan Moreno Redondo, Abogado, José L. Gutiérrez Aranguren, Abogado, Javier Blanco Morales, Abogado, Gustavo Ruiz de Cenzano Macián, Abogado, Andrés Pérez Subirana, Abogado, Ramiro Rivadeneira, Silva, Abogado, Júlia Senra Petit, Abogada, Enrique Lizarbe Iranzo, Abogado jubilado, Anabel Segado Sújar, Abogada.

https://www.publico.es/politica/mas-200-juristas-y-expertos-del-derecho-apoyan-manifiesto-favor-posible-y-necesaria-ley-amnistia.html

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