María Jesús Cañizares
29.08.2017 00:00 h.
The law of legal and foundational transition of the Catalan Republic includes an “absolute control” of the judicial power by the Government of the Generalitat. Lawyers consulted by Global Chronicle warn about this move, and they also attack the “coup against democracy” that implies the immunity granted to the president of the alleged Catalan state.
This law, which provides the legal basis for the breakup with Spain, was presented yesterday by the separatist organisations Junts pel Sí and the CUP, with the intention of it being approved before October 1, the date set for the referendum. It includes, among other matters, dual nationality, the co-official nature of languages and amnesty for those convicted of defending the procés.
The professor of Constitutional Law of the University of Barcelona Xavier Arbós warns that the law of transition contemplates an absolute “interventionism” of the Government of the hypothetical Catalan Republic in the judicial power. “If what they wanted was to improve the current model that they criticized so much, they are wrong”. The jurist refers specifically to the appointment of the “Attorney General of Catalonia”, which according to Article 67 of the law of breakup would be appointed by the Parliament at the proposal of the Government of the Generalitat, as well as the appointment of the president of the “Supreme Court of Catalonia” “(TSC). This position would be proposed by a Mixed Committee of the Board of the Court, composed of the Minister of Justice, four members of the TSC’s Board of Governors and four persons appointed by the Govern.
For Arbós “this is a worrisome matter that would be criticized even in a process of secession”. He questions that the law does not contemplate the creation of a Constitutional Court, because although fundamental rights are protected, it is not known what would happen for a breach of other issues contained in the law.
The professor also warns about the participatory process that must conclude in the elaboration of a “Catalan Constitution”. In this sense, he fears that the questions that the Constituent Social Forum formulates to the citizens “are conditioned, because we do not know who will integrate that Forum. Òmnium? UGT? A hiker group?”
Immunity of the president of the republic
Pere Lluís Huguet, former president of the Council of Catalan Lawyers, agrees with Xavier Arbós in denouncing the interference of the government of the “Catalan Republic” contemplated by the law. “I see an absolute political control of the judicial power far superior to that of the General Council of the Judiciary in Spain”. The lawyer especially denounces the immunity enjoyed by the president. According to article 36, “the president of the Generalitat during his term enjoys immunity, cannot be detained or held as prisoner except in case of flagrante delicto. It is up to the Supreme Court of Catalonia to decide on the indictment, prosecution and trial of the president”.
Huguet emphasizes that, on the contrary, the Spanish Constitution limits itself to indicating that “criminal responsibility and the other members of the Government will be required, if this be the case, before the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court”. In his opinion, this is a “blow to democracy”. The jurist also denounces how the law of transition “destroys the bilateralism of international law, since the Catalan Republic would apply it, irrespective of the other State liking it or not, as long as it had been signed with Spain”.