Pro-independence parties register separate amendments to draft amnesty bill 

ERC and Junts fail to reach agreement with Socialists over terrorism clause wording

The Spanish Congress discusses the amnesty law, December 12, 2023
The Spanish Congress discusses the amnesty law, December 12, 2023 / Lea Beliaeva Bander
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 16, 2024 09:21 PM

Pro-independence parties Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts registered their proposals for changes to the draft amnesty law separately on Tuesday, despite having aimed to register agreed joint amendments. 

The Socialists maintained their refusal to change the wording over the bill's terrorism clause. Spanish judge Manuel García-Castellón considers actions by pro-independence activist groups Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) and Tsunami Democràtic to be terrorism. ERC and Junts want to ensure the two groups are included in the final amnesty law. 

In a statement on Tuesday evening, ERC said that while the negotiations with the PSOE had "borne fruit" in the form of some joint amendments, ERC believe that "more progress is needed" and that "there is still room for negotiation" before the bill is definitively approved. That is why the party proposed its own amendments that it will "continue to negotiate in the coming days." 


ERC did submit eight amendments of a technical nature agreed and signed jointly with the Socialists, left-wing Sumar, the Basque Country's Bildu and Galicia's BNG. 

Among other things, these amendments specify crimes against humanity and genocide as being excluded from the amnesty, and also establish that the amnesty can be applied at any time during the criminal procedure, including during trials. 

ERC registered another four amendments on its own. 

Junts presented 12 amendments in total. In a short statement, the party said their amendments seek to "reinforce the amnesty" by having it include "all cases of persecution against the independence movement without exception." 

Junts also urge the other parties in favor of an amnesty to continue working to "improve the text."  

"Every law can always be improved technically, and the amendment procedure is precisely the opportunity to do so before its approval." 

Junts also proposed a modification of the time frame that would be covered by the amnesty, beginning from November 1, 2011, rather than January 1, 2012. 

What happens next? 

With the proposed amendments now submitted, the law will be debated this Thursday. 

Then, on January 23, a session of the Justice Commission will be held to debate and approve the amendments. 

The amended bill will go before Congress for approval the week of January 29 or February 5. 

The law will then pass to the Senate, where the conservative People's Party (which has an absolute majority) is already looking for ways to delay its approval. 

The Senate has a maximum of two months to rule on the legislation.

The law will then return to Congress where it is set to be approved definitively with the votes of the Socialists, Sumar, ERC, Junts, the Basque National Party, Bildu and BNG, most likely in April or May.