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Catalan Police Mossos d’Esquadra to have an Ethic Committee

The Catalan Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted an Ethics Committee for the Catalan Police Force, called Mossos d’Esquadra. It will be chaired by Francesc Torralba, Director of Applied Ethics at Barcelona’s Ramon Llull University. The Ethics Committee was firstly created by the former Left-Wing Cabinet, when the Home Affairs Ministry was run by a Green Socialist (ICV-EUiA). However, it was suppressed in 2011 by his successor from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). Now, following recent scandals, such as the death of an arrestee, it has been restored. The Ethics Committee is made of ten members who have a non-renewable term of four years: five representatives of the police and home security are joined by five independent university professors in the field of law, ethics and sociology. Their first assignment will be drafting the Catalan Police’s new Code of Ethics.

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13 February 2014 07:25 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted an Ethics Committee for the Catalan Police Force, called Mossos d’Esquadra. It will be chaired by Francesc Torralba, Director of Applied Ethics at Barcelona’s Ramon Llull University (URL). The Ethics Committee was firstly created by the former Left-Wing Cabinet, when the Home Affairs Ministry was run by a Green Socialist (ICV-EUiA). However, it was suppressed in 2011 by his successor from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU). Now, following recent scandals, such as the death of an arrestee while in custody, it has been restored. The Ethics Committee is made of ten members who have a non-renewable term of four years: five representatives of the police and home security are joined by five independent university professors in the field of law, ethics and sociology. Their first assignment will be drafting the Catalan Police’s new Code of Ethics.


The Catalan Home Affairs Minister, RamonEspadaler, praised the Committee for being “plural” and formed of renowned professionals. Espadaler directly appointed the ten members, who have then elected their President, voting unanimously for philosopher and university professor Francesc Torralba. The creation and composition of the Ethics Committee has been notified to the Police Council (regrouping Police union representatives and the Spokespersons of the political parties at the Home Affairs parliamentary committee), who have approved it.

An “advisory and consultative body”

According to the Home Affairs Minister, it is now time to “look forward” without comparing it to the previous Ethics Committee created by the ICV-EUiA Minister Joan Saura. This new Committee should assist the Mossos d’Esquadra and the other local police forces in becoming more modern and achieving equivalent standards to the most advanced European police corps. And so, it is “not intended to judge police actions but to accompany decisions regarding security”. The body will be “essentially advisory and consultative” and its aim is to provide an “ethical” reflection on issues affecting police practices while also collaborating with bodies responsible for research and police training, stated Espadaler.

Unlike the previous Ethics Committee, this new body will not have the power to prosecute police officers but its members will notify the Home Affairs Ministry in the event of suspect behaviours. It will not issue an annual report, as the previous Committee used to do.

Renowned Professors will be working alongside Chiefs of Police

Apart from Francesc Torralba, from the University Ramon Llull (URL), other independent members of the Committee are the former Director of Catalonia’s Public Prosecutor Office, Martín Rodríguez Sol; Victòria Camps, Philosophy Professor at the University of Barcelona; Esther Giménez-Salinas, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at ESADE’s Law School (URL); and Àngel Castiñeira, Professor of Social Sciences (URL).

The five police representatives are Cristina Manresa, the Chief of Police of Barcelona South Metropolitan Police Region; Josep Lluís Rossell the Chief of Police of the Western Catalonia Police Region; Inspector Jordi Dalmau, Secretary General of the Mossos d’Esquadra heads Trade Union (Sicme); and Jordi Dalmases and Lluís López, respectively the Heads of local police in Igualada and Vilassar de Mar (both in the Province of Barcelona). The latest names have been proposed by the municipality associations of Catalonia.

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  • A Catalan Police car (by ACN)

  • A Catalan Police car (by ACN)