catalan supreme court

Extreme-right group Manos Limpias fuels a judicial battle against Catalonia's self-determination

March 25, 2014 10:05 PM | ACN

The far right trade union Manos Limpias has filed a complaint against the citizen association that organised the two massive independence demonstrations on the 11th September 2012 and 2013: the National Assembly of Catalonia (ANC). On Monday evening the Spanish nationalist organisation accused the ANC of fostering "insurrection" for having issued a road map proposing to declare independence on the 23rd April 2015 if the Spanish Government did not allow a self-determination vote. Furthermore, in February the extreme-right group had filed a first complaint against the Catalan President, Artur Mas, for "sedition" and "rebellion". On Tuesday, after a preliminary analysis, Catalonia's Supreme Court (TSJC) dismissed the complaint, emphasising the political nature of Mas' statements and actions. Manos Limpias announced that it will appeal the decision, saying that the TSJC is "contaminated" by Catalan nationalism.

Catalonia's Supreme Court now indicts CiU MP Oriol Pujol for bribery

March 20, 2014 10:42 AM | ACN

The former Secretary General and 'number 2' of CDC, which is the Liberal Party and larger force within the two-party Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), has been indicted for another alleged offence: bribery. Oriol Pujol had already been indicted a year ago for influence peddling regarding the network of Technical Vehicle Inspection garages (ITV). Back then, Pujol temporarily stepped down from his party responsibilities and as Chairman of the CiU group within the Catalan Parliament, but he continued as MP. The case is still under investigation by a judge from Catalonia's Supreme Court (TSJC), who has now added bribery to the list of alleged felonies. The judge stated that he believes Pujol might have earned €30,000 through his wife's company for a specific vote in Parliament. The CDC and the Spokesperson of the Catalan Government – run by the CiU – emphasised that they believe in Pujol's innocence and hope the judicial process will clarify the situation as soon as possible.

Spain’s Supreme Court insists on making Spanish a language of instruction in Catalonia

February 18, 2014 07:52 PM | ACN

The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled against the Catalan school model again. The model, which is based on the linguistic immersion principle, has been in place since the mid-1980s and totally guarantees the pupils’ knowledge of both Spanish and Catalan at the end of their schooling period. On Monday the Court rejected an appeal lodged last year by the Catalan Government against a previous judgement that obliged a school to go against Catalonia’s Education Law and teach the entire class in Spanish following a single request from a little girl’s family, irrespective of the opinion of the other pupils’ families. This is another episode in a long series of judicial rulings, appeals and judgements against Catalonia’s school model and the Catalan language since 2010. Spanish nationalists, particularly Madrid-based media and the People’s Party (PP), have been attacking this model and the Catalan language for the last decade and a half, but recently they have managed to get the centralist judicial authorities to back them.

Catalan school system against Hispanicisation and the Spanish Government’s Education Reform

February 11, 2014 04:04 PM | ACN

On Tuesday Catalonia’s education stakeholders – including unions, pedagogic organisations and parent associations – asked the Catalan Executive and Parliament to lead “the boycott” of the Spanish Government’s Education Reform, known as LOMQE. This reform aims to recentralise education powers, foster religion and impose Spanish as a language of instruction in Catalonia. Furthermore, on Monday evening thousands of people demonstrated in front of Catalonia’s High Court (TSJC) in support of the current school model in Catalonia, which is based on the linguistic immersion principle that guarantees the knowledge of both Spanish and Catalan. Political parties, trade unions, cultural associations and teaching organisations were protesting against the TSJC’s recent ruling that imposed a requirement that 25% of a school’s curriculum be taught in Spanish if a single pupil asks for it. The TSJC was interpreting a judgement by the Spanish Supreme Court, framed in a broader offensive against Catalan language.

Privately-owned school: “we choose to teach in Catalan because we are deeply rooted to this country”

February 7, 2014 08:26 PM | ACN

‘Escola Pia’, one of the largest Catalan networks of privately-owned schools, believes that the Catalan High Court (TSJC) ruling forcing one of its school in Barcelona to teach 25% of classes in Spanish, “goes against” its educational project. The school network highlights that this project was “formally accepted by the families who have enrolled their children here”. ‘Escola Pia’ have issued a manifesto rejecting the TSJC sentence which states that if the family of a single pupil asks for classes to be taught in Spanish, “at least” 25% of the mandatory school subjects will have to be taught in Spanish in the entire classroom, regardless of the opinion of the other pupils’ families. After having received such a demand from one family, ‘Escola Pia’ explained: “We choose to teach in the Catalan language because we are deeply rooted to this country and we are at its service”.

Courts request Catalan schools to teach “at least 25%" of the mandatory subjects in Spanish

January 31, 2014 08:44 PM | ACN

Catalonia’s High Court has interpreted the last sentence of the Spanish Supreme Court and forces the Catalan Government to offer “at least” 25% of the mandatory school curricula in Spanish in the schools where pupils ask for it. A dozen of parents had complained in the last few years, filing several appeals and stating they wanted their children to be taught in Spanish in Catalonia’s public schools. The Catalan school model is based on the linguistic immersion principle and almost all the subjects are taught in Catalan except Spanish which is taught as a language. However, the system includes many flexibility measures for new-comers and individualised attention in Spanish. The Spanish Supreme Court considered this was insufficient and sentenced that a class had to be taught in Spanish if the family of a single pupil asked for it and even if the other children’s families had not requested it.

Supreme Court insists Spanish must be teaching language if requested by one pupil

January 27, 2014 09:14 PM | ACN

In appeal, the Spanish Supreme Court has sided with the family who requested their son to be taught in Spanish in school, alongside Catalan. Despite the Constitution not advocating pupils had “the right to be taught in Spanish”, but only stating they had “the right and duty to know Spanish”, a dozen families have requested their children to be taught in this language, turning to the judicial system. Whilst the Constitutional Court has validated on two occasions the Catalan schooling system, based on Catalan as first language of instruction, the Supreme Court ruled against it. The Catalan Government was offering individualised attention to these children, but the judicial decision states that Spanish has to be used for “the entire class of the pupil”, even though the rest of the pupils have not requested to be taught in this language.

The Catalan Government to appeal the Supreme Court to defend the allocation of Barcelona’s water supply to Acciona

July 30, 2013 10:38 PM | ACN

In March of this year the Catalan Supreme Court (TSJC) cancelled the Catalan Government’s allocation of the publicly-owned Aigües Ter-Llobregat (ATLL) – which supplies water to the 5 million people of Greater Barcelona – to the joint venture led by Acciona and including the Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual. The Government presented an appeal but the TSJC confirmed on the 19th July its previous decision. Now, the Catalan Government has decided to take the issue to Spain’s highest court to defend the allocation. The Government is convinced the tender process was done correctly, but the other main contender, Agbar, states the opposite. In addition, a Catalan Government’s internal body overlooking public tenders stated that Acciona’s offer should not have won.

The Catalan Justice Minister is indicted as witness regarding an influence peddling case

July 4, 2013 01:04 AM | CNA

Following a petition by the Spanish Public Prosecutor Office, the judge has called Germà Gordó, the Catalan Minister of Justice, to testify as witness in the alleged influence peddling case of the allocation of licenses to technical vehicle inspection garages. This case affects the ‘Number 3’ of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Oriol Pujol, since the Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJ) suspects he could have participated in irregular allocation of these licenses. At the time the alleged incidents happened, Gordó was not the Justice Minister but the Secretary of the Catalan Government, a key position overseeing all the daily decisions of the Executive. The TSJ wants to hear Gordó’s version of the tender procedure. Besides, Pujol’s defence has called the former Catalan Business Minister as a witness, since his department was running the tender.

Catalonia’s Supreme Court asks for Spanish to be made a teaching language in schools if a single pupil requests it

April 11, 2013 12:11 AM | CNA

The Catalan Education Minister will appeal the decision to the Spanish Supreme Court and meanwhile will not follow the petition of the Catalan Supreme Court (TSJC). The Minister stressed that “the classroom language cannot change just because a child asks for it”. She emphasised that only 17 families have asked to have their children schooled in Spanish. These kids received individualised attention in Spanish but the TSJC thought it was not enough. In the last few years, the Catalan school model has been put in the spotlight by Spanish nationalism, despite having been in place for the last 30 years. The model has shown that pupils perfectly command both languages by the end of their studies. It has also been praised by international organisations, as it guarantees equal opportunities and social cohesion.

Catalonia’s Supreme Court cancels the tender allocating Greater Barcelona’s water supply to Acciona

March 27, 2013 09:41 PM | CNA

In early November, the Catalan Government decided to allocate the public tender privatising the service of the publicly-owned Aigües Ter-Llobregat – which supplies water to the 5 million people of Greater Barcelona – to a joint venture led by Acciona. This meant that the Catalan Executive cashed in €300 million in 2012 and €700 million was to be split over the next 50 years. The operation was aiming to reduce public deficit. However, Agbar appealed the tender because it thought that Acciona was not fully respecting the terms of reference. Now the Court have backed Agbar’s view and cancelled the tender. Acciona has already announced that it will appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court and, in the case that it loses the concession, it will sue the Catalan Government for damages, since the contract came in to effect on the 1st of January.

The 'number 3' of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) is indicted for influence peddling

March 19, 2013 10:57 PM | CNA

The Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJC) has indicted Oriol Pujol, who is the ‘number three’ of the CiU – who run the Catalan Government – over a case of influence peddling regarding an irregular public tender for technical vehicle inspection garages. After his indictment was announced, Pujol “delegated” his party and parliamentary roles as Secretary General of CDC – the Liberal and largest force within the two-party coalition CiU – and as Chairman of the CiU group in the Catalan Parliament. However, Pujol explained that he would not resign as an MP, as it would be “out of proportion”. The Catalan politician insisted that he was innocent and he hoped justice would act quickly. The opposition has displayed a divided reaction: some parties have left it to the CiU to decide whether Pujol’s decision was enough while others heavily criticised him continuing as an MP.

The ‘number three’ in the Catalan Socialist Party is indicted for influence peddling

March 15, 2013 10:56 PM | CNA

Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has announced the indictment of Daniel Fernández, a Member of the Catalan Parliament and Organisation Secretary in the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). Fernández has resigned from his party and Parliamentary positions, but he will continue to be an MP while waiting to find out whether he will go on trial in the end. The High Court believed there to be signs that Fernández could have committed a felony of influence peddling by participating in the irregular hiring process of a manager in one of Greater Barcelona’s municipalities. The anti-corruption prosecutor and the judges investigating the so-called ‘Mercuri’ case, dealing with municipal corruption in Greater Barcelona mostly affecting members of the PSC, asked for Fernández’s indictment to the TSJC since he is an MP.

The Spanish Supreme Court validates the Catalan school model based on the principle of linguistic immersion

February 26, 2013 10:15 PM | CNA

The Spanish Supreme Court has rejected an appeal presented by one family against the Catalan Supreme Court’s decision adopted in March last year that validated the current public school model of linguistic immersion. The Spanish Supreme Court has stated that the Catalan Government does not have to change the entire Catalan school model, which has been in place since the early 1980s. However, it does have to consider individual petitions from families wanting to school their children in Spanish and make Spanish the language of instruction “in the proportion that the Catalan Government considers to be convenient” in “the school and class in which the offspring of the petitioner is being taught”.

The President of the Catalan Government proposes 51 measures to fight corruption and increase transparency

February 22, 2013 11:53 PM | CNA

After holding the second high-level meeting with top representatives from all the public powers involved in the fight against corruption and fraud in Catalonia, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, presented a document setting out a list of measures. The document takes into account suggestions and comments by all the attending public powers, but it is not a joint text issued by all the participants, Mas emphasised, as it is only signed by the President of the Catalan Government. An initial meeting was organised on the 6th of February to exchange views and gather ideas. The listed measures relate to transparency, public contracts, judicial capacities, political parties, control bodies and democratic regeneration.