francisco pérez de los cobos

“Political dialogue urgently needed,” says Spanish Constitutional Court President in resignation speech

March 15, 2017 06:49 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) one of the legal bodies responsible for suspending the most initiatives aimed at executing Catalonia’s pro-independence roadmap in the last few years, replaced its president this Wednesday. Francisco Pérez de los Cobos stepped down after nearly four years in office and took the opportunity to call for “political dialogue” . He defended Spain’s unity but admitted that the Spanish Constitution “can’t tackle all the problems derived from the constitutional order, especially those which emerge from the desire of one part of the state to alter its legal status”.  In the presence of the Spanish Minister for Justice, Rafael Català and the four magistrates which took office this Wednesday, Pérez de los Cobos emphasized that dialogue is an “urgent and unavoidable necessity”.

Mas: Reforming the Spanish Constitution will lead Catalonia to a dead end

December 7, 2015 07:59 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

Catalonia "won't get anything" from a reform of the Spanish Constitution, on the contrary, "it will lead to frustration" assured current Catalan President, Artur Mas. "It is nonsense to suggest that Catalonia burns itself to flames by promoting a reform of the Spanish Constitution" as it will lead "to a dead end once again", assured Mas. He made these statements in response to the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who urged the Parliament to propose concrete modifications of the Spanish Constitution in order to launch their demands rather than doing so by breaking the law. "We know that the Parliament has the right to propose constitutional reforms" stated Mas "but now it is not about rights, it is about politics, real politics" he assured. Mas made these declarations in Paris, where he was attending the Paris Climate Change Conference.

Constitutional Court bans Catalan Law on Consultation Votes and call for original independence vote

February 25, 2015 10:47 PM | ACN

Spain’s Constitutional Court has ruled against the Catalan Parliament’s Law on Consultation Votes, approved in September, and the President of the Catalan Government’s Decree calling for a consultation vote on independence on 9 November last. The Constitutional Court had already temporarily suspended both legal measures in October, but it still was yet to issue its definitive verdict. After the temporary suspension, the Catalan Government promoted an alternative and symbolic vote on independence run by 40,000 volunteers, also on 9 November, in which 2.35 million people participated despite the Spanish authorities’ full opposition and even threats. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, stated that the Constitutional Court’s final decision “leaves 27 September [early elections] as the only way to consult the Catalan people” about their collective future. Meanwhile, the Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, highlighted that the Court’s decision “has been adopted unanimously” and that “governments have to honour laws”.

Constitutional Court dismisses request by Catalan Parliament to sideline its 2 members suspected of bias

October 9, 2014 08:58 PM | ACN

Spain’s Constitutional Court has unanimously decided to reject the Catalan Parliament’s requests to sideline 2 of its 12 members from the debate and final verdict on the law and decree regarding Catalonia’s self-determination consultation vote. The Catalan Parliament considered that the Court’s President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, and the rapporteur on the appeal against the Catalan Law on Consultation Votes, Pedro José González-Trevijano, were not impartial on this issue. Pérez de los Cobos has been a member of the People’s Party – which runs the Spanish Government – and González-Trevijano has worked with the PP’s think-tank. In addition, they both share extreme Spanish nationalist stances: the first one has publicly insulted Catalan identity on several occasions and the second one has defended the maintenance of the shrine where Franco remains are exposed.

Spanish Government to expand Constitutional Court appeal and Catalan Parliament to challenge Court President

October 3, 2014 09:13 PM | ACN

The judicial battle for the 9th of November's vote was intensified in the last few hours by Catalan authorities and the Spanish Government. On Thursday evening, the Catalan Parliament's Bureau agreed to challenge 2 of the 12 Constitutional Court members for their closeness to the People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government. They are the Court's President, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, who was a PP member until 2011, and Pedro José González-Trevijano, who is directly dealing with the Spanish Government's appeal. Moreover, the Spanish Government has announced it will include in its appeals, the election of the members of the Control Commission for consultation votes, which was voted for on Wednesday by the Catalan Parliament and ratified by the Catalan President on Thursday, despite the Court's temporary suspension of the law on which it is based.

Catalonia is not "a sovereign political and legal subject" states the Constitutional Court

March 25, 2014 10:15 PM | ACN

Spain's Constitutional Court has reached a unanimous decision against the Catalan Parliament's 'Declaration of Sovereignty', approved in January 2013 and appealed by the Spanish Government. In May 2013 the Constitutional Court put the Declaration on hold, temporarily stopping its implementation while it was reaching a definitive decision, which has happened this Tuesday evening. In the end the Court has declared the first part of the text, which stated that "the people of Catalonia is, for reasons of democratic legitimacy, a sovereign political and legal subject", "unconstitutional and void". However, it adds that the people of Catalonia have "the right to decide" but not "to self-determination", and it points out that the Constitution can be reformed. After months of internal debate and previous failed attempts to reach a consensus, the decision arrived a few hours after the Catalan Parliament had approved a motion to disqualify 3 of the 12 members of the Constitutional Court of not being impartial on this issue.

The Constitutional Court upholds ruling that Balearic Islands’ civil servants are no longer required to know Catalan

October 2, 2013 10:38 PM | ACN

On the same day, the Court re-affirmed its decision to keep its current Chairman in position despite his anti-Catalan public stance and having been a member of the governing People’s Party (PP) until 2011. On top of this, Catalan and Basque Members of the European Parliament from five different parties formally asked the European Commission to intervene against the politicisation of the Spanish Constitutional Court, stressing that EU democracies should have an independent judiciary. The Constitutional Court is the highest interpreter of Spain’s legislation, has to guarantee the respect of fundamental rights and acts as a referee between the different government levels and political actors. In this capacity, it ruled against the appeal presented by the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) against the law that abolished the requirement to know Catalan for working as a public servant in Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, despite it being the local language.

The Catalan Government will ask the President of the Constitutional Court to be excluded from issues affecting Catalonia

July 30, 2013 11:11 PM | ACN

The new President of the Spanish Constitutional Court, Francisco Pérez de los Cobos, has turned out to be a member of the People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government. In addition, the expert in labour law had drafted several reports for the PP on several issues. On top of this, Pérez de los Cobos wrote a book with many sentences against Catalonia and Catalan citizens, amongst other controversial stances. According to the Catalan Government, this person cannot chair an institution that has to act as a referee between the different levels of government in Spain and that has to interpret the Constitution regarding very sensitive issues, such as Catalonia’s self-determination. For this reason, the Catalan Government demanded that Pérez de los Cobos be excluded from all the cases that involve the Catalan Executive.