Spanish Constitutional Court partially suspends Catalan law on non-binding referenda

May 10, 2017 07:13 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has unanimously suspended a substantial part of the Catalan law for popular non-binding referenda, approved seven years ago in 2010. In particular, the magistrates have annulled the section which refers to calling a referendum at an autonomic level. They believe that this kind of referendum “is not foreseen in the Spanish Constitution nor in the State’s legislation”. Moreover, the TC has also decided to suspend the creation of the National Transition Advisory Council, a body created through a Catalan Government decree and aimed at beginning the necessary measures for completing Catalonia’s pro-independence process. In this fashion, the TC accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish Government, which claimed that the Catalan law for non-binding referenda was unconstitutional. 

Spanish Court suspends Catalan independence referendum line items from budget

April 4, 2017 04:14 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) accepted this Tuesday the suit presented by the Spanish Government which claimed that those line items in the 2017 Catalan budget oriented toward calling a referendum this September were illegal. The magistrates, which met in an extraordinary session to address only this matter, unanimously agreed to suspend these budget items for a period of 5 months, which could be extended if necessary. Rajoy’s Executive also wants Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and the other members of the Catalan Government to be personally notified of the suspension as well as the penal consequences of ignoring it. In particular, the TC suspended two line items: one establishes €5 million for electoral processes and €0.8 million for participation and the other refers to the possibility of calling a referendum with or without the Spanish State's permission.

Spanish Government challenges referendum budget in the court

March 31, 2017 03:35 PM | ACN

The Catalan budget for 2017, which includes an allocation of €5.8 million to carry out the referendum on independence which the Government committed to call next September, has been taken before the court. The Parliament’s legal services already warned on the day the bill was passed that by doing so the chamber could be ignoring the TC. Indeed, the Spanish body called to impede or block any initiative emerged from the pro-independence declaration of the 9-N, which was already suspended.  The pro-independence parties in the Parliament, governing cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left CUP backed the bill, which besides considering the referendum, it allocates €17.8 billion to social expenditure. The main parties in the opposition, Spanish Unionist Ciutadans, Catalan People’s Party (PP) and Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) announced this Friday that they will join the Spanish Government’s initiative and present an appeal to the bill.

“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”.

Homs enters the court rallied around by hundreds of supporters

February 27, 2017 10:27 AM | ACN / Sara Prim

The judicial process against Catalan politicians that helped to organise the non-binding consultation on independence on the 9th of November 2014 continues. This Monday, former Catalan Government spokesman and MP for the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDCeCAT) testifies before the Spanish Supreme Court for disobedience and perversion of justice when co-organising the 9-N symbolic vote on independence, in which 2.3 million citizens expressed their opinion about Catalonia’s political future. The Prosecutor’s temporary conclusions stated that Homs “didn’t suspend any of the articles which allowed the consultation to take place and which were accountable to the Department of the Presidency” which Homs led at that time. The document emphasises that former Catalan President, Artur Mas’ right-hand man was “absolutely aware” that “by doing so he violated the mandatory compliance of the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decisions”. Thus, the Prosecutor demands a 9-year ban from public office.

Catalan executive receives TC’s notification suspending the referendum

February 21, 2017 02:18 PM | ACN

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the Catalan Ministers received this Tuesday the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)’s notice informing them that the proposal to hold a referendum on independence in 2017 passed by the Catalan Parliament has ultimately been suspended. The document, which washand delivered by two judicial secretaries from Catalonia’s Supreme Court, warns the Government of the consequences they may incur if they disobey the resolution. The proposal, presented and approved by governing cross-party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and pro-independence radical left CUP reaffirmed “Catalonia’s imprescriptible and inalienable right to self-determination” and called the Government “to hold a binding referendum on Catalonia’s independence” which would have to take place “in September 2017 at the latest and have a clear and binary question”.


Catalan Government to keep referendum date despite TC suspension

February 14, 2017 06:26 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has definitely suspended the governing party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP joint proposal to call a referendum in 2017. A decision which, according to Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté “was not surprising” not even at “this extraordinary speed” and culminating “a tense week” during which the 9-N trial over symbolic vote on independence took place at Barcelona’s High Court. However, she assured that the ruling “won’t change the Government’s determination to call a referendum this year”. Munté emphasised that the joint resolution “was discussed and voted on by the Catalan MPs in accordance to the freedom of speech” and that these MPs were “democratically elected”. In a similar sense, CUP MP Benet Salellas warned that his group “will guarantee that the referendum takes place, regardless of the TC’s wishes”.

TC suspends referendum resolution and could take further legal action against Forcadell

February 14, 2017 02:35 PM | ACN

The commitment taken by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to call a referendum in autumn 2017, regardless of the Spanish Government’s position, has been definitely suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC). Although the body had already ordered a cautionary suspension of the governing party ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP joint proposal on this matter, this Tuesday the resolution became definite. “No court decision will change our unequivocal determination to call a referendum this year”, stated Catalan Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté. She also emphasised that the joint resolution emerged from the democratic mandate of the 27-S Catalan elections. The magistrates also left in the Public Prosecutor’s hands whether to take further legal action against Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, who already testified before Barcelona’s High Court in December for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote amongst the Catalan MPs.

Catalan Government receives Spanish Constitutional Court warning on penal consequences of holding a referendum

December 21, 2016 06:30 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) carried out this Wednesday its usual procedure and hand delivered the resolution notice which warns the Catalan executive of the criminal liability of launching the referendum plan. The document emphasised the magistrates’ duty to “impede or block” any initiative aimed at ignoring the TC suspension of the Government’s plan to call a referendum in Catalonia in September 2017. The notice warns Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, Catalan Vice President and Minister for Economy and Tax Office, Oriol Junqueras, along with the members in the Catalan executive of the “eventual charges” which they may face. On Tuesday, the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, and the members of the Parliament’s Bureau also received the same notice, which was hand delivered by judicial secretaries from Catalonia’s Supreme Court.

Puigdemont: “We will vote, debate and hold meetings”

December 15, 2016 06:29 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) suspension of the Parliament’s plan to call a referendum in Catalonia in September of next year has outraged many sectors of Catalan political and civil society. This Thursday, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, stated that the TC’s decision “confirmed” the existence of “constitutional populism” in Spain which claims that “Catalans are not allowed to vote”. In response, assured Puigdemont, the Government will simply “apply democracy”. “Catalans have the right to vote, debate and hold meetings, therefore, we will vote, debate and hold meetings”, he stated. The Catalan President also took the chance to express his support and that of the whole executive for the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, who will face trial on Friday for allowing the pro-independence roadmap to be put to vote in the Catalan Chamber last July.

Spanish Court suspends Parliament’s plan for pro-independence referendum

December 14, 2016 02:02 PM | ACN

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has temporarily suspended the proposal approved by governing cross-party list ‘Junts Pel Sí’ and radical left pro-independence CUP to call a referendum in Catalonia. The magistrates admitted this Wednesday to proceed with the appeal presented by the Spanish executive in October, which calls for the suspension of the pro-independence group’s proposal approved in the Parliament and considers it to have emerged from the previously suspended declaration to start launching the pro-independence roadmap. The TC judges have also warned Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell that they must avoid any initiative aimed at contravening this suspension. The TC decision arrives only two days before Forcadell is due to testify before the Court for allegedly violating the Spanish Constitution when allowing the pro-independence debate to take place in the Catalan Chamber, last July. 

Parliament’s President to testify before the court on 16 December

November 22, 2016 02:27 PM | ACN

Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has called the Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, to testify before the court on Friday the 16th of December. She is accused of “disobeying” a Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) ruling when allowing the conclusions of the committee to study the constitutive process to be assessed in the Parliament. The Court also requests testimony from the second Vice-president of the Parliament’s Bureau, José María Espejo, from Spanish Unionist ‘Ciutadans’, the Bureau’s second secretary, David Pérez, from the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the Bureau’s third secretary, Joan Josep Nuet, from alternative left alliance ‘Catalunya Sí que es Pot’. The Court ordered them to testify as witnesses over the pro-independence roadmap, which was put to vote in the Catalan Chamber on the 27th of July.

Spanish Government cannot impose return of bullfighting on Catalonia, say dissenting magistrates

November 9, 2016 07:32 PM | ACN

Bullfighting was effectively banned in Catalonia in 2012, after a Parliament Act was approved in 2010. On 20th of October last, however, the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) annulled the prohibition. Eight of the eleven magistrates at the TC considered that the Catalan Parliament “exceeded its competences” and “restricted the citizens’ rights and freedoms” when banning bullfighting. This week, the identities of the three dissenting magistrates have been unveiled. The judges Adela Asúa, Fernando Valdés Dal-Ré and Juan Antonio Xiol recalled that the Spanish Constitution does not give the Government the power to “displace” exclusive regional competencies, such as the regulation of public performances and animal protection, and therefore defend that the Spanish executive cannot impose the return of bullfighting on Catalonia.