The Spanish Constitutional Court on the Path of Self-Destruction

Recently, the Spanish Constitutional Court has published one more decision in application of the new reform of the Law on Constitutional Court which increased its powers for the execution of its own decisions. It is clear that Catalonian sovereignist politicians are acting irresponsibly and provoking the Spanish powers. The only good way to answer to this challenge is a balanced and neutral response of the Constitutional Court every time they adopt an illegal act. Instead, the Court assumed a political role. He tries to stop even any talk about independence. By doing so, it fails to respect its own role as keeper of a Constitutional framework where very diverse ideologies can be discussed.

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Damaging the Legitimacy of the Spanish Constitutional Court

The Spanish legislative burdens the Constitutional Court with the task to prevent Catalonia from pursuing independence. To use the Constitutional Court as the main barricade against any attempt at starting the independence process does tremendous damage to the Court itself as it undermines its perception as neutral arbiter and, thereby, its legitimation.

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The Catalan Secessionist Movement and Europe – Remarks on the Venice Commission’s Opinion 827/2015

The Venice Commission has issued an opinion on a Spanish statute on the Constitutional Court’s authority. This statute is to be read as a concrete response to the Catalan secessionist movement. The Commission now reveals the European perspective on it…

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Catalonian Independentism, the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Perils of the Middle Way

The Spanish Law 15/2015 (Organic Law) was a key element of the last Government of Mariano Rajoy in his fight against Catalonian Independentism. It gives the Spanish Constitutional Court a new executive power to suspend temporally a democratic authority if it does not obey a Constitutional Court’s resolution. A recent decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court has validated the Bill on the idea that the Court must have special deference to the legislature whenever the judgment is on the statute that regulates the jurisdiction of Court. The Court solves the dispute without a deep discussion on the merits. Once again the Spanish Court leaves a feeling of intellectual fragility.

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Scotland, Catalonia and the Constitutional Taboo of Secession

The UK constitution does not allow Scotland to unilaterally secede in the case of Brexit – in that respect its situation is not unlike Catalonia’s. Given the political nature of the UK uncodified constitution, it is almost unthinkable that a similar judicialisation of politics will occur in the UK as it did in Spain. However, unless Westminster takes seriously into account the demands of the devolved administrations in the Brexit negotiations, there is a real danger that a serious constitutional stalemate will occur.

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"Ein Land hat ein Recht darauf, regiert zu werden"

Spanien steht vor Neuwahlen, nachdem die Parteien im Parlament monatelang keine mehrheitsfähige Regierung zustandegebracht haben. Ex-Verfassungsgerichtspräsident und -Generalanwalt am EuGH Pedro Cruz Villalón sieht im Verfassungsblog-Interview die Parteien in der Schuld und prophezeit seinem Land eine assymetrisch föderale Zukunft – möglicherweise mit Vorbildfunktion für Europa.

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Völkerrecht und Sezessionen – Legitimität nur für Einigungswillige?

Katalonien, Schottland, Krim, Québec – Sezessionismus ist in diesen Tagen wieder einmal ein sehr aktuelles Phänomen, und das nicht nur in Europa. Um so mehr wächst das Bedürfnis danach, sezessionistische Bestrebungen völkerrechtlich und damit nach internationalen Standards zu bewerten. Doch bei der Frage, ob bzw. wann Sezessionen legitim sind, betreibt das Völkerrecht eine Art Versteckspiel mit Verfassungsrecht und Politik. Weder statuiert es ein ausdrückliches Recht auf Sezession noch verbietet es dieselbe, sondern überlässt es grundsätzlich dem jeweiligen nationalen Verfassungsrecht, ihre Rechtmäßigkeit zu beurteilen. Lässt uns also das Völkerrecht mit dem Sezessionismus völlig alleine? Eine Antwort auf diese Frage gab diese Woche Andreas Paulus, Richter im Ersten Senat des Bundesverfassungsgerichts und Völkerrechtsprofessor in Göttingen, in einem Vortrag vor dem Wissenschaftlichen Dienst des Bundestages.

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