The Center for Constitutional Transitions, in partnership with the Edinburgh Center for Constitutional Law, has released an open letter on the constitutional crisis in Catalonia, “A Call for Dialogue”. The coordinators of the letter are Sujit Choudhry, Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions & I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley; Robert Howse, Lloyd C. Nelson Professor of International Law at the New York University School of Law; Zoran Oklopcic, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University; and Asanga Welikala, Director, Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law & Lecturer in Public Law, School of Law, University of Edinburgh.
“A Call for Dialogue”:
- calls on the heads of Spanish and Catalan governments to act in a good faith, open-minded constitutional dialogue on the political status of Catalonia;
- urges Mr. Puigdemont, the President of Catalonia, to demonstrate the sincerity of his commitment to dialogue by acknowledging the legitimate concerns of those who doubt that his government has a democratic mandate to pursue the secession of Catalonia;
- proposes that the best way to dispel those doubts is to organize a referendum that would provide a more accurate indication of the aspirations of the Catalan people;
- urges Mr. Rajoy to publicly recognize such aspirations as, in principle, legitimate, and to refrain from using repression to suppress them;
- calls on both sides to embrace a popular referendum as the best means of obtaining a clearer picture of the extent of the challenge that Catalan aspirations for independence pose to the Spanish constitutional order; and
- invites both sides to work towards a negotiated constitutional settlement that would protect constitutional rights of everyone involved, giving due regard to Catalan political aspirations, in conformity with the ideals of democracy and the rule of law.
The letter is signed by a distinguished group of constitutional and international law scholars and is open for signature at http://www.constitutionaltransitions.org/catalonia/.