The Criminal Conviction of Catalan Secessionist Leaders and European Human Rights Law

In the controversial judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court against the Catalan secessionist leaders, seven defendants were found guilty of the crime of sedition (amongst others) and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 9 to 13 years. An appeal to the European Court of Human Rights is likely but it is doubtful whether it will be successful.

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Constitutional Conflicts

Can the actions perpetrated by the leaders of the secessionist movement be understood to be crimes under Spanish law? Does the Spanish Constitution or international law protect those actions in the name of fundamental rights, including the right to protest? The Spanish Supreme Court deals with these issues in its lengthy opinion. A reply to José Luis Martí’s assessment of that decision.

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An Exotic Right

The Spanish Supreme Court’s ruling in the trial against Catalan secessionist leaders will definitely not help to solve the conflict. Quite on the contrary, it will make it intractable in the short run, as we are beginning to see in the riots in the streets of Barcelona. In my opinion, this ruling is unjust and legally wrong. Even worse, it is unconstitutional since it compromises the fundamental democratic rights of protest – the freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly, and the right to demonstrate.

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Spanish Jurisdiction at Stake: Puigdemont’s Judge to be Judged by a Belgian Court?

Tomorrow, a new weird chapter opens up in the „affair Puigdemont“: The Spanish Supreme Court Judge Pablo Llarena, who unsuccessfully issued the European Arrest Warrant against former Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont, is cited before a Belgian court. He is object of a civil lawsuit filed by Puigdemont who accuses the magistrate of a lack of impartiality and violating the presumption of innocence as well as his right to reputation. What is the most astonishing about this lawsuit is the fact that it is a Belgian court which shall judge the professional actions of a Spanish judge.

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Ethnocentric Mambo in Catalonia

Catalonia is a fragile object. As in many other places, history has assembled fragments without completely fusing them, leaving behind scars that remind us of the effort required to join what is diverse. These scars demand special attention because, contrary to societies where the wounds that produced them are old and almost forgotten, in Catalonia many of the wounds were still suppurating just a few decades ago. As they do now. For months, we have been at risk of tearing them open.

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The Strange (German) Case of Mr. Puigdemont’s European Arrest Warrant

The decision by the Oberlandesgericht of Schleswig in the Puigdemont case is a flawed ruling that seriously undermines the effectiveness of the European arrest warrant, and I would even say its future survival. It is also a manifest example of mistrust between courts of Member States, the type of conduct that destroys the foundations of mutual recognition and judicial cooperation.

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Der Fall Puigdemont – ein europäisches Problem!

Ist die Auslieferung von Carles Puigdemont tatsächlich allein der deutschen Justiz überantwortet? Zweifel sind angebracht. Denn blickt man genauer auf den EU-Rahmenbeschluss zum Europäischen Haftbefehl, wird schnell deutlich: Es stellen sich eine Reihe europarechtlicher (Vor-)Fragen, zu deren Auslegung allein der Gerichtshof der Europäischen Union (EuGH) berufen ist.

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