Catalan separatist MEPs Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín accused Spain’s General Council of the Judiciary of violating “basic standards of the rule of law” in a letter despatched to European Commission Vice President and Values and Transparency Commissioner Věra Jourová on Monday.
In the letter, solely obtained by POLITICO, Puigdemont and Comín argue that the physique, which oversees Spain’s judiciary, isn’t neutral and has repeatedly overstepped its authorized attributions.
As proof, Puigdemont and Comín cite an institutional declaration issued by the General Council during which its members specific concern over the chance that an amnesty could also be granted to individuals prosecuted for his or her involvement within the failed 2017 Catalan independence referendum.
The lawmakers argue the declaration runs afoul of Spanish regulation barring judges from publicly supporting or rejecting acts of political authorities. They additionally contemplate the General Council overstepped its authority by assessing the amnesty’s compatibility with Spain’s Constitution — an evaluation reserved for the nation’s Constitutional Court — and by proffering an opinion on a legislative textual content being proposed inside the parliament.
In the letter, Puigdemont and Comín additionally elevate issues over the declaration’s publication on November 6 — every week earlier than Spain’s Socialist Party filed its controversial Catalan separatist amnesty bill — and cite the textual content’s references to an “alleged” Catalan battle and its characterization of Puigdemont as “a fugitive” as proof of an “overt bias against the Catalans.”
Puigdemont and Comín conclude by urging Jourová to embrace the General Council’s declaration within the Commission’s Annual Report on the Rule of Law.
The Commission has repeatedly raised concerns over the state of the General Council of the Judiciary, whose mandate expired in December 2018.
The physique, which is at present dominated by a majority of judges appointed by the center-right Popular Party, has been working on an interim foundation for the previous 5 years as a result of the ruling Socialist Party and the opposition can’t attain a consensus on its make-up.