Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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


Barcelona (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 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 has accepted the appeal presented by the Spanish Government, which claimed that the Catalan law for non-binding referenda was unconstitutional.

The TC pointed out that the competencies to call an autonomy level referendum could only be exercised if the State legislature allows it through an organic law. Although the Spanish Government presented an appeal claiming that the Catalan law for non-binding referenda approved in 2010 was unconstitutional, it was recently brought back to prominence when it was named in the Official Journal of the Catalan Government (DOGC) to explain the executive’s competencies to buy ballot boxes. 

Moreover, the magistrates have also agreed with the Spanish Government that there was a conflict of competencies in relation to the decree through which the Catalan Government created the National Transition Advisory Council. The body’s main objective was to begin the necessary measures to complete Catalonia’s pro-independence process.

The TC has also annulled the ‘Executive Plan for preparing the State’s infrastructures’ and the ‘Plan for Strategic Infrastructures’. The magistrates have considered that these plans have to do with the law for tax and financial measures, which foresaw launching a Catalan Tax Office and Social Security System and which was partly suspended too.  

  • Constitutional_Court

  • The building of Madrid-based Constitutional Court (by ACN)