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I·CONnect

Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law and ConstitutionMaking.org

Developments in Australian Constitutional Law: The Year 2016 in Review

Editor’s Note: Today we publish the 2016 Report on Australian constitutional law, which appears in the larger 44-country Global Review of Constitutional Law, now available here in a smaller file size for downloading and emailing.


Anne Carter and Anna Dziedzic, Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies (CCCS), Melbourne Law School, with assistance from CCCS researchers Artemis Kirkinis, Kalia Laycock-Walsh, and Marcus Roberts

I. Introduction

2016 witnessed several relatively uncommon political events in Australia, including a double dissolution election, a public dispute between the nation’s two highest Law Officers, and legal proceedings over electoral eligibility and processes. These political developments informed the work of the High Court, which heard cases concerning changes to voting methods, the validity of an Electoral Roll ‘suspension period,’ and the eligibility of two Senators. The Court’s constitutional jurisprudence in 2016 on these and other matters (outlined in Part IV below) confirms that the Court’s approach to interpretation remains firmly tied to the text and structure of the Constitution. Outside the judicial realm, debate over constitutional change to recognise Australia’s Indigenous peoples continued, but with little consensus as to the scope of the proposal to be put to referendum.

II. The Constitution and the Court

The Australian Constitution was created in 1901 when the colonies established by British settlers came together in a federation. The Constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government, broadly based on the Westminster system. It establishes a federal system in which powers are divided between the Commonwealth and six states.

A distinctive feature of the Australian Constitution is that it does not include a Bill of Rights. Rights are instead protected by the constitutional separation of powers, the common law, and the democratic legislative process. While the Constitution contains a few discrete rights-protective provisions – including trial by jury and compensation on just terms for acquisition of property[1] – these provisions are not framed or interpreted in the same manner as civil and political rights in other jurisdictions. Certain rights, such as the freedom of political communication, have been implied into the Constitution by the High Court.[2]

The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal from all federal and state courts. The High Court also has original jurisdiction in constitutional matters[3] (but no capacity to issue advisory opinions) and special jurisdiction to hear electoral disputes.[4] The High Court has the power to invalidate laws that do not comply with the Constitution. The Court comprises seven judges, who are appointed to serve until the age of 70, subject to removal by a special parliamentary procedure.[5] Final hearings before the High Court involve both detailed written submissions and oral argument. Judges may write their own separate judgments and may join with other judges to write joint reasons. Unanimous decisions are relatively rare.

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Thailand’s Supreme Court and the Prosecution of Thailand’s Successive Prime Ministers

Eugénie Mérieau, University of Goettingen

On 27 September 2017, Thailand’s Supreme Court convicted ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to a 5-year jail sentence.  Almost ten years ago, it had convicted her elder brother, ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra to a 2-year imprisonment[1]. Both rulings exhibited a similarity: they were read in abstentia – Yingluck and Thaksin having fled abroad instead of appearing before the court.

Despite being ten years apart, both ex-prime ministers shared the same fate: they were elected with a large majority of votes[2] then removed by a military coup d’etat following a Constitutional Court’s ruling invalidating their re-election[3]. Once removed from power, they were both banned from politics for five years[4], prosecuted, then charged and sentenced to non-suspended jail terms by the Supreme Court.

In both highly politicized cases, public prosecutors relied on the idea of “damages” caused to the State – a ground rather associated with legitimacy than legality.

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Published on October 11, 2017
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Catalonia: Is There a “Right” to Secession?

Milena Sterio, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

The people of Catalonia voted on October 1 to secede from Spain.  The Catalan independence referendum was heavily contested by Spain, which declared it unconstitutional, and which attempted to meddle, through security and police action, in the voting process itself.  Despite reports of possible human rights violations by the Spanish authorities, the European Union failed to condemn the Spanish actions and instead continued to refer to Catalonia as an internal affair which should be resolved (presumably peacefully) through negotiation between the parties, and according to the Spanish constitutional framework.  If Catalonia were to separate from Spain, it would accomplish this through a secession.  Is secession ever legal, from an international law standpoint, or from a constitutional standpoint? And which authorities are to judge the legality and legitimacy of a secession: international organizations or only domestic ones?  Is the case of Catalonia distinct from Kosovo, Kurdistan, Quebec or Scotland?

First, what does international law have to say about the lawfulness of secessions? International law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination; throughout decolonization in the 1960s and 1970s, self-determination was one of the main theoretical vehicles utilized by colonized peoples to legitimize their quest for a separation from their colonizers.  The right to self-determination is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, as well as in other treaties and documents, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Friendly Relations Declaration.  In the post-decolonization era, courts and scholars have distinguished between two different types of self-determination: internal and external.  The former entails the establishment of an autonomy regime for the minority people, within the framework of a larger mother state.  The latter entails a separation from the mother state, through the exercise of remedial secession.  It is uncertain that the right to external self-determination truly exists in the non-colonial paradigm.  The Canadian Supreme Court, in its famous Quebec secession opinion, hinted that it might, in instances of extreme oppression by the mother state.  As of now, however, we have not witnessed any confirmed exercises of non-colonial external self-determination, and the dominant scholarly view remains that the right to self-determination, absent colonization or occupation, should be exercised in the internal manner.  Even if one were to accept that international law may recognize the right to external self-determination in non-colonial cases of extreme oppression by the mother state, remedial secession is only the process through which external self-determination is exercised, not a right in and of itself.  International law does not contain a positive right to secession, and some scholars have argued that international law merely tolerates secession in particular instances (like perhaps Kosovo).

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Published on October 10, 2017
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What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Ph.D. Researcher (University of Antwerp)

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email contact.iconnect@gmail.com.

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Spanish Constitutional Court suspended a planned session in Catalonia’s parliament, preventing the Catalan government from making a unilateral declaration of independence.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Kuwait overturned a controversial mandatory DNA collection law.
  3. The Supreme Court of India set to hear pleas challenging the Finance Act provisions which changed the search and selection and removal process of members and presiding officers of tribunals including the Central Administrative Tribunal.
  4. Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the head of the Senate to reconsider proposed amendments to a bill overhauling regulation of telecommunications companies.
  5. The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear a surrogacy case where the mother-surrogate was pressured to abort triplet but refused to do so.
  6. India’s Supreme Court heard arguments from the government and the two Rohingya, who have petitioned against the government’s plan to deport the persecuted refugees.

In the News

  1. The Japanese prime minister seeks a new party’s support for a proposed constitutional revision.
  2. The president of Sudan plans to amend the existing constitution to permit him to run for office for a third term.
  3. A law amending Uganda’s constitution to allow the president to extend his rule was introduced in the parliament causing major distress among MPs.
  4. Canada’s parliament approved a bill banning visas for foreign citizens of countries with human rights violations or corruption.
  5. The parliament speaker announced that Sri Lanka will soon amend its parliamentary laws to fall in line with the best international practices.
  6. The South African High Court in Pretoria ruled against the opposition party in a case to have the president implement remedial action recommended by the former public protector.
  7. The president of the Philippines vowed to file an impeachment complaint against the head of the country’s anti-graft body after launching an inquiry into allegations about president’s undeclared funds in bank accounts.
  8. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe issued its final opinion over Georgia’s constitutional reforms reiterating its previous positive assessment.
  9. The Ukrainian president signed a decree for selecting candidates for the constitutional court judges.

New Scholarship

  1. Arthur Guerra Filho, The Brazilian Supreme Court’s ADI 4650 Decision: A Step Towards the End of Plutocracy?, King’s Law Journal Vol. 28 No. 2 (2017) (analyzing a landmark case of the Brazilian Supreme Court on the statutory provision that regulates corporate donations).
  2. Michael Dougan (ed.), The UK after Brexit: legal and political challenges (2017) (exploring the key challenges facing the UK legal system in and through the process of Brexit).
  3. Umut Özkirimli, Theories of nationalism: a critical introduction (2017) (exploring the main theoretical perspectives of nationalism with revised, updated, and new chapters in the contemporary debates on nationalism).
  4. Howard Tumber and Silvio Waisbord (eds.), The Routledge companion to media and human rights (2017) (offers a comprehensive and contemporary survey of the key themes, approaches, and debates in the field of media and human rights).
  5. Nicole Bürli, Third-party interventions before the European Court of Human Rights: amicus curiae, member-state and third-party interventions (2017) (offers the first comprehensive and empirical analysis of all cases of the ECHR from 1979 to 2016 to which third-party interventions by non-governmental organizations, member states and individuals were made).
  6. Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz and Carla Sieburgh, Primary EU law and private law concepts (2017) (analyzing the interplay between approaches and legal concepts of private law and primary EU law, particularly internal market law).
  7. Peter Bursens, Christ’l De Landtsheer, Luc Braeckmans and Barbara Segaert (eds.), Complex political decision-making: leadership, legitimacy and communication (2017) (exploring the impact of a complex environment on the legitimacy and transparency of polities, on the role of leadership and political personality, and on motivated images, rhetoric and communication).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Constitutional Court Review welcomes essays, articles and case comments for the Constitutional Court Review IX (2018). Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
  2. Asian Law Institute announces a call for abstracts for the 15th ASLI Conference “Law into the Future: Perspectives from Asia” on 10-11 May 2018 in Seoul. The deadline for a submission of abstracts is 24 November 2017.
  3. The Centre for the Study of International Peace and Security organizes the conference “Democracy and the Rule of Law” on 18 November 2018 in London.
  4. The Legal Theory and History Research Centre of the University of Lisbon, the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, the Institute of History of Law and Political Thought, and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia welcome abstracts for the international conference “Suárez in Lisbon 1617-2017” on 4-6 December 2017 in Lisbon. The deadline for a submission of abstracts is 30 October 2017.
  5. The Public Law Editorial Committee invites expression of interest for joining the Committee. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is 28 October 2017.
  6. The UK House of Commons Library welcomes application for a constitutional law researcher. The deadline for submitting applications is 22 October 2017.
  7. The Toronto Group for the Study of International, Transnational and Comparative Law invites submissions for the 11th annual Toronto Group Conference “Boundaries, Conflicts and Alliances: Interactions between International, Transnational and Comparative Law” on 1-2 March 2018 in Toronto. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5 November 2017.
  8. ACTORE, the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the University of Antwerp, organizes the two-day workshop “Judicial Governance: the role of European and International Courts and their Interaction with other Actors” on 14-15 December 2017 in Antwerp.
  9. The student chapter of the American Constitution Society at Barry University School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law invites proposals for the Third Annual Constitutional Law Scholars Forum on 2 March 2018 in Orlando.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Carlos Closa Montero, Catalan secessionism faces the European Union, Verfassungsblog.
  2. Cristiano d’Orsi, The unclear relation between Angola and its Muslim citizens and migrants: Is Angola discriminating against them?, AfricLaw.
  3. Sam Jones, Can Catalonia declare independence from Spain?, The Guardian.
  4. Gunadasa Amarasekara, The present Constitution Is it Federal or not?, Daily Mirror.
  5. Edward Webster and Karin Pampallis, Why the dream of a prosperous, united nation continues to elude South Africa, The Conversation.
  6. Kylie Noble, Irish Politicians Don’t Want to Legalize Abortion-But the People Do, New Republic.
  7. Bo Zhiyue, Commentary: The changing meaning of political legitimacy for the Chinese Communist Party, Channel NewsAsia.
  8. Ausuman Bisiika, Oh Uganda: Where the constitution is slowly becoming unconstitutional, Daily Monitor.
  9. Marcin Matczak, President Duda is Destroying the Rule of Law instead of Fixing it, Verfassungsblog.
  10. By Wang Cheng-chung and Elizabeth Hsu, Changing definition of territory needs social consensus: premier, Focus Taiwan.
  11. Joseph Ziritwawula, Beyond term limit and age limit: The Museveni-Besigye connection, Daily Monitor.
  12. Editorials, Constitutional amendment as a campaign issue, the japan times.
  13. Merris Amos, Red Herrings and Reductions: Human Rights and the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, UK Constitutional Law Association.
  14. Wojciech Sadurski, Courts. A choice between Duda and cholera (in Polish), wyborcza.pl.
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Published on October 9, 2017
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Developments in Indonesian Constitutional Law: The Year 2016 in Review

Editor’s Note: Today we publish the 2016 Report on Indonesian constitutional law, which appears in the larger 44-country 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law, now available here in a smaller file size for downloading and emailing.


–Stefanus Hendrianto* and Fritz Siregar**

 I. Introduction

The Indonesia Constitutional Court is at a critical point in history as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has consolidated his power. When President Jokowi came to power in 2014, he faced an opposition majority in the legislature bent on obstructing him.[1] In the middle of 2016, however, Jokowi has consolidated his power in the arenas of elite contestation.[2] Jokowi’s coalition now holds some 67 percent of parliamentary seats after he successfully made some political maneuvers to convince two principal opposition parties to switch allegiance.

With a parliamentary majority, the Jokowi administration has entered into the arena of an “uncontested” presidency.[3] Some constitutional stakeholders have been hoping the Court would play a critical role to balance the power of the presidency. But the Court has gone through periods of transition from the interventionist court to a now seemingly constrained and tamed court.[4] Under the chairmanship of Arief Hidayat, the Court has retreated from the boldness of the first-generation Court. In the period after the first decade of the Constitutional, it became common to refer to the Indonesian Constitutional Court as composed only of “second-rate judges.” These “second-rate judges” had the effect of reducing the impact of the Court’s jurisprudence.

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Published on October 8, 2017
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Constitutionalize This: Catalan Referendum as Political Surprise and Theoretical Disruption

Zoran Oklopcic, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa. Author of Beyond the People: Social Imaginary and Constituent Imagination (Oxford University Press, forthcoming February 2018).

[Editor’s Note: This is the fifth entry in our symposium on Sunday’s independence vote in Catalonia. We are grateful to our convener, Professor Zoran Oklopcic, for assembling an outstanding group of scholars to bring our readers helpful context and analysis during this important moment for the region. The introduction to our symposium is available here.]

As Barcelona slowly inches towards Belfast, one might wonder what was it exactly that made the events on October 1 so disturbing? Was it only the use of force by the Spanish police? Or was it also the context—the denial of the democratic aspirations of Spain’s Catalan citizens—which made those scenes particularly egregious? Though this question is rhetorical, it’s worth putting on the record. It is illustrative of an interesting choice of words used to describe the events on October 1 by the international media. Instead of describing the day as the (obstructed) manifestation of the will of the sovereign ‘Catalan people’ and its ‘inalienable’ right to self-determination—which is what had occurred, juridically, following the terminology used in the Catalan Law on Self-Determination Referendum—many news outlets referred to it more loosely: as the suppression of the ‘Catalans’ intent on democratically expressing their desire to form an independent state. This slight discursive discrepancy—this shift from ‘wills’ and ‘rights’ of unified corporate bodies towards desires and aspirations of plural individuals—is largely ignored by constitutional scholars and general audience alike. Once lingered upon, this attention to discursive detail seems to be a rather trivial matter, caused by two opposing and un-explicated, but rather sensible answers. The first answer is that the democratic aspirations of Catalans and the will of a sovereign Catalan people are the same. In the second—which still seems to be the prevailing opinion both in the media and in the academia—they are not: the Catalans are not a sovereign people that could, juridically speaking, be capable of exercising ultimate authority over the territorial, personal, and temporal jurisdiction of the Spanish constitutional order.

Though the terminological discrepancy between the ‘Catalan people’ and ‘Catalans’ deserves another look, this second answer gives rise to a rudimentary question that needs to be confronted: Shouldn’t constitutions be enforced by those authorized to enforce it? If Catalans are not a sovereign people, and if their referendum has been declared unconstitutional by the highest constitutional forum of an otherwise liberal and democratic state, why is an attempt to prevent such referendum from happening necessarily illegitimate? However this Spanish crisis plays out, the Catalan sovereigntist movement has in that regard already accomplished one major victory: it has successfully link the issue of the referendum with that of the freedom of expression and association, thereby making the dura-lex-sed-lex attitudes of anti-secessionists appear not only insensitive, petty, and inhumane, but also unreasonable and unethical. Irrespective of the formal unconstitutionality of the act of the referendum—as well as the unilateral secession of Catalonia itself, as one of the referendum’s possible outcomes—violence is no way to respond to democratic aspirations, they would say.

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Published on October 6, 2017
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Developments in South Korean Constitutional Law: The Year 2016 in Review

Editor’s Note: Today we publish the 2016 Report on South Korean constitutional law, which appears in the larger 44-country 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law, now available here in a smaller file size for downloading and emailing.

–Leo Mizushima, Research Associate at the Institute of Comparative Law, Waseda University

I. Introduction

Since the founding of the Republic of Korea in 1948 until the 1980s, Korea was under authoritarian government. Korea democratized in 1987, and the Constitutional Court was established the following year. The Korean Constitutional Court is dedicated to democratization and the improvement of human rights in Korean society, which reflects in the character of the Court. The year 2017 is the 30th anniversary of democratization.

The year 2016 was one of the most important years in the history of Korean constitutional law. Late in the fall, President Geun-hye Park became embroiled in a political scandal, dubbed the “Choi Soon-sil gate,” which resulted in a strong backlash from the people. The president was suspected of leaking state secrets to her longtime friend and private aide, Soon-sil Choi. The people protested against President Park and demanded her resignation. The impeachment bill of President Park was approved by the National Assembly on December 9, and the Constitutional Court had to decide if Park deserved to be impeached within 180 days. All eight judges of the court unanimously approved the impeachment on March 10 and President Park was officially impeached from office.

This article examines the system of constitutional review and the structure of the Korean Constitutional Court before introducing some cases. Subsequently, the major cases from 2016 will be introduced. The problems and tasks of the Korean Constitutional Court and the Constitution will be discussed in conclusion.

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Published on October 6, 2017
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I-CONnect Symposium: The Independence Vote in Catalonia–Sovereignty Referendums: Constitutionalism in Crisis?

[Editor’s Note: This is the fourth entry in our symposium on Sunday’s independence vote in Catalonia. We are grateful to our convener, Professor Zoran Oklopcic, for assembling an outstanding group of scholars to bring our readers helpful context and analysis during this important moment for the region. The introduction to our symposium is available here.]

Stephen TierneyProfessor of Constitutional Theory, University of Edinburgh; Author of Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation (OUP, 2012)

And so here we are again: a major constitutional issue in Europe reaches its culmination in a dramatic moment of direct democracy which usurps established constitutional understandings with the raw manifestation of what purports to be constituent power. The Crimea status referendum in 2014, the independence referendum in Scotland of the same year, the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ referendum in 2016 and now the Catalan referendum on independence, each in its own way confronting established understandings of where constitutional supremacy rests. And this challenge is present not only in the fundamental nature of the issue at stake but also in the process itself – bringing ‘the people’ to the fore in a way that deeply unsettles the medium through which constitutional practice is typically construed and conducted: institutional representation.

Much has been written about the internal constitutional issues at stake in the Catalan referendum, assessing these from different perspectives (e.g. here, here and here). I do not intend to comment on the constitutionality or legitimacy of the process or to focus upon the Catalan situation specifically. Instead I take the vote on 1 October as simply the latest example of how the referendum continues to proliferate as a constitutional decision-making mechanism and how poorly the referendum, as a now critically important arena of constitutional practice, is both articulated by and accommodated within the established parameters of mainstream constitutional theory. The Catalan referendum as part of the recent tendency towards ad hoc exercises in direct democracy presents constitutional theorists with two significant challenges: one relating to monist certainties about the nature of the demos, the other concerning the conceptualisations of constitutional sovereignty and complacent assumptions about the default and de facto supremacy of constitutional form over popular democracy.

The proliferation of the referendum is now emerging as perhaps the most challenging constitutional development of our time.

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Published on October 5, 2017
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Developments in Israeli Constitutional Law: The Year 2016 in Review

Editor’s Note: Today we publish the 2016 Report on Israeli constitutional law, which appears in the larger 44-country 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law, now available here in a smaller file size for downloading and emailing.


Justice Uzi Vogelman*, Nadiv Mordechay**, Yaniv Roznai***, Tehilla Schwartz****

I. Introduction

This review presents key developments in the jurisprudence of the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) in 2016. These developments reflect part of the multifaceted longstanding role of the HCJ in constitutional challenges of the state of Israel which involve complicated dilemmas concerning minorities, emergency laws, prolonged belligerent occupation and recurring armed conflicts, unique rules of citizenship, and complex relation between religion and state.[1]

II. The Constitution and the Court

Israel’s constitutional model is based on an incomplete constitution, due to the original decision in the early years of independence not to complete the constitutional design at the time of the establishment of the state, but rather to leave it as an incremental enterprise.[2] The Israeli constitution includes several Basic Laws that regulate the governmental structure and institutions, and the HCJ also has a respectable tradition of judicial protection over the unwritten common-law rights and freedoms.[3] Basic Laws are enacted by the Knesset (Parliament) which holds both legislative and constituent powers.[4] In 1992, the Knesset enacted two Basic Laws on fundamental rights: Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation, that constitute a partially entrenched bill of rights.[5] The HCJ United Mizrahi Bank case asserted the authority of judicial review, comparable to the “Marbury” model.[6] This joint legislative-judicial change, known as the “constitutional revolution”, resulted in the HCJ becoming the central institution in the development of constitutional protection of human rights.

Therefore, the Israeli constitutional law story is rather unique as it applies American-style judicial review to primary legislation, yet its constitutional laws are enacted through ordinary legislation procedures, in the British-style.[7] Israel is also particularly unique due to the inverse ratio between the thin written constitution and the constitutional role of its court. The HCJ hears petitions about Knesset legislation and administrative decisions as the first instance, and its constitutional review model is very close to an “abstract” review. The HCJ is highly accessible to all types of petitions, maintaining broad individual standing in administrative and constitutional petitions (also from protected populations in the Judea and Samarea). For over a decade now, the existence and scope of constitutional judicial review in Israel has been harshly contested.[8]

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I-CONnect Symposium: The Independence Vote in Catalonia–The Constitutional Crisis of October 1

[Editor’s Note: This is the third entry in our symposium on Sunday’s independence vote in Catalonia. We are grateful to our convener, Professor Zoran Oklopcic, for assembling an outstanding group of scholars to bring our readers helpful context and analysis during this important moment for the region. The introduction to our symposium is available here.]

Víctor Ferreres Comella, Professor of Constitutional Law, Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona); Visiting Professor, University of Texas at Austin School of Law; Author of “The Constitution of Spain: A Contextual Analysis” (Hart Publishing, 2013)

In the past few years, a strong social movement has emerged in Catalonia to support a political process that should lead to Catalonia’s independence from Spain. The current majority in the Catalan Parliament is clearly committed to secession. The political parties that obtained a majority of the parliamentary seats in the elections that were held on 27 September 2015 (Junts pel Sí and CUP) were very explicit during the electoral campaign that a vote for them was to be counted as a vote in support of secession. Although the popular vote they gathered was only 47%, they argued that they had a democratic mandate to break Catalonia’s ties with Spain. Thus, in November 2015, they passed a parliamentary resolution that provided that the Catalan government was only to be bound by Catalan laws, and also declared that the Spanish Constitutional Court had lost its legal authority to invalidate any decisions by the Catalan government. (The Constitutional Court, of course, declared such a resolution to be unconstitutional).

A few weeks ago, the Catalan Parliament continued its secessionist strategy and passed two important statutes. It did so through a fast-track procedure that eliminated all the rights of participation that the parties in the opposition are normally awarded. One statute called a referendum on independence, to be held on October 1, 2017. The other stipulated the procedure that needed to be followed to declare Catalonia’s independence and give birth to a new Catalan Republic. According to these laws, if the referendum reveals that there are more votes in favor of independence than against it, the Catalan Parliament must issue a declaration of independence in 48 hours. A provisional set of laws will then apply, until a new Constitution is adopted.

All these political moves obviously amount to a grave attack on the democratic constitutional order of Spain.

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Published on October 4, 2017
Author:          Filed under: Analysis