The acting General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) has approved an institutional declaration that maintains that the hypothetical amnesty law – whose content is not yet known – represents the “abolition of the rule of law”, elDiario.es is informed. organ sources. The vote went ahead by nine votes to five. It has had the votes in favor of the eight members of the hard core of the conservative sector who forced the calling of a plenary session with this only point on the agenda and, finally, the conservative Wenceslao Olea, who had not signed, has also joined the petition. The interim president, Vicente Guilarte, voted blank. The five progressives who have attended have positioned themselves against it.
The member Álvaro Cuesta, elected at the time at the proposal of the PSOE, has fulfilled his order and has been absent from a call that he considers “inadmissible and illegal” and where, in his opinion, what he considers a “political pamphlet” has been debated. . His absence has reduced the number of votes necessary for the initiative to go ahead — from nine votes to eight — although he has not altered the final result. The declaration would have also gone ahead as it had the almost unanimous support of the conservative bloc.
The members elected at the proposal of the PP have managed to get the most important institution of the third power of the State to make a harsh statement against the decriminalization of the process that the PSOE and the independence parties have been negotiating for weeks. The declaration has no practical effect, but it does have an undeniable media echo. And, without a doubt, it will be used by PP and Vox in their apocalyptic predictions about the future of Spain and democracy if the investiture agreement is finally consummated. The initiative comes after days of public statements against the amnesty from other conservative sectors of the judiciary and law enforcement.
The interim president has announced an explanatory vote in which he will question the possible amnesty by maintaining that the “activity” of the courts “cannot be questioned by a hypothetical future regulation.” But he will explain, however, that until a pre-legislative text is known, the debate should remain “in the strictly political field,” according to a statement released by the CGPJ.
The progressives Roser Bach, Mar Cabrejas, Clara Martínez de Careaga and Pilar Sepúlveda have justified their vote against with the argument that this declaration “runs the serious risk of confusing citizens about the opinion of the judges and magistrates themselves.” on a standard that, if approved, they will be obliged to apply. They also add that the text “damages” the image of the courts and places the CGPJ “on a political battlefield to which it should never descend.” For his part, member Enrique Lucas, elected at the proposal of the PNV, has argued against his vote, stating that he has always opposed the approval of institutional declarations of this type.
“Abolition of the rule of law”
The approved text accuses the acting president, Pedro Sánchez, of “confusing the interest of Spain” with his personal interest in “avoiding the hypothetical formation of governments of parties with an ideology different from his” and affirms that the position they attribute to the acting head of the Executive is “manifestly incompatible with political alternation” and “flatly incompatible with the principle of the rule of law.”
In recent days, some of the signatories of the proposal acknowledged to elDiario.es that they refer to a norm of which they do not know its content. However, they consider that their movement is justified from the moment in which Sánchez argued that the amnesty is the only way to “not give Feijóo and Abascal a second chance.” He also alluded, however, to the “coexistence between Spaniards” and the need to close the fracture caused by the process.
The statement states that the hypothetical amnesty turns the independence of the courts “into a chimera” and represents the “abolition of the rule of law.” It also considers that it is unconstitutional, ignoring the hypothetical pronouncement that the Constitutional Court may make at the time, the body that will have the last word on any legal initiative to decriminalize the causes that derive from October 1, 2017.
The text includes these considerations “even outside the general debate on the viability” of amnesties in the constitutional framework. And it does so based on three main arguments. First, because it maintains that “it is not compatible with the principle of the rule of law (…) that political leaders are exempt from answering for their crimes before the courts” to “obtain the personal and political benefit” of an aspiring president. . Second, “because it means generating a political class that is legally irresponsible and unpunished.” And, third, because “the independence of the courts is violated in its most basic aspect.”
The members who have supported the declaration are Gerardo Martínez Tristán, José María Macías, José Antonio Ballestero, Nuria Díaz Abad, Juan Manuel Fernández, Juan Martínez Moya, Carmen Llombart, María Ángeles Carmona and the aforementioned Wenceslao Olea.
The PP’s blockade of the renewal of the governing body of the judges has allowed the institution to continue functioning with a composition inherited from the last legislature of Mariano Rajoy, when the PP governed with an absolute majority: ten conservative members and six progressive members. It is a distribution that has been updated with the circumstances that have occurred in recent years – retirements, resignations, a death… – but that maintains a distribution of forces that has nothing to do with the parliamentary reality that the ballot boxes have subsequently drawn.