Javier García Oliva: Sentencing the Catalan Separatists: The Painful Vindication of Equality Before the Law and Separation of Powers

The fundamental point is that a group of people exercising political power decided that they were justified in ignoring a court of law which was delineating the scope of their authority. This is key, because if the executive is free to set the limits on the boundaries of executive power, then the separation of powers becomes a mockery, and no effective safeguards against tyranny remain.

UK Constitutional Law Association

As the dust settles following Miller (No. 2)/Cherry, tension inevitably mounts over the next instalment of the Brexit saga, and how the Prime Minister will interpret his commitment to respecting the Benn Act. Against this backdrop, it is interesting to speculate as to whether recent events in Spain will have any impact upon his decisions, because the Tribunal Supremo in Madrid has just sentenced the Catalan politicians who chose to disregard both the Spanish Constitution and the courts. In short, although cleared of the most serious charge of rebellion, the majority were convicted of the lesser (but still extremely grave) offence of sedition, whilst others were found to be guilty of misusing public funds.

Even though the incarcerated separatists and their followers argue that this was a political decision, maintaining that they are prisoners of conscience, there is no evidence to support such an allegation. Indeed, it flies…

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