27/05/2021

Supreme Court against concord

2 min
The president of the CGPJ, Carlos Lesmes, and the attorney general of the State, Dolores Delgado, on April 9 in an inauguration ceremony.
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As expected, the Supreme Court has issued a report against the granting of pardons to the prisoners of the Catalan independence bid. But the arguments used by the second chamber in a document that breathes spirit of revenge and that is clearly aligned with the thesis against the government of Pedro Sánchez are no less disturbing. The Supreme insists throughout the report on the lack of repentance of those convicted and their risk of recidivism, that is, they intend the humiliation of people who were sentenced to long prison sentences for a crime, that of sedition, which is anachronistic and does not conform to the reality of the events that took place in October 2017. They intend to annihilate dissent.

However, the Supreme Court goes beyond defending its sentence and affirming that it is in accordance with the law (something that will have to be settled in a few years in Strasbourg), but rather threatens the Sánchez government that, if it dares to approve the pardons, the third chamber may overturn them. And how does it do so? Well, by providing the arguments that will serve as the basis for the appeal that, in all likelihood, the PP and Vox will present against the pardons. Among them, for example, is the fact that some of those convicted are members of a party (ERC) that is a partner of Sánchez's executive, as if this, instead of being a sign of the commitment to the political path of independence, were just the opposite. Ultimately, the Supreme Court states that the granting of pardons "would be an unacceptable solution", flagrantly bypassing the separation of powers.

The legislature gave the executive the power to grant a measure of grace such as pardons precisely to prevent the blind application of justice from causing much greater social harm than the conviction had caused. In many cases it is the courts themselves that open the door to pardon in their sentences. And the Supreme Court even issued a report in favour of granting a pardon to the coup leader Antonio Tejero, despite the fact that there was no repentance whatsoever, for reasons of "public" convenience and to contribute to the "forgetting of events that must be left in the past". In other words, in the case of Tejero, pardons were appropriate - and in the case of the pro-independence political prisoners, they are not.

The most serious thing here is not the ideological bias of the Supreme Court, which can often be seen in its rulings, but the fact that it allows itself the luxury of correcting and warning a government that has democratically emerged from the ballot box. The president of the Supreme Court, Carlos Lesmes, already said before the report was made public that "a pardon when there is no concord is difficult to accept". Who are the judges to decide what is better or not for concord? Or is it that sentencing to prison terms people like Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, who the only thing they did was to call (and call off) demonstrations, does help concord? The only reality is that, currently, the Supreme Court seems to be working against coexistence and in favour of entrenching the political conflict.

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