Saturday, December 5, 2020
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Begoña López. Judge, member of the Secretariat of Judges for Democracy

After three-year term marked by the drafting of bills to reform justice that have been lost in the desk drawers of the Ministry, prepared with an absolute lack of dialogue, the appointment of the new Minister of Justice represented some hope for the necessary modernization of the Administration of Justice. Mr. Cataláse presented himself in a spirit of dialogue, but the stubborn reality has shown that the immobility and lack of interest in Justice was the political choice of the government.

During 2015, numerous laws have been passed affecting the rule of law and the reform of the Criminal Procedure Act, the Public Safety Act, the Penal Code reform, reform of the Civil Procedure Law, Organic Law of the Judiciary and Organic Law of the Constitutional Court, their common feature being the absence of any consensus and the absence of any discussion, provoking strong criticism from all legal practitioners, even negative reports from advisory bodies such as the Council of State, the General Council of the Judiciary and the Fiscal Council; It was finally approved with the exclusive support of the absolute majority of the Popular Party, making 2015 another year wasted in the essential task of modernizing the administration of justice.

There was an inadmissible cutting of the rights and freedoms of citizens, for example, through the Public Safety Act that does not respond to a real need but that is the projection of a political project that seeks to criminalize protest and limits the right to demonstrate; in response to the social inequalities arising from cuts, citizens have taken to the streets to exercise their constitutional right, however this law is intended to limit this channel of participatory democratic principle. But also it has used this Act, by the process of parliamentary amendment tabled by the Popular Party, circumventing the reports of the overseeing bodies of the observance of our legal system: the General Council of the Judiciary, Audit Committee and State Council, Decima include the tenth additional provision of the Immigration Act in which the rejections at the border or instant expulsions contrary to the Constitution, European legislation and regional and international law are regulated.

This restriction of rights is completed with the regulation in the LO 1/2015 of 30 March, the Reform of the Criminal Code concerning crimes against public order, punishing conduct such as public denunciations of politicians and dissemination, by whatever means, messages or orders inciting the disturbing of public order or supporting " decisions to disturb the public order", which carries the risk of restricting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which has caused the Human Rights Commissioner of the European Council to requested additional information from the Spanish Government on this point, considering that it is incompatible with international standards on freedom of expression and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

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