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Over 300 jurists reject the rebellion and sedition in the ‘procés’

A group of university professors and Law professors, led by teachers from universities of Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, Galicia and Valencia, have published and subscribed to on the platform Peticiones24.com a writing in which they “failed” the consideration as crimes of rebellion, sedition and the actions of pro-independence catalans on the 20th of September and 1 of October of the past year. The office of the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court and the State attorney Edmundo Bal, relieved yesterday by not following the instructions of the Government, argue that it is a rebellion. The State bar maintains that it is sedition. The signatories request the freedom of all the imprisoned preventively to consider the crimes, “non-existent”.

According to the text, headed by Guillermo Portilla Contreras, a professor of Criminal Law at the University of Jaén, the conclusions of the Prosecutor's office to the rank of rebellion events pending trial are erroneous. The aforementioned crime, as described in article 472 of the Criminal Code, requires, according to the signatories, an uprising and public violence. “In this regard it should be noted that, in our opinion, it is a mistake to consider that the events of the days of September 20 and October 1, 2017, are integrated in the concept of violence as required by article 472 of the Criminal Code,” say the jurists.

Argue, the teachers of Law that the doctrine of the Constitutional Tribunal extends the consideration of rebellion to cope with armed gangs or terrorist elements, but do not consider that the actions of the Mossos de Escuadra, the Parliament and the Catalan Government, as well as the social leaders of the National Assembly Catalana and Omnium Cultural, are susceptible of the application of the “suspension of rights that enabled the constitutional precept”, referring to article 55.2, that provides for these limitations to “certain persons, in connection with the corresponding investigations, to the actions of armed bands or terrorist elements".

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The professors remind us of the judgment of the Constitutional Court 199/1987, which states that, “by definition, the rebellion is carried out by a group that has the purpose of illegal use of weapons of war or explosives, with an aim of producing the destruction or eversion of the constitutional order". This ruling has also been put forward by the exconseller Francesc Homs, one of the signers of the manifesto and that forms part of the defence of the accused by the process pro-sovereignty.

the promoters of The text, which until Wednesday had managed more than 350 accessions in the platform, nor support the thesis of the Law of the State, and, therefore, of the Government, to reject that it is a crime of sedition. “At no time has provided any evidence that the defendants have induced, caused, or starred in any uprising tumultuario with the purpose of avoiding compliance with the law, unless we interpret that it is enough to incite the law of manifestation, that is, the exercise of a fundamental right”, defend the professors.

In this sense, the text recalls that the Prosecution relies on his indictment for rebellion, “from the beginning, the prosecution, with the ultimate goal of achieving the independence of Catalonia and to the secession from the Central State raised the use of violence. How are they carried out?, it asks, and answers: by the middle of the action tumultuous of thousands of citizens, abetted by Betsmove those, and the cooperation of the Mossos”.

however, the jurists who subscribe to the manifesto, the question that the office of the Prosecutor based his accusation on “the danger” of “inciting demonstrations”, and warn that this argument “criminalising the exercise of fundamental rights”.

Trivialization

To the undersigned, the charges of rebellion and sedition “open the door to the trivialization of some figures virtually unknown in democracy and with a past of sad memory, reason by which the legislator of 1995 restricted to cases of a materiality harmful clearly superior to the current”.

in The same way, warn that the penalties associated to both figures does not respect the principle of proportionality and are “highly questionable”. “Only to violate severely the principle of legality of criminal you can get to said that the accused, in view of the facts that you have given them, they were able to carry this offense, or conspiracy to revolt that requires a joint agreement to carry it out with the same violence”, argue before you question the competence of the National court, “which began the process of corrupting of the nullity of what subsequently acted” according to the text.

Signers

The professors justify the new initiative “on the historical significance, which for the Spanish democracy reaches the criminal process that is going to develop.” The main promoter of the text is Guillermo Portilla Contreras, a professor of Criminal Law at Jaén, who did not respond Wednesday to messages from the newspaper. The wording also joined Nicolás García Rivas, professor of Criminal Law at the University of Castilla-la Mancha and The main scholar of the crime of rebellion in Spain. Garcia Rivas already argued in this paper that, for an insurrection magazine, the seriousness of the rebellion has to be “an act of force against the territorial integrity or the constitutional order that can not be solved with other means” which are not recourse to the Armed Forces.

Another of the professors are signatories is María Luisa Maqueda Abreu, of the University of Granada and those who are already promoted, along with Francisco Javier Álvarez García, Carlos III, a text on the same terms in November of last year.

they have joined, among more than 350 signatures, José Ángel Brandariz García, owner of the criminal Law of the University of A Coruña, spain; Esther Pomares, partner of Hatch as a tenured professor of Criminal Law at the University of Jaén, spain; Juana del Carpio Delgado, of the same area at the Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla); or Manuel Cancio Meliá, professor of the Autónoma of Madrid.

Cancio defends “there is no hint of organized violence”. “Everything can be discuss in the right, but this process leaves the margins,” says the professor, who insists that the text that has been backed up is not a political opinion but a legal argument.

The vast majority of the signers are professors in universities throughout Spain, many of them of a Criminal and the Philosophy of Law, lawyers as well as some businessman. Also listed are the director general of Public Procurement of the Generalitat, Mercè Corretja i Torrens, and some law firms based in other countries. A third of the signatures come from Catalonia, a community that is followed by Madrid and Valencia.

María Acale, a professor at the University of Cádiz and also a signatory, emphasizes the opportunity of the text and the interesting coincidence criteria between teachers of Philosophy of Law and of Criminal.

What should you do in a democracy with a demand for secession?

The Agora of the University Master's Society, Administration and Policy of the University Pablo de Olavide of Seville has called on the 28th of November (17.30 hours, in the classroom B. 04 building 45) a lecture entitled " What should you do in a democracy with a demand for secession? and will be given by Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

"In the constitutional crisis that we are living in Spain, the Catalan authorities as the Spanish have given little importance to the democratic principle, which must prevail in this context. In particular, the Spanish democracy has responded with a legalism end that, by the prosecution and repression, has prevented the negotiation and the covenant, while in Catalonia the independence have acted as if they have a majority that did not exist", sums up the call of the act.

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