A law with 16 articles that amnesties terrorism but avoids ‘lawfare’

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The bill registered this Monday in Congress is the result of three and a half months of negotiation between Pedro Sánchez’s envoys, on the one hand, and the Catalan independence movement and Sumar on the other. These are the main points of the 16 articles and three provisions in which the norm has remained:

The answer to the essential question is not concise. The objective scope of the standard is contained in its first article, which is very long and has several sections and subsections. All acts that have led to criminal, administrative or accounting cases and that had the objective of “claiming, promoting or procuring the secession or independence of Catalonia” will be amnesty. And it specifies that this includes what is related to the two illegal consultations, that of November 9, 2014 and that of October 1, 2017. Added to that are all episodes of “disobedience” of any kind, including public disorders such as those of the protests against the sentence of the process.

Beneficiaries with cases in some phase of processing will see them archived. Those who have a final conviction pending will have their cases reviewed. Final sentences will be reviewed by the person who issued them. For example, the Supreme Court should review its sentence of the process to revoke it, thus deactivating the disqualification that Oriol Junqueras, among others, continues to serve.

It may not seem like it, but yes. In the articles, the word terrorism appears only in the second article, the one referring to what is “excluded” from the amnesty. It establishes that “acts classified as terrorist crimes” are not amnesty… when there is already a “final sentence.” And nothing linked to the process has it. There are only two related cases in the National Court that contemplate terrorism – that of the CDR and that of Tsunami Democràtic – and neither has yet gone to trial, so there is no final ruling. And since they affect events that sought the independence of Catalonia, they fall within the broad definition of the first article, which indicates which events are amnestied. Thus, the intention of the law is to archive the CDR case and the Tsunami case, in which Marta Rovira was accused and Carles Puigdemont is on the way to being accused.

The word that has stirred up the legal world in general does not finally appear in the text. Not even hidden under its usual definitions, such as “judicial war” to pursue independence. In fact, it seems to rule it out when the Explanatory Memorandum states that it seeks to “prevent the amnesty from covering other types of acts not directly connected to the independence process.”

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