Inici » The ECtHR declines to pronounce on the amnesty law: Respect for democracy

The ECtHR declines to pronounce on the amnesty law: Respect for democracy

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A Delicate Decision

In a press conference held this Thursday, the president of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Síofra O’Leary, defended the court’s decision not to take a position on the amnesty law.

O’Leary has argued that interfering with a democratic process is not appropriate for a court, stressing that a judge should not take sides on bills. Thus, the ECHR has chosen not to issue an opinion on the amnesty law until its adoption, with the possibility of reviewing the situation once it is in force.

The 1-O Under Analysis

For more than a year and a half, the ECtHR has been investigating the 1-O conviction, a priority case due to its impact on human rights. The court awaits Spain’s answers on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the crime of sedition and embezzlement, as well as respect for the rights of association and expression.

The ECtHR guaranteed last year that the cases of pro-independence leaders would be a priority, classifying them as extremely important. It closely follows legislative changes and requests for review of convictions, grouping the demands into three different categories.

Various Categories of Demands

The demands are divided into three groups: cases related to political rights in preventive detention, convicted of sedition and embezzlement by 1-O, and those related to freedom of expression. The nine political prisoners have filed appeals against the sentence, all denouncing the violation of the right to a fair trial and other fundamental rights.

The Strasbourg Questions

The ECtHR is evaluating the appeals of those convicted on 1-0 and has asked Spain several questions. Among them, questions stand out about whether the Supreme Court applied an unpredictable interpretation of the crime of sedition and embezzlement, and whether the conviction was for a legitimate exercise of the rights to association and expression.

The questions do not indicate that the appeals have been admitted for processing, but that the ECtHR starts the analysis after a preliminary assessment. Strasbourg does not reveal when it admits to processing. Highlights include whether the convicts’ right to defense was violated and whether the sentence was based on evidence. The pro-independence leaders allege an expansive interpretation of the crimes of sedition and embezzlement, arguing that the conviction disproportionately interfered with their political rights.

Conclusion: Respect for Democracy at Play

In short, the ECtHR’s decision not to rule on the amnesty law highlights its willingness to respect democratic principles. Despite the unknowns of 1-O, the court is waiting for Spain’s answers to clarify key aspects related to fundamental rights and respect for democracy.

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