Thursday, September 16

The crime of rebellion against the constitutional system of justice

In October 2017, the leaders of some Catalan political parties rose up against the territorial model of the Constitution, opening the most serious political crisis in Spain since the 1981 coup. The Prosecutor’s Office tried to qualify the conduct of the independentists as a crime of rebellion of article 472 of the Penal Code, in which the public prosecution failed, since the violence that is required in the penal text had not been used to carry out this unjust criminal offense.

Today the constitutional system is suffering another aggression centered not on the territorial model but on that of justice. In both cases, with the Catalan and the one promoted by the leadership of the PP, it is intended, was intended, to partially suspend (if not repeal) the Constitution, which constitutes one of the purposes, precisely, of the crime of rebellion.

In the case of the PP, we could not classify the conduct of its leaders, at least for the moment, as a crime of rebellion, and this for the same reason as in the case of the Catalan independentists; but there is no doubt that they are developing a behavior that has already in fact caused (going beyond the requirements of the criminal offense) a partial suspension of the constitutional text (everything related to the renewal of the members of certain institutions).

Indeed, through their material refusal to accept the results of the last legislative elections, and actively, they have blocked the renewal of constitutional bodies and in some cases their very operation (CGPJ). And what is more serious: they have been deprived of legitimacy in the eyes of citizens who, precisely, question the decisions of bodies because they are made up (at least in part) by people whose mandate has largely ended.

We are not, as required by article 474 of the CP, before a mere uprising with the intention of “repealing, suspending or totally or partially modifying the constitution”; Rather, it has gone beyond what is required in the Penal Code to understand the crime as consummated: the Constitution has in fact been partially suspended, the claim has been achieved. And if I am not talking in these lines about the commission of a crime of rebellion, it is because of the absence of the element “violence” … and the discussion about the concurrence or not of the “uprising” (only discussion). But what cannot be raised in this case, as was done in the trial of the procés, is whether the behavior of the defendants was capable of achieving the purposes set out in the criminal offense (the success of independence). On this aspect there is no discussion in the case of the PP, because the objective has been achieved: the constitutional precepts that provide for the renewal of the bodies in question are in fact suspended.

When, on the occasion of the process, the suitability of the crime of rebellion was discussed to punish certain behaviors that seriously endangered the continuity of the State, it was noted that the typicity of this crime should be reformed, that we are no longer in the times in which in which “coups d’etat” are achieved exclusively with bayonets and the effusion of blood (although this danger, sooner or later, always persists), that it was necessary to incorporate a criminal figure into the rebellion that it foresaw, in a similar way to the one that exists in other legal systems, behaviors such as those carried out by Oriol Junqueras and his friends, or such as those carried out by Pablo Casado and his companions. All this with the support, in the latter case and intentional or not (it does not matter), of the people who, having expired their mandate, have not yet resigned; what they should do immediately, if not for dignity, at least not to collaborate in a brutal attack, in what is materially a rebellion, against the very structure of the Constitution and the State.

Thus, how can we consider it legitimate for the Catalan leaders to have served prison and still have certain prohibitions on their rights, when other political leaders have achieved the objective of partially suspending the Constitution and continue to walk the streets? Moreover, when in a cocky way the PP dares to blackmail the State in terms of: either the laws are reformed in the sense that I (the loser in the elections) want, or I will continue to rebel against the Constitution (¿ It does not sound like you have heard the same thing during the failed Catalan independence process? Does it not seem similar in everything? Except, of course, the embezzlement of funds, a fact that PP leaders have always preferred to commit it separately, as the resolutions prove judicial).

Of course the State cannot, should not, accept this blackmail. In no case. The State that accepts blackmail in the terms raised by Mr. Casado denies itself, and shows an unacceptable weakness. In addition to that it means accepting the abuse of the Constitution, and becoming an accomplice in an attack on the basic norm.

What would any decent person say (the opinion of the indecent women does not interest me) if after an election someone refused to abandon his post as mayor, as a deputy in an autonomous Assembly or in the Government of the Nation? Wouldn’t we say that it would be violating the Constitution? What would be rebelling against the constitutional order? In that situation, precisely in that, we find ourselves at this time, and the most unfortunate thing is that a whole series of people (consciously and maliciously or not) are collaborating in this rebellion by clinging to positions that no longer correspond to them, and for which exercise lack legitimacy.

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