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Article copyrighted © 2020. Plagiarism will be criminally prosecuted.
By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
16th of October 2020
The speed at which legal events are unfolding in Spain as of late is making it increasingly hard to keep up with them. There have been two very serious events involving our Beloved Leaders (read social-communist government) that have transpired over the last 10 days, and in this blog post I am going to focus mainly on one of them.
The reason why artists, in general, depict Justice as a woman with a blindfold has nothing to do with a sexual innuendo from an E.L. James 50 Shades of Grey novella, it has to do with independence, with neutrality. Although judges are human, and therefore fallible, with preconceived ideas and notions, they must always strive for legal independence, with no bias on their rulings which safeguards our rights to a fair trial.
For a Democracy to be strong, the separation of the three powers must be clear: executive, legislative, and judiciary. The term “separation of powers" was coined by no other than Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, himself a judge. It is at the very core of a healthy democracy to keep all three powers mutually in check and balanced, otherwise we fall prey to corruption and manipulation. If the Western block has been historically strong and free, as opposed to other autocratic forms of government due East, it can be pinned down to their Democracies. There can be no strong economy and freedom unless democratic ideals are resolutely upheld.
It has always struck me as odd, and made me sick to the pit of my stomach, that Spanish politicians have the power to choose the 20 members that make Spain’s Consejo General del Poder Judicial (CGPJ, for short) which in turn appoints all judges. Perhaps I am being naïve, or a foolish idealistic, but I strongly believe that judges in Spain ought to be chosen by their peers, without ANY external influence, let alone politicians meddling.
Unfortunately, in Spain, we’ve had a system whereby these 20 members were appointed by a 3/5 majority by all political parties, spanning from left to right-wing. Not ideal, not perfect, but it somehow maintained the semblance of integrity and impartiality at least. As written, I personally loathe this system, and would much rather have judges choosing between themselves to keep the judiciary appointment clean and neutral, or at the very least as much as is humanly possible.
Spain’s ruling social-communist coalition, led by Pedro and Pablo, Pablo and Pedro, our Beloved Leaders, dynamited this 45-year-old democratic tradition in a totalitarian power grab this week that would even make Putin blush (and that’s a tough call). They announced the draft of a new law that would allow them to directly choose the 20 members of the CGPJ with a simple majority (50+1). In practice, this translates to our Beloved Leaders bypassing the political opposition and naming judges directly. In other words, the government, the executive, would have the unbridled power to directly choose which judges occupy their new stations.
This is a direct affront to Spain’s Constitution and to democratic ideals themselves. This is a political move straight out of the playbook of Maduro in Venezuela. One day you go to bed in a Western Democracy, and on the following you wake up in Venezuela. This new law, if enacted, needs to be repealed at all levels, including before the European Union for its grave unconstitutionality and anti-democratic values. Borrowing from Montesquieu, “Pour qu'on ne puisse abuser du pouvoir, il faut que le pouvoir arrête le pouvoir.”
You may think this is a one-off, or perhaps a bluff to force the hand of the PP in Spain, well it is not. It is here to stay and must be stopped on its tracks for the good of the people.
The second dictatorial move I’ve witnessed over the last week has been Madrid’s unjustified lockdown. Our Beloved Leaders were hell-bent to seize power and control over the autonomous region of Madrid, under the power of PP, and declared unilaterally a lockdown on it arguing the number of Covid cases had spun out of control with over 450 cases per 100,000 inhabitants alleging it could no longer wait given the "alarming gravity" of the situation.
Curiously, the autonomous region of Navarre, which has over 811 reported cases per 100,000 inhabitants remains totally out of the government’s radar, they have done nada. But then Navarre is under the political control of the Basque Nationalists (read separatists) which are unconditional allies of our Beloved Leaders. You also have the case of Catalonia, also under the control of a separatist group, close political ally of our Beloved Leaders, which also happens to exceed Madrid’s cases with 500, but alas, they too remain free and without a lockdown. It is amazing to see how these government-imposed lockdowns appear to be arbitrary and would seem politically motivated, God forbid.
Lockdowns are killing businesses, people are losing their jobs by the thousands and should only be used as last resort as they OBLITERATE local economies. When the dust settles, we will see how the financial repercussions of the Covid-19 outbreak will far outstrip the health ones. Madrid is Spain’s economic engine, if you stall it, Spain’s economy will go downhill pronto with very nasty consequences for us all, least of all financial or health-related.
The President of the World Bank, Mr. David Malpass, has openly acknowledged in multiple interviews that we are living in a II Great Depression, which is what I’ve been banging on since March this year when it all began. Politicians need to step up their game and start acting like ‘real’ statesmen instead of being in denial mode and using the pandemic as an excuse to further their political agenda.
Unless we all work together - as one - and leave petty political differences aside, the virus will win us over. We are waging a war against it, anyone who doesn’t see this has already lost.
“Il n'y a point encore de liberté, si la puissance de juger n'est pas séparée de la puissance législative, et de l'exécutrice. Si elle était jointe à la puissance législative, le pouvoir sur la vie et la liberté des citoyens serait arbitraire; car le juge serait législateur.” – Montesquieu
“If the legislative and executive authorities are one institution, there will be no freedom. There won't be freedom anyway if the judiciary body is not separated from the legislative and executive authorities and the freedom of citizens would be arbitrary, as the judge, in effect, would be the legislative.”
Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755). Was a French judge, man of letters, and political philosopher. He is the principal source of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. His anonymously-published The Spirit of Law in 1748, which was received well in both Great Britain and the American colonies, influenced the Founding Fathers in drafting the United States Constitution.
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