The International Bar Association (IBA) has expressed “serious concerns” about an agreement reached last week that could lead to the formation of a new government in Spain.
The deal was agreed between PSOE, the party of acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez (pictured), and the Catalan party Junts.
A statement by the IBA President Almudena Arpón de Mendívil Aldama said that the agreement included provisions that, if enforced, would “seriously erode the rule of law in Spain’.
The IBA’s concerns centre on a proposal for the establishment of commissions of inquiry during the next legislature to investigate judicial activities in the context of so-called ‘lawfare’ surrounding a controversial Catalan referendum and unilateral declaration of independence in 2017.
‘Lawfare’ is a term that has been used to describe the alleged use of the courts to persecute pro-independence activists in Catalonia.
“The International Bar Association stresses, once again, the importance of and need for protection of a consolidated rule of law, based on the separation of powers, where the judiciary, acting independently and solely subject to the law, plays the central role of ensuring the fundamental rights of all citizens and the application of the entire legal system,” its president stated.
She described as “unacceptable” the creation of investigative parliamentary commissions engaged in the surveillance of the courts’ activities.
A number of bar associations in Spain, as well as some Spanish legal institutions have expressed similar concerns, while the four Spanish judges’ associations have issued a statement rejecting the contents of the agreement.
Sanchez needs the votes of smaller parties to form a government after an inconclusive election result in July.