ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2018.12.18

View Adopted: 2022.07.12

Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull y Jordi Turull v. Spain

Grave violation of political rights in the midst of the fight for Catalan independence

Substantive Issues
  • Access to public services
  • Right to vote
Relevant Articles
  • Article 25
  • Article 5.2 (b) - OP1
Full Text


The authors are former members of the Government of Catalonia, they were elected on a pro-independence platform, and they helped initiate the 2017 independence referendum. They claim that the State party has violated their political rights under Article 25 of the Covenant. The referendum was held despite it being suspended by the Supreme Court on the grounds of constitutionality. 6,000 police officers were sent to Catalonia by Spain, which resulted in 900 injuries and the arrest of many referendum organisers. The referendum was declared unconstitutional and Spain refused to settle the dispute through peaceful resolution or international mediation. Charges of rebellion and embezzlement of public funds were filed against the authors which led to their detention and their failure to perform their public duties as the new government of Catalonia.


The communication is admissible under Article 5 (2) of the Optional Protocol and the allegations falling under Article 25 are sufficiently substantiated. The writs of amparo filed by the authors were not effective in avoiding the irreparable damage they alleged. The State party failed to remedy the damage during the pendency of the said writs nor has it invoked other judicial remedies.


The State party violated the rights of the authors under article 25. If exceptional suspensions from public functions are imposed prior to a conviction, the necessary standards for the compatibility of these suspensions with the Covenant would be stricter than those applied after a conviction. To penalise “popular mobilization with the objective of creating pressure towards the State to achieve constitutional change” defeats the guarantees of Article 25. The exercise of these rights cannot be suspended or denied except for the reasons provided for in legislation which are reasonable and objective and which involve fair and equitable procedures. For a restriction to these rights to be considered as established by law, it must be formulated with sufficient precision so that a person can regulate his behaviour in accordance with it and that this cannot confer an unlimited or general discretion to those in charge of its application.


The State party is obligated, inter alia, to provide the authors with an effective remedy. This requires comprehensive reparation for individuals whose rights have been violated.


Deadline: January 12, 2022

By: Maricon Lorenzo

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