Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Thursday, 28 june 2018 | Alfred de Zayas Human Rights Corner

English

Self-determination and Catalonia

The change of government in Madrid gives hope that negotiations in good faith may now be possible with the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia.  A modicum of historical knowledge should help outsiders understand that Catalonia has its own distinct culture and traditions and that the only way forward is through a new referendum.  The legal aspects of the issue are explained in the memorandum below.



 
Posted by alfreddezayas in International law
09 JUN 2018
 
—————-
RECOMMENDED APPLICATION OF THE
 
“PRACTICAL NOTES FOR THE ASSESSMENT
OF ACTIVITIES AND ALLEGATIONS
RELATED TO THE PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC EXERCISE
OF THE RIGHT OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF PEOPLES “
IN RELATION TO THE
CATALAN PEOPLE

Introduction: My “Practical notes for the assessment of activities and allegations related to the peaceful and democratic exercise of the right of self-determination of peoples” (December 2017, hereinafter the “Notes”[1]) summarize the current state of international law and practice on the subject of the right of self-determination of peoples (hereinafter, the “right of self-determination”). They are offered as a practical guide to assist national officials of administrative and judiciary bodies as well as practitioners and private persons in assessing the legitimate exercise of the right of self-determination in the framework of a specific activity or claim in an internal judicial procedure or in democratic activism for a consultation or referendum.

The “Notes” is a document commonly applicable to all States that have legally committed to respect and promote the right of self-determination, that is, the Member States of the United Nations and/or the States parties to the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The “Application” documents, like the present one, examine specific cases of application of those “Notes” in line with contemporary developments in the world. They offer practical tools to facilitate the assessment by competent state authorities of possible specific activities concerning the exercise of the right of self-determination. The “Notes” and the “Application” documents should be considered together as an approximation to the current state of international norms and doctrine, taking into account that competent international bodies should ultimately adjudicate on that basis.

As the “Notes”, the “Application” documents reflect the criteria developed in my report to the General Assembly in 2014 (A/69/272)[2] in my capacity as “Independent Expert of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order”[3]. That report describes the implementation of the right of self-determination as an essential strategy for the prevention of internal, regional and international violence and conflict. My mandate[4], approved by the Member States of the United Nations, aims to “support the strengthening and promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the entire world”. The “Application” documents are not subject to copyright. They can be liberally used while quoting the source, and even such citation is not required if they are used in the framework of administrative or jurisdictional procedures.

Comments and questions on this document are welcome:

Prof. Dr. Alfred de Zayas
Independent Expert of the United Nations on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (2012-18)
Postal address: 23 chemin des Crêts de Pregny, CH-1218 Le Grand Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 788 2231     Email: alfreddezayas@gmail.com

Important notice: Taking into account that each case is sui generis, the content of each “Application” document cannot not be automatically extrapolated to other cases of exercise of the right of self-determination. For inquiries about other cases than this one, the Independent Expert is available to interested parties.

My ” Practical notes for the assessment of activities and allegations related to the peaceful and democratic exercise of the right of self-determination of peoples” (hereinafter, the “Notes”[5]) contain the following legal conclusions about the right of self-determination of peoples (hereinafter, the “right of self-determination”)


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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

We aim to be recognized as a trustworthy source of information and ideas about Catalonia from a Catalan point of view.
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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia