Esquerra leader Junqueras addresses a complaint against Spain’s Constitutional Court for irreparable damage to his political rights, requesting his disbarment be overturned

The president of Esquerra Republicana, Oriol Junqueras, has addressed a formal complaint against the Constitutional Court for the “irreparable damage” to his political rights and has called for the sentence disqualifying him for 13 years from holding any public office to be overturned. Mr Junqueras also cited and called for application by the Court of the so-called ‘Junqueras Doctrine’, a verdict by the European Court of Justice which ruled in December 2019 that he should have enjoyed immunity as an MEP.

Mr Junqueras’ counsel has submitted a letter to the Constitutional Court providing the arguments contained in the decision of the Vice President of the General Court of the European Union (EGC) of November 26, 2021 concerning the cases of Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. These arguments have been presented in all the appeals pending on Mr Junqueras’ case alleging European parliamentary immunity and the impossibility of passing sentence.

The decision of the Vice-President of the EGC calls to mind that main criminal proceedings are always suspended until the European Court decides on a question referred to it, thus confirming that the Supreme Court could not pass sentence while the question of Mr Junqueras’ immunity was being heard, which was not respected.

The EGC notes that the Supreme Court cannot ignore this suspensory effect on the main proceedings, especially when it was the Supreme Court itself that requested a preliminary ruling through an expedited procedure and recalled its obligation to respect the principle of loyal cooperation.
With the firm confirmation by the EGC of the incontestable suspensory effect on criminal proceedings, Mr Junqueras’ counsel recalled the irreparable damage that is being done to Oriol Junqueras’ political rights—banned as he has been from running in the elections for 13 years—and the need to overturn the sentence until the appeal before the Constitutional Court is resolved.

Furthermore, it is to be noted that the ruling of the ECJ in December 2019 confirmed the validity of Messrs Junqueras, Puigdemont, Comín and Ponsatí parliamentary immunity, but only the last three were able to enjoy it. The resolution of the EGC confirms that Mr Junqueras should also have enjoyed immunity and that it was mandatory under European Union law to suspend criminal proceedings which ended—unduly in the opinion of the counsel for the defence—in the conviction of all those accused in that proceeding before the Supreme Court.