The 10 key sentences in Carme Forcadell's statement in the Supreme CourtThe former speaker of Parliament stated that "no member of the board intended to ignore" the Constitutional Court and that they put fundamental rights at the forefront
Carme Forcadell defended that it must be possible to discuss anything in Parliament, whenever it is done respecting human rights. This has been one of the guiding threads of the statement of the former speaker of Parliament before the Supreme Court, in which she pointed out that she did not want to ignore the mandates of a Constitutional Court which she believes to have become "politicised".
Forcadell highlighted that she acted "in compliance with the regulations" of Parliament and putting fundamental rights at the forefront. Here is the summary of her statement:
"I carried out my role"
"I did not participate in or direct any strategy. I merely fulfilled my role as speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia and, moreover, I do not believe one must be a lawyer to act as speaker of parliament."
The board did not enter into details
The essence of democracy is that speech in Parliament must be free. It must be possible to discuss absolutely everything in Parliament. Both groups that support the Catalan government and groups in opposition. Debate must be free, and the legal consequences of the debate are an entirely different matter."
"Therefore, jurisprudence so far had been: do not enter into the details. It is not necessary to assess the constitutionality until the entire parliamentary proceedings have been completed. It is true that, at a given moment, there was a change in jurisprudence. I do not know if this was for political reasons, if it was because of a change in the judges of the Constitutional Court."
"I deem that, in the last few years, there has been a politicisation of the Constitutional Court. Especially when matters related to Catalonia, and territorial issues are being judged, I believe it has used political criteria rather than legal ones."
A censoring organism
"The Constitutional Court was asking something impossible from us. How can the board of a Parliament become a censoring organism? Who decides what can be discussed and what cannot? The board of a Parliament must promote debate. We cannot allow censorship to creep into parliament, as that would undermine the basis of our democratic system."
She did not intend to ignore the Constitutional Court
"I believe I complied with my obligations with regard to the Constitutional court, with the observations I made, taking into account that it was not the will of the board to ignore the Constitutional Court, but we are bound to defend parliamentary inviolability, freedom of expression, the right of initiative of members of parliament and the sovereignty of the parliament."
6 and 7 September
"The parliamentary counsels always fulfil their obligations. Moreover, I believe that they do so with an excess of zeal and self-protection, and I feel that is all well and good. They, however, refer to legal reports. They refer to legal reports, whereas we must take political decisions."
"That is why the session was so drawn out, to preserve the rights of all members of parliament, especially those in opposition, because they made many requests for reconsideration and they were all processed."
A symbolic unilateral declaration of independence
"Es van votar dues propostes de resolució: una de va rebutjar del 155 i l'altra que tornava a insistir a dir que es fes un procés constituent. El preàmbul no es va votar i, a més, el mateix secretari general va dir que els preàmbuls no es votaven ni es publicaven. I crec que un membre de la mesa va remarcar que eren resolucions polítiques sense conseqüències jurídiques."
Judged in the Supreme Court rather than the High Court of Justice of Catalonia
"I do not understand why I am being judged in this court when I understand that the parliamentary proceedings have been exactly the same as those carried out by my fellow members of the board. Exactly. We did the same thing, we accepted the same proposals, and yet my colleagues are being judged in the High Court of Justice of Catalonia on charges of disobedience. Well, I do understand it..."
- Catalan independence trial