The European justice system has ripped to shreds Supreme Court doctrine. In the case which aimed to elucidate the immunity of vice-president Oriol Junqueras from the moment he was elected a member of the European Parliament on 26th May, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), located in Luxembourg, has inflicted a severe blow on the Spanish justice system. Without equivocation, without any concession to Manuel Marchena and the other members of the chamber of the Supreme Court which took the decision. Once again it's confirmed that, sadly, it ends up being true that the Catalan independence movement will only find justice on the other side of the Pyrenees. It's an important day for the pro-independence cause, always in need of victories facing a rival which doesn't respect the rules of the game in the slightest and which tries to impose the law at its whim, regardless of what they say in reality.
It's also a humiliation for Spain. The CJEU hasn't limited itself to tiptoeing over the matter, which would have been a gentle disavowal. Spain's diplomacy and deep state had dedicated all their efforts to that, aware from the earlier opinion of a court advocate general that they'd lost control of the topic. It's the Spanish state's thirst for vengeance, incapable of sitting down at a table to negotiate yet, on the other hand, always prepared to violate laws and international treaties. More victories will come, certainly, in the field of European justice, but this one is of great importance, whatever the Supreme Court decides about Junqueras. A decision which is unlikely to be anything other than to say that, in the future, it will act differently, but that Junqueras's case has already been ruled on by the court.
The categorical victory of ERC's leader in this case is concentrated in two paragraphs, which indicate that article 9 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union should be interpreted as follows:
1 - An individual who was officially proclaimed an elected member of the European Parliament when they were in a situation of provisional detention during proceedings over serious charges, but who wasn't allowed to fulfill certain requirements set out by internal law after the proclamation, nor to travel to the European Parliament to participate in its first session, enjoys immunity in virtue of the second paragraph of the said article.
2 - The immunity as regards travel granted to every Member of the European Parliament entails lifting any measure of provisional detention imposed prior to the declaration of that Member’s election, in order to allow that person to travel to and take part in the inaugural session of the European Parliament. Consequently, if the competent national court considers that the measure should be maintained, it must as soon as possible request the European Parliament to waive that immunity, on the basis of the third paragraph of Article 9 of the Protocol.
There's been a violation of political rights and, as such, the independence movement trial should be declared void and vice-president Junqueras immediately released. Nobody is contemplating that scenario, which would be the logical one after the CJEU's ruling. And that does nothing but leave the Spanish state in a very bad position, a hostage of its own ghosts, a defender of a unity of its territory over the law and capable of starting a general case against the Catalan independence movement, more eager for revenge than for justice.
The second part of this sentence will be related to the application of the immunity rule in the case of president Carles Puigdemont and minister Toni Comín, also MEPs-elect and exiled in Brussels. From January, another minister forced out of office by article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, Clara Ponsatí, who will become an MEP with the new seats shared out after the UK's departure with Brexit, could also turn to it. Puigdemont and Comín will be able to take their seats and will have freedom of movement in the countries of the EU, including Spain.
Interesting times are coming now that Europe, in this specific but very important aspect, has already spoken, tried and passed verdict. A flagrant injustice has been corrected and we should all congratulate ourselves, since the victory is above all for liberty and democracy.