The speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, has decided to undertake a path via Strasbourg to guarantee Carles Puigdemont's investiture as president of Catalonia. He will apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to apply precautionary measures to guarantee an investiture debate without inference from Spain's Constitutional Court. What could this lead to?
It should be noted that the ECHR very exceptionally applies interim measures, only when "there exists an imminent risk of irreparable harm". For the most part, therefore, they're only granted in cases to hold expulsions and extraditions, although they've also been applied in some cases for evictions.
According to the court's own procedures, the measures are only applicable in "limited situations" and that, "the most typical cases" involve fears of "threat to life" or "torture [or] inhuman or degrading treatment". They say, however, they can also be applied in certain circumstances "relating to the right to respect for private and family life". The interim measures are decided without prejudicing whether or not a full appeal is admissible, nor do they imply a judgement on the underlying case.
In the last two years, the ECHR has accepted less than 30% of the applications for interim measures it has received.
The difficulties associated with this very restrictive procedure haven't prevented the Parliament's speaker from deciding to move forwards with it because he believes it the best way to protect Puigdemont's right, guaranteeing the president's political participation and to carry out an effective investiture. Although the ECHR is often slow, appeals for interim measures can be resolved in only 24 hours, which, according to Parliament sources, could "open a real and effective path to Pugidemont's investiture".
Nonetheless, the decision to appeal to Strasbourg has caused new disagreements between ERC and JxCat. Puigdemont's candidacy has accused ERC of having decided to do so "unilaterally" and so harming Puigdemont's defence strategy. For the moment, the application has still not been filed and there's no date to do so.