Category Archives: Political Issues

Sujit Choudhry: Pleading for Dialogue in the Catalonia Crisis

When Spain government under Prime Minister Rajoy implemented an October 2017 Senate resolution to impose Article 155 on the Catalonia government, it marked a new level of animosity between Madrid and Catalonia. The Senate decision escalated the already worsening relationship between the two governments since it disbanded the Catalonia parliament for pushing for secession from Spain. The implementation of the article led to the prosecution of pro-independence politicians including ex-Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont who later went into exile in Belgium. He was charged with sedition, corruption, and rebellion against the Madrid government, read (Facebook.com). Other pro-independence backers were arrested, charged with the same crimes as their ex-leader and are still locked up awaiting trial. The Madrid government also ordered for a regional election in Catalonia which the pro-independence parties won against the expectation of the Spanish government. Prime Minister Rajoy’s government later refused to recognize the election of a pro-independence leader, Mr. Quim Torra, to head the regional government since Mr. Puigdemont handpicked him. The newly-appointed leader also harbors pro-independence ambitions, source (Medium.com)

The escalation of the political stalemate in the region of Catalonia prompted a group of law scholars led by Sujit Choudhry to write an open letter to Mr. Puigdemont and Prime Minister Rajoy with the sole purpose of offering them a way forward. In the letter, the scholars and Sujit Choudhry believe that the two leaders should scale down their hardline political stands and open doors for political dialogue. They also believe that current constitutional crisis can be resolved by allowing the Catalans to organize and vote in a free and fair referendum to determine their future without the two leaders forcing their stance on the issue to the citizens. The op-ed pointed out that based on their analysis of the conversations the Catalans are having on various social media platforms, not all the citizens support the push for secession.

Sujit Choudhry is a renowned authority on comparative law having studied law and played a vital role in constitutionally resolving conflicts in various countries including Libya, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine among others. He serves as the director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions; an organization he founded to bring together experts with the view of constitutional construction. He is also a law professor, useful details on patch.com.