The second plenary session held by the Constitutional Court under the presidency of Pedro Gonzalez-Trevijano it will once again serve to lay down its doctrine on the challenges of its magistrates. It is expected that the meeting that begins this Tuesday and will last until Thursday will once again reject the attempt by the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont to paralyze the institution through the recusal of such a number of its magistrates that the rest do not reach a sufficient quorum to pronounce.
Sources from the high court point out that once the new doctrine of the court has been established, with which it is intended to correct the error that was made during the deliberations of the Statute sentence, by admitting the one presented against the then magistrate of the TC Pablo Perez Tremps, it is intended to reinforce it with new resolutions.
It is the opportunity that the appeals presented by Puigdemont, the leader of the ERC, Oriol Junqueras, and others of those convicted by the ‘procés’ have shielded from the decision of the Constitutional Court to reject outright the 33 challenges that they had presented against the new magistrates of the court Enrique Arnaldo and Concepcion Espejel.
The challengers claimed that both separated as they did at the time Candido Conde-Pumpido and Antonio Narvaez, which would leave the court with only eight magistrates to resolve the pending appeals related to the ‘procés’ sentence. But, in addition, they demanded that González-Trevijano not participate in the deliberation regarding the disqualification of Arnaldo for friendship, which already meant leaving it at seven, not to mention that Alfredo Montoya is on sick leave.
The full court, with the participation even of the challenged, argued that “the safeguarding of the exercise of constitutional jurisdiction demands and justifies that none of its present magistrates should not be excluded from the composition of the plenary session”, because “all its magistrates are called upon to defend the jurisdiction of the court, with no room for making distinctions between those challenged and those who abstained.” It was based on the very configuration of the court, planned by thirds to more faithfully reflect the different sensitivities of society in every moment.
The plenary also considered that the grounds for recusal were based on mere assertions “without any support in concrete facts” and ruled out “that a legitimate doubt of impartiality can be founded, either by the jurisdictional externalization of a legal criterion when resolving a process or by disagreeing with what was resolved through the formulation of a particular vote, or by the statements made in academic publications or in opinion articles before having acquired the status of magistrate”.
As a warning to navigators, it affirmed that “not only the Constitutional Court but also the rest of the courts must be made up of judges who do not have an empty mind about the legal matters submitted to their consideration”, which implies that prior to their arrival at the court they have studied issues and have maintained certain criteria.