Media statement: Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People

A matter of urgency:  What follows is a media statement I wrote on 20 September calling for calm and respect for all human rights in Catalonia, for dialogue and an end to repressive and undemocratic measures.  The Office has thus far refused to issue my statement. Is this censorship?  Any person committed to human rights has a duty to speak out, but many in Brussels and elsewhere seem to prefer silence

Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People

GENEVA (20 September 2017) –  Since 2015 The UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, has received communications from representatives of civil society in Cataluña drawing attention to a cluster of violations of human rights and the rule of law by the Spanish government.  These communications were duly transmitted to the Spanish government without the desired effect.

On international day of Peace, the Independent Expert recalls that the right of self-determination is ius cogens and that no State can violate peremptory norms of international law with impunity.  The Spanish Constitution itself stipulates in its articles 10 and 96 the supremacy of international law and in particular international human rights law over of domestic law.  The Venice Commission has criticised the expansion of powers of the Spanish Constitutional Court to go beyond interpretation of the constitution with new executive competencies and the power to impose sanctions.

The Independent Expert calls on the government of Spain to respect the right of the people of Catalonia to exercise the democratic right of freedom of expression in the form of organizing and conducting a referendum, in the same way as the peoples of many territories including Quebec, Scotland, Montenegro have been able to vote on their status.  

Indeed, self-determination is not limited to the decolonisation context and it is high time that governments accept that the realization of internal or external self-determination is an effective conflict preventive strategy and indispensable to a democratic and equitable international order.  The expert fully endorses the report by a commission of International Experts, “Catalonia’s Legitimate Right to Decide”, presented at a side-event of the Human Rights Council on 13 September 2017 by one of the co-authors, Professor Nicolas Levrat, head of the International Law Department of the University of Geneva.

On international day of Peace the Independent Expert calls on the European Commission to defend the right of the Catalan people to express their identity in the form of a referendum, compatible with European law and international law.  The European Commission should condemn the use of direct and indirect force on a population who is intent on expressing its right to choose. 

The independent expert calls on Spain to suspend all measures of repression against the people of Catalonia and to cease interfering with the exercise of fundamental democratic rights, including the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the non-derogable right of the self-determination of all peoples.

ENDS
Mr. Alfred de Zayas (United States of America) was appointed as the first Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order by the Human Rights Council, effective May 2012. He is currently professor of international law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. Mr. de Zayas practiced corporate law and family law in New York and Florida. As a Human Rights Council mandate holder, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.     The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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94 thoughts on “Media statement: Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People

  1. I suppose the Office hasn’t published this as yet because it’s questionable if the Catalans have a reight to self-determination. I keep hearing experts who say that Crimean self-determination was not legal although you and some others say it was.

    Then if a certain number of people of another ethnic origin move into a territory, they can ask for self-determination? What about Transylvania, after 1000 years part of Hungary, was given to Romania in 1920 because they said Romanians were the majority, which actually was not quite the case.

    In another scenario, more and more Swiss are moving to nearby France because of lower prices of real estate. If they become the majority in that part of France, can they demand self-determination and become independent or part of Switzerland?

    It might interest you that I have discovered that the language spoken in Mallorca, which many locals call Mallorcan, is actually a dialect of Catalan.

    All best, Livia

    > On September 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM Alfred de Zayas’ Human Rights Corner > wrote: > > alfreddezayas posted: “A matter of urgency: What follows is a media > statement I wrote on 20 September calling for calm and respect for all human > rights in Catalonia, for dialogue and an end to repressive and undemocratic > measures. The Office has thus far refused to issue my s” >

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    1. As a Catalan half undecided – half favouring independence, I’m also very interested in an expert’s opinion about Livia’s questions.

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      1. Dear Tomas,

        Internal self-determination in a federal State with full autonomy is also an option. Even an overwhelming vote for self-determination in a referendum does not mean automatic independence. But the Catalans certainly have the right to express themselves by referendum — one way or the other — the same as the Scots and the Quebecois

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    2. Hi Livia, I am afraid you are not acquainted with the Catalan issue, which has nothing to do with Crimea or Kosovo. We Catalans did not move to, occupied or conquered any foreign territory, quite the contrary. We were subdued by the Castilian king in 1714 and our language, law and traditions were banned for years. Same thing happened again with dictator Franco. Our history starts 1000 years ago. Yes, Catalan is also spoken in Mallorca (as well as in Valencia, France, Andorra and Alguer) because the Balearic Islands were conquered in the 13th century by Catalan troops.

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      1. Una mentira detrás de la otra:

        1º La guerra que terminó en 1714, se llamó Guerra de Sucesión, y se dio entre dos aspirantes al trono de España; Borbones franceses y Austracistas de la Casa de Austria, que dividieron España en dos bandos irreconciliables, con la victoria de las tropas borbónicas. La aristocrácia catalana, se situó con los austracistas, lo que le supuso la derogación por el nuevo rey FRANCÉS; Felipe V de parte de sus fueros; la prohibición de usar exclusivamente el catalán en sus juzgados, pero derogando las fronteras entre el antiguo Reino de Aragón, algo que desarrolló totalmente la industria catalana, que pudo expandirse por todo el Imperio construido por la antigua Castilla.

        Los vascos y navarros, que combatieron en la GUERRA CIVIL DE SUCESIÓN, del lado borbónico, pudieron mantener sus privilegios medievales, porque SU BANDO GANÓ LA GUERRA.

        2º El dictador Franco, dirigió los ejércitos sublevados contra nuestra II República, combatiendo en toda España, con especial crueldad en el sitio de Madrid, ciudad que núnca se rindió a las tropas, franquistas, algo que si hicieron la autoridades de Barcelona, que la declararon CIUDAD ABIERTA a las tropas moras del general Yagüe. Conviene recordar que el Presidente Companys, se sublevó repetidamente contra nuestra II República, motivo por el cual FUE PROCESADO por SEDICIÓN, por la II República.

        3º El catalán actual, es un dialecto medieval del Occitano, que las tropas de Carlomagno introdujeron en lo que se llamó LA MARCA HISPÁNICA; el origen de Cataluña, que siempre fue un PRINCIPADO DE ARAGÓN, y BARCELONA UN CONDADO, por eso el rey de España es Príncipe de Gerona y Conde de Barcelona.
        CATALUÑA JAMÁS TUVO REYES PROPIOS; perteneció al Reino de Aragón.
        El Reino de Aragón, expandió su imperio por el Mediterráneo; Valencia, Baleares, Córcega, Sicilia, y condados fundados en la actual Grecia y Turquía. Sus mejores guerreros fueron la Gran Compañía Catalana o de Almogávares, fue una compañía de mercenarios liderada por Roger de Flor a comienzos del Siglo XIV. En su reconocimiento, la Brigada VI de Paracaidistas del Ejército español se llama “Almogávares”; por su arrojo y bravura en el despliegue rápido.

        4º Por desgracia, los gobiernos CATALANISTAS SON SUPREMACISTAS y persiguen la enseñanza del idioma español en Cataluña, prohibiendo la rotulación en dicho idioma en cualquier ámbito, y esto si que ATENTA CONTRA LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Lucho.
        1 The war of succession ended in 1713 with the signing of the treaty of Utrech. The Catalans did not accept the treaty giving rise to what was called the “Catalan case”, the siege and conquest of Barcelona and the eradication of Catalan constitution and institutions. That period from 1713 until the fall of Barcelona was NOT war of succession, except for the Castilian history.
        Before 1714, Catalonia already traded with the rest of the peninsula and with all its Mediterranean territories like, Naples, Genoa, Sardinia and Turkey but not with America because Catalonia had a Castilian limitation of only 2 ships per year. This limitation lasted until 1768. There was no advantage for the Catalan people in the absolutist regime of the Bourbons.
        2 Lluis Companys was processed and executed by the Franco regime not by the republic.
        3 The Catalan language derives from the ancient Occitan. It is not a dialect of that nor of the Castilian.
        This is the list of Counts of Barcelona before assuming the throne of the Kingdom of Aragon:
        Guifré I 878-897
        Guifré II o Borrell I 897-911
        Sunyer I de Barcelona 911-947.
        Miró 947-966.
        Borrell II 947-988.
        Ramon Borrell 992-1017.
        Ermessenda de Carcassona 992-1021.
        Berenguer Ramon I 1021-1035.
        Ermessenda de Carcassona 1035-1039.
        Ramon Berenguer I 1039-1076.
        Almodis de la Marca 1052-1071.
        Ramon Berenguer II 1076-1082.
        Berenguer Ramon II 1076-1097.
        Ramon Berenguer III 1097-1131.
        Ramon Berenguer IV 1137-1162.
        Ramon Berenguer IV was the first count of Barcelona sovereign of the Kingdom of Aragon of a long list of Catalan sovereigns of the Crown of Aragon and of the Kingdom of Aragon until he came to power the dynasty Trastamara by the death without descendants of the last Catalan King, Martí l’Humà on 1410.
        This is the list of Catalan Kings of the Aragon Crown and the Kingdom of Aragon:
        Ramon Berenguer IV 1137-1162.
        Alfons I 1162-1196.
        Pere I 1196-1213.
        Jaume I 1213-1276.
        Pere II 1276-1285.
        Alfons II 1285-1291.
        Jaume II 1291-1327.
        Alfons III 1327-1336.
        Pere III 1336-1387.
        Joan I 1387-1396.
        Martí I 1396-1410.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Livia, you point is really very interesting. But on what you say I don’t see any relationship with Catalonia. You are speaking cases like Kosovo (albanian population grow in a Serbian territory). This is not the case of Catalonia. The catalans are not coming from Italy or Mallorca. So I cannot agree with your explanation that the reason that any “Office” has publish this yet is because it’s questionable that catalans has the right to self-determination.

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    4. Livia Varju, what you are proposing is very interesting, but very far from the Catalan reality

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    5. Dear Livia,

      The international law of self-determination has advanced since Woodrow Wilson, the UN Charter and the Decolonization progress. Some international lawyers have an outdated view of self-determination and confuse it with self-execution. Surely the Igbos of Biafra had a right to self-determination, and yet in the 1967-70 war they were massacred. Ditto the Tamils of Sri Lanka. But do we want those conditions in Europe? Is it not better to prevent violence than to watch it emerge? Every people has a right to self-determination (Article 1 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), the right to freedom of expression, including by referendum (Art. 19), the right to peaceful assembly (article 21), to participation in political affairs (Art. 25) and to non-discrimination (Art. 26 — the Ombudsman has published a report on grave cases of discrimination of the Catalans). The problem is not the existence of the rights — but their enforcement. That is why I call for a calm head and the readiness to dialogue. Self-determination can also mean internal self-determination by way of full autonomy.

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      1. Does self-determination have higher priority over territorial integrity of a state in your opinion?

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      2. As for the freedom of expression, the EHRC, under which Spain and other European States are bound by treaty states the following:

        ARTICLE 10
        Freedom of expression
        1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right
        shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart
        information and ideas without interference by public authority
        and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States
        from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema
        enterprises.
        2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it
        duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities,
        conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and
        are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national
        security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention
        of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for
        the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing
        the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for
        maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

        Please note the “territorial integrity” in Art. 10.2

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      3. dear Serban

        Territorial integrity is important for stability, but if people do not want to live together, it is better to separate peacefully than have endless strife.
        Self-determination is a peremptory right of peoples, we international lawyers call it jus cogens, meaning rights that prevail over other competing rights.
        Territorial integrity is a principle of international law that was
        significantly weakened since the implosion of Yugoslavia.  The European Union and Nato thenselves departed from territorial integrity. Once the genie is out of the blottle, you can’t put it back in.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thank you so your opinion is that the self-determination is peremptory over territorial integrity (many others would disagree with you) – in this case the Crimeea should be recognized the right of self-determination and it’s secession to Ukraine accordingly. Hence, if all is legal, all sanctions imposed upon Russia by EU and US should be lifted?

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      5. As stated in the Helsinki Act of 1975, territorial integrity takes precedence over the right of self-determination.

        Mr Alfred, if you listen/read carefully, Catalonian politicians are claiming they have right to decide, intentionally as they can’t claim the right to self-determination because of the above reasons. But the right to decide is written nowhere.

        While I do agree they should able to express themselves, the Govern of Catalonia made a law (which goes against the Constitution and without any kind of deal with Spain) that if the vote is yes, they will become an independent country within 48h. That law was approved in 2h, without respecting for example the 2 weeks for raising concerns by other parties, etc etc.

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    6. The Catalan people have been occupying independently and sovereignly the northern half of the territory of present Catalonia since the 10th century when it become independent and the whole of what is now known as Catalonia since the fifteenth century. Its institutions, courts and constitutions, were in force until 1714.
      The Catalan people is the native of that territory, not Spanish.

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      1. I recommend you to study about the Crown of Aragon institutions in order to get a neutral opinion about catalan history. Also, when you mean natives I suppose u mention a mix of catalan, moorish, Jews, aragoneses, Castilian, etc… Otherwise, you are just lying.

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      2. Descuidero.
        Aragon Crown, as you know, It was a federation of the Catalan counties and the kingdom of Aragon to which later the kingdoms of Valencia, Baleares, Sicily and Naples were added among other territories. All had their institutions, courts, monarchs and constitutions. I do not see the error.
        Native Catalan, Moorish, Jews, Aragonese, Castilian … and Greeks, Romans, Italians and so many others like any other place in the world.

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      3. Para Juan Pescador:
        Mientes más que escribes; enumeras a nobles y condes, -catalanes, según tú- que accedieron la Corona de Aragón y el Reino de Aragón.
        Tú solo te descalificas, pues designas como reyes catalanes, a súbditos de la CORONA DE ARAGÓN que procedían del PRINCIPADO DE CATALUÑA; ergo, Cataluña no era reino; era una parte del territorio del REINO DE ARAGÓN.

        Hablas del Tratado de Utrech; el caso catalán, muy relatado por los ingleses – los catalanes les ayudaron a conquistar Gibraltar para su Imperio-, los ingleses se retiraron de esa Guerra de Sucesión al trono de España, bastante hartos;
        en especial cuando el aspirante austracista, el Archiduque Carlos en 1711 a la muerte de su hermano, regresó a Viena para asumir la corona imperial como Emperador Carlos VI del Sacro Imperio.
        Conclusión, los catalanes se quedaron sin rey, y no tuvieron la inteligencia de aceptarlo, manteniendo encendida una guerra perdida; Luis XIV de Francia envió a Cataluña el ejército del duque de Berwick apoyándo a su nieto Felipe V y acabando con la resistencia de Barcelona. A pesar de que Francia e Inglaterra ya se habían puesto de acuerdo en cómo repartirse el Imperio español, los aristócratas catalanes se empeñaron en mantener sus rancios privilegios.
        Aún así, Felipe V perdonó a los austracistas, devolvió sus privilegios a Rafael de Casasnovas, y abrió las fronteras comerciales entre el Reino de Aragón y las Castillas se eliminaron las tasas e impuestos a Aragón, abriéndose el comercio con las Américas a los puertos catalanes.

        Pero los SEPARATISTAS catalanes, sois SUPREMACISTAS !! Me recuerdas cuando llevé ayuda médica a Cuba en 1995, y unos chicos catalanes me dijeron que tenían cita al día siguiente con el… EMBAJADOR DE CATALUÑA ¿….?

        Yo les contesté: ¿ Querréis decir que tenéis cita con el EMBAJADOR DE ESPAÑA ? Y ellos -con ese complejo de superioridad que os caracteriza-, me contestaron:
        ES QUE ÉL; ES CATALÁN !!!

        Y este es el problema que los catalanes tenéis: UN ENORME SENTIMIENTO DE SUPERIORIDAD !!
        Pensáis que los españoles tenemos mucha suerte de soportar vuestra mala educación, que os obliga a contestar en catalán, cuando un hispanohablante os pregunta una dirección o cualquier otra cosa… Y os da lo mismo que sea aragonés, argentino o chileno. Por eso estáis prohibiendo el uso del español desde la escuela hasta la universidad.

        De hecho, la hermana de LIONEL MESSI, se marchó de Barcelona asqueada de vuestra habitual mala educación, que vosotros confundís con una especie de orgullo de ser aristócratas antiguos…

        Tenéis un problema con vuestro arcaico idioma de antiguas palabras compuestas:
        Los idiomas son PUENTES para la COMUNICACIÓN, pero vosotros, al discriminar a los hispanohablantes mediante vuestro habitual APARTHEID​:
        Al negaros constantemente a contestar en una lengua universal que todos conocéis, levantáis un MURO con vuestro idioma, y os convertís en SUPREMACISTAS.

        Por ejemplo: Vuestro Día de los Enamorados es el 23 de abril, día internacional del Libro, como truco para vender más libros, pero, en TODO EL MUNDO ES SAN VALENTIN; sois raros; os creéis superiores.

        También traducís el SORTEO DEL GORDO DE NAVIDAD, por LA GROSSA; algo así como la “mujer gorda”, y tampoco os pertenece; porque el sorteo que se realiza en MADRID, lo trajo a España el rey Carlos III desde Nápoles.

        Al igual que la bandera de España, la trajo el rey Carlos III, por el Real Decreto de 28 de Mayo de 1785 -fue bandera de lª República, que tuvo dos presidentes catalanes- al igual que el Himno Nacional -La Marcha de Granaderos- y JAMÁS LOS TRAJO FRANCO, que es lo que vosotros siempre afirmáis; para sembrar el ODIO.

        Y ¿ porqué sois SUPREMACISTAS ?
        Voy a refrescarte una fecha que vosotros veneráis; 14 de abril de 1931, a las 14:30 y desde el balcón, el líder de Esquerra; Francesc Macià se dirigió a la multitud concentrada en la plaza y proclamó, en nombre del pueblo de Cataluña, “L’Estat Català, que con toda la cordialidad procuraremos integrar en la Federación de Repúbliquas Ibèriquas”.

        Naturalmente, su afirmación de que crearía un Estado Catalán, y procuraría integrarlo en una Federación de Repúblicas Ibéricas, dejo asombrados a los miembros del “Gobierno Provisional” de la recién nacida IIª República española, que se estaba proclamando esa misma mañana ( !! NO EXISTÍA FEDERACIÓN DE REPÚBLICAS IBÉRICAS ALGUNA !! )
        ​Tres días después varios ministros del Gobierno Provisional republicano viajaron rápidamente de Madrid a Barcelona para que Macià renunciara a esa idea y aceptara un estatuto de autonomía otorgado por las Cortes españolas.

        ¿Que significaba esta proclama de Maciá?:
        Que los catalanes quieren reinar en su Principado, pero gobernar en España, y así llevan 300 años; a pesar de haber tenido presidentes y ministros de gobiernos españoles de todo tipo, y cuando los demás se atreven a discutiros…
        Vuestra mala educación, os sale la rauxa; el arrebato, el fanatismo, y entonces…
        Entonces quemáis todo lo que se pone a tiro -menos las empresas de vuestra burguesía; SOIS NEO-NAZIS…

        Y ese espíritu fue el que dominó al presidente Companys:
        Companys fue el abogado de los pistoleros de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica, en tiempos de mucho terrorismo, y, duante la Guerra Civil transigió con muchas ejecuciones de católicos, de los cuales sólo se salvaron los que pagaron cuantiosos rescates, como la familia del premio Nobel Severo Ochoa, trasladados a buques de países neutrales.

        El presidente Companys al frente de su grupo (ERC), votó favorablemente la Constitución republicana de 1931, algo que no impidió el 6 octubre de 1934 Companys, proclamó el «Estado Catalán» SUBLEVÁNDOSE DE HECHO, pues la República Federal Española no existía pues esa república NO ERA FEDERAL; OTRO INVENTO CATALANISTA…
        https://www.elespanol.com/reportajes/grandes-historias/20170707/229478033_0.html

        Tras ese GOLPE DE ESTADO contra la II República española, se produjo la intervención militar dirigida por el comandante en jefe de la IV División Orgánica, el general Batet, ( General catalán ).
        Companys fue detenido junto con el gobierno catalán en pleno y encarcelado en el buque Uruguay, fondeado en el puerto de Barcelona, que fue requisado para ser utilizado como prisión. Companys y sus consejeros permanecieron recluidos en el Uruguayhasta el 7 de enero de 1935, cuando fueron trasladados a la cárcel Modelo de Madrid para ser juzgados por el Tribunal de Garantías Constitucionales, por el DELITO DE REBELIÓN…
        Poco después las Cortes de la II República española, aprobaban una ley por la que se suspendía el estatuto de autonomía, como pago a su traición:
        Companys y sus consejeros fueron juzgados por rebelión por el Tribunal de Garantías Constitucionales. El 6 de junio de 1935 por diez votos a favor y ocho en contra, Companys y los miembros de su gobierno fueron condenados a treinta años de reclusión mayor e inhabilitación absoluta.
        El Frente Popular lo amnistió en 1936. Pero Companys volvió a TRAICIONAR a nuestra II República: Como President de la Generalitat, fue INCAPAZ DE PONER FIN a la anarquía que se apoderó de Cataluña durante su mandato, como resumen las poco conocidas Jornadas de Mayo:
        https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jornadas_de_Mayo_de_1937

        En resumen, los secesionistas haréis lo que os convenga, pero yo tengo familia, amigos, ex-novias y, muchas relaciones comerciales con Cataluña:
        ¿ Debo abandonar a esas personas que se sienten españolas a vuestro fanatismo separatista ?
        Nunca. Jamás los abandonaremos; estarían perdidos.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. HELP catalonia !!! We want vote. No repressions

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  3. Please help people and democracy!

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  4. Help Catalonia! We just want to vote whatever the option, but vote!! Just democracy!

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  5. Thanks Alfred !!!
    Democrats of the world, please help us catalans to defence our rights !!!

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  6. Juanjo Garcia López September 24, 2017 — 10:07 pm

    Thanks for speaking up. It is difficult to understand why the EU is still half silent and UN not speaking up to stop the violation of rights in Spain. Catalonia will vote and finally be free.

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  7. Some international lawyers, even professors of international law, confuse self-determination with self-execution. Undoubtedly the Kurds, the Tamils, the Saharaouis, the Catalans have the right to self-determination. Whether they can exercise this right in practice, however, is another matter. The right can be frustrated by States that violate international law with impunity — and there are many in this category in our suffering world. Yet, it bears repeating that the right of self-determination is a human right, recognized by States as universal. It is not a right of States to selectively grant it or not — Article 1 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights cannot be applied à la carte. Right holders are the peoples – not the States!

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  8. Thanks for your words Mr. deZayas. That make Catalans feel there is someone outside.

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  9. Interesting blog Mr de Zayas. I have one question to ask. The self-determination right that, supposedly, catalans have is based on the UN resolutions? I can read in all of them, as a basic principle, the respect of national unity.

    For instance, “Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. (Resolution 1514 UN, paragraph 6)

    What is exactly “people”? Half of the catalan parlament just? Can we consider that as a a self determination subject? The reality is that the nationalistic parties in Catalonia doesnt even have qualified majority.

    Best regards

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  10. Mr de Zayas, I am a journalist writing from Scotland about the Catalan issue and I find your views very encouraging for the Catalans. However, the poll will be held in less than a week and even today we have seen more local government offices raided by Guardia Civil officers across Catalonia. What can they do if Mariano Rajoy continues his strong-arm tactics and refuses to talk? People in Catalonia and elsewhere are worried about a possible return to the days of Franco. And which office is responsible for not publishing your statement? Have they given a reason?
    Many thanks,
    Greg Russell

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  11. Dear Mr. De Zayas,
    I would thank you for helping me to understand about the Catalan referendum of October 1, 2017.
    I know that:
    the actual government represent a portion of about 52% ;
    the Catalan government has approved the law of referendum without respecting several of the requested procedures (no signature of an internal organ, sudden changes of parliament agenda, any for discussion in parliament, no respect of requested proportion of votes of 2/3 in parliament..so in the end no democracy);
    a referendum for separation require a previous wide discussion and also wide agreement both on all local and national levels;
    the requested quorum is 50%+1 of votes (with 48% of electorate potentially not going to vote an illegal and unshared referendum)
    a similar referendum requires a change of the Spanish constitution;
    so it is illegal within the present constitution;
    there is a large portion of people who eventually want a legal referendum, and people, who don’t want any referendum at all, all of them are catalan (summed up the they are about 48% );
    a very big propaganda has been realized by the actual government with public money.

    So: could you explain where is the democratic referendum?

    I’m not any expert, sorry, I’m just interested to have a reasonable opinion.

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    1. Diego, your comments and figures are not accurate and it is important not to missinform. Polls show that 80% of the Catalans want to hold a referendum, this is a fact. 52% is the percentage of seats that political parties clearly rooting for a yes in the referendum have in the Catalan Parliament. Said parties have agreed in the Parliament in accordance with Catalan law and by absolute majority (no qualified majority needed, despite the unfounded comments of journalist Jordi Evole) to hold a referendum. So, yes. This is democracy.

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      1. rmanyablog my argument is that the law for referendum has been imposed by the present catalan majority representing just the 52% of catalans in parliament, to the rest of parliament (=the rest of catalans represented in parliament). So the 80% you cite is about a referendum (legal, really democratic, shared, representative) and not this referendum, not that of october 1. These are the facts that many like you do no0t want to accept.

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      2. As you can read here, referendum is perfectly legal. The only problem is a politically used institution that gives biased rulings (constitutional court).
        So, what do you propose is, deny the willing of 52% of citie to ask in a referendum because the opposition of 35% who vote no and 13% who has abstained, when 80% of citie want to vote and 60/70% want to vote in any circumstance?

        Liked by 3 people

    2. “the actual government represent a portion of about 52%”

      WRONG, catalan government represents 48% of the catalan population, opposition are 52%, and like you said independentists just ignored both catalan and spanish laws, no matter what lying independentists say.

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  12. Wise words. Please, help Catalonia by spreading your ideas. Things are going worse day by day and part of the spanish population are asking for more repression, jail or even death!

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  13. Dear Mr. de Zayas,

    First of all I’d like to thank you for your efforts towards making our world a better one; one where human rights aren’t stepped upon by authoritarian governments, factions or individuals. There are many battles to fight for people who live with reduced, minimized or no freedom at all. Starting by women, who live subdued and at the mercy of their families, societies, laws and men with very few rights and under heavy psychological and physical mistreatment in most countries while very few people in the world have something to say about it, continuing with the individuals who choose for a different sexual orientation other than the mainstream heterosexual and so many other hundreds of other communities and individuals who lead a very hard and tough life just because others believe they are their betters. So again, thanks you for your efforts.

    Going to the topic at discussion. I am a Catalan who lives in the Netherlands for 14 years now. I am married to a Dutch national and my children are both Dutch and Catalan (thus also Spanish). I have always believed that Catalans should have the right to decide by themselves how to lead their lives; this is actually a right that I would like to see granted to all the peoples of the world, including all other regions of Spain as the outdated ‘78 constitution that came out of the transition from a very hard 40-year-long dictatorship onto a (young and inexperienced) democracy does not fit a democracy at the core of Western Europe in the 21st century. Let’s not forget that the current Spanish constitution, was written and approved under enormous amounts of fear and pressure as the laws of forgiveness allowed the leaders of the dictatorship to continue in office and have their say in writing it (while they were in control of the security forces including the regime’s police and the army who indeed, tried a coup d’état in 1983).

    Sadly enough, this constitution does not cover many fundamental rights such as the right to a dignifying home, a minimum salary, occupation and others but indeed too, the right to self-determination is also not covered. A deep revision of that constitution is urgently necessary and should be promoted and encouraged from the governments in the EU that have a longer democratic tradition and who have also the responsibility to tell their neighbors what good practices are: we should all evolve and learn from the most advanced democracies in places like the Nordics, and I am proud to say, also the Netherlands.

    There is very little to add to your allegation above; however, there is one point that I would like to add to the discussion and I ask your reflection as well as advice in terms of what to do and how to make it public.

    Today, the military head appointed to coordinate the repressive police operation in Catalonia (a Spanish Guardia Civil) has ordered the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Police) to search the electoral colleges and identify the president of each electoral tables and the next three in the list. While this has been camouflaged as a legal procedure, I want to make a reflection that has shocked me more than any of the absolutely outrageous things that have happened this last couple of weeks: what is being asked from the Catalan police is to go and identify as criminals their own people just for having a different way of thinking and a series of aspirations not deemed acceptable by the Spanish government/state. This is in fact a total humiliation of the Catalan people and a practice that I have only seen in Europe along regimes such as the Nazi Germany, the Soviet Republics or indeed that Spanish dictatorship where people (even children) where asked to point fingers to traitors in their own families, friends and neighbors who had ‘ideas’ that were not in line with the ‘official’ imposed line of thought.

    I believe that such a request is the most disgusting thing that I have seen in my short life in Europe (I am a child of the democracy as I was born in 1976) and it only seeks to humiliate and destroy the Catalan community and culture so they can, once and for all, make those crazy Catalans understand that they are Spanish, whether they like it or not. I want to denounce this and I ask your help to understand how to make sure that the so-called democratic world takes part in the matter.

    I know that there is a friendly and fraternal Spain. I know it exists and I have many very good friends in many parts of Spain that are horrified with what is happening in Catalonia and see their worst fears coming to life: the return of the political prosecution in Spain and the success of the relentless attempts to reduce human rights in the country. They approach the challenge with a fraternal message and a plea: we love you and we love Catalonia; stay with us. If the majority of Spain and its politicians wouldn’t waste their time trying to impose their views to Catalan people, and would instead funnel their energy trying to show the Catalan society that an accepting and loving Spain exists and wants Catalans to be part of it, a self-determination referendum wouldn’t be an issue because Catalan people would choose to stay.

    There are more points of agreement than disagreement between the peoples of Spain, we just don’t seem to want to focus on those. I feel that in these deeply troubling times, fighting for people’s rights and freedom is especially necessary. Sadly so, but true nonetheless.

    With kind regards.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am a believer in the right of self determination as an eminently democratic right

      Canada let the Quebecois vote
      UK let Scotland vote

      it is an anomaly that Madrid is acting the way it is — now I am uploading a new message on my blog

      my 2014 report to the General Assembly describes the theory and practice of self-determination
      and how to use it as a conflict-prevention stragegy

      https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N14/497/95/PDF/N1449795.pdf?OpenElement

      Kurdistan and Catalonia: Direct democracy by way of referendum is best guarantee of a correlation between the wishes of the people and the policies that affect them

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Mr Said,
        I agree with you about the right of self determination, but not without democratic legitimacy. The present Catalan government has literally imposed this law of referendum, of October 1, without respecting the rules of Catalan same parliament, forcing it against the legal procedures of the Catalan institution, for this kind of laws. It is sad to say, but it is another form of arrogance and authoritarianism.
        That Madrid should pact a legal referendum I have no doubt.
        But the October 1 referendum has no legitimacy.
        thank you

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      2. Dear Diego.
        The Catalan Parliament has “imposed” the referendum with the majority of parliament votes. Where is the lack of legitimacy?
        The regulations of parliament have been respected. The demonstration is that there is no complaint or appeal from the opposition, beyond the fuss in the front of the television cameras. The dictates of the comission of guarantees of statutory of Catalonia, ARE CONSULTATIVE, NOT OBLIGATORY.
        We can debate about the legality of Oct. 1, not its legitimacy.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Have you seen this video with the spanish people support the military officers who sent us to Barcelona to repress? They call to hurt us. Please Help us!! https://twitter.com/yolandacmorin/status/912364595221803008

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  15. Diego, the Catalan Government agrees that this manner of approving the law, although perfectly legal and in accordance with the rules of the parliament, was the only way of passing the law. As you know, the Constitutional Court was all the time “on duty”, ready to send the prohibition as soon as the law was approved. No time to waste with filibusters. I don’t see any arrogance, but rather some smell of opportunity to make things working. Madrid never wanted to talk to catalans, his arrogance and lack of feed back to his “subdits” made they to believe that time would sort out the problem (remember the “Soufflé” theory).
    With all the difficulties and prohibitions, I am convinced that we will be able to vote next Sunday

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  16. 2/5 of votes in catalan parliament are requested for constitutional laws, all timing procedure for a complete debate have been totally perversed. This kind of question can’t be resolved in a brutal way like that.

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    1. sorry: 2/3 of votes are requested

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      1. Diego a question.

        The Spanish Constitution and the Estatut de Catalunya have clearly specified reform mechanisms. For any reform of the Estatut requires two qualified parliamentary majorities (Catalan Parliament and Spanish Congress) and an agreed and legal referendum where the people of Catalonia accept or not that reform. This mechanism was used and voted in a referendum on June 18, 2006.
        Why the last reform of the Catalan Statute was made in 2010 with only the vote of 8 judges of the TC (under suspicion of politicization because it had not complied with the law renewing itself) modifying substantially and without counting any percentage of deputies in any chamber and most importantly, without submitting it to a referendum so that the citizens of Catalunya accept or not according to the Spanish Constitution?
        Just remember how correct and adjusted to law is the interpretation that does the Professor of Constitutional Law of the University of Seville, Mr. Perez Royo about this case.

        Have a nice day.

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    2. 2/3 of votes are request to modify the Estatut, not to convoke a referendum. The debate timing were fully adjusted to the regulations.
      Perversion is to refuse for years to debate and then plead lack of time in the final debate.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with the last part, regarding the refuse of debate.
        But in any case you can approve such an important law as an ordinary one, with sudden changes of the agenda.
        Does the Estatut contain norms about normally convoking an indipendence referendum?

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  17. Numbers.
    Catalonia 9 november 2014 consultation for independence from Spain.
    Simple calculation from official data.
    Total electorate = 5.510.798 (census 2015..may be 2014 a litte bit different)
    Total voters = 2.344.828 = 53% of electorate
    Voters for YES: 1.897.274 participacions = 88,91% of voters = 34.4% of the whole electorate.
    Let me know in case of any error, I do not like to manipulate data and facts.

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  18. Aside from the fact that de Zayas has been generously payed by the ageneralitat as an “independent” expert, there are so many inaccuracies and omissions in the testimony here, I wonder if he actually is an expert.

    So, the first and most important point here is self-determination is a right. Yes, it is a right. And the catalan people by definition have already been self-determined. They have their own culture and language and they freely vote without repression of any sort. If they want to vote to be considered as the catalan people, this is ok., although in my opinion useless.

    The second point is secession. Secession from Spain is forbidden by a constitution in a democratic country. The power emanates from all the people in Spain and they should all vote in something that concerns all. This has nothing to do with self-determination. This is a violation of the rights of the Spaniards by a few. In particular, many experts in the covenant of international and political rights saw article I as a big problem because of nationalisms trying to break a country. For this reason, they added a paragraph that alluded to this problem and forbade any nationalism from breaking a sovereign state which does not violate any human rights and does not bias because of colour or race. That is Spain. So self determination cannot be used in a referendum to secede from Spain. Everything else is detritus.

    What does the so called expert have to say about this?

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    1. Dear Cheryl

      As a UN independent expert I do not receive a salary. As a lecturer or participant at conferences, I only receive reimbursement of hotel and travel expenses. Period. I get my salary from the Geneva School of Diplomacy, where I teach international law and world history. My credentials are public — Juris Doctor (Harvard), Dr. phil. in history(Göttingen), Fulbright Graduate Fellowship, author of 9 books, 18 entries in the Encyclopedia of Public International Law, 4 Entries in the Encyclopedia of Genocide, 6 Entries in the Encyclopedia of Human Rights, numerous law review articles, membership in doctoral commissions of several universities (Amsterdam, Geneva, Alcala de Henares, etc.), visiting professor of law at the Universities of British Columbia (Vancouver), DePaul (Chicago), Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva), University of Trier (Germany), Académie Internationale du droit Constitutionnel (also elected to the conseil scientifique of this institution).
      Your view of self-determination is outdated.  The progressive development of international law has brought self-determination beyond Woodrow Wilson, the UN Charter, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the Millennium Declaration.  Self-determination is a right of peoples, which States must respect.  States do not have the “prerogative” to allow of disallow this right — they have an obligation to observe it.  Nor can you say yes to Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo, but no to the Catalans.
      It is time for some antiquated notions to be discarded and politicians should come to terms with the fact that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia into new States, after the friendly divorce of the Czechs and the Slovaks, international law precedents have emerged that cannot be ignored in 2017.  Surely the Kurds have the right to self-determination (which had been recognized in the Treaty of Severs of 1920 and brutally suppressed), surely the Igbos of Biafra, who were subjected to genocide 1967-70, certainly the Tamils of Sri Lanka.  
      Responsible governments allow dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes. The Milosevich method is criminal and outdated.  Instead, Spain should follow the example of the UK in allowing the Scots to vote, and similarly Canada in allowing the Quebecois to vote.  Prohibiting the most fundamental right of political expression — the referendum — is anachronistic.  
      Who is afraid of referenda?  It seems that some suffer from a condition of “demophobia” — the fear of the people.  Why not just let everybody vote, see what the result is, and then sit down like civilized persons and reach a compromise consistent with international law and human dignity?  International law cannot be applied à la carte. Prohibiting a referendum will not quench the aspiration of many — we should learn to listen more and hate less.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for your swift reply Dr. de Zayas. I truly appreciate it. I withdraw and apologize for my first paragraph. Sometimes, heated discussions show the worst of us.

        However, your reply avoids the key point of my comment. Self-determination, as I stated, is a right of the people. Secession is not.
        A group of people can be self-determined while still belonging to a country which may contains groups of different ethnicities. There is nothing wrong with that. Moreover, it happens everywhere in the world.
        There are places where people are really oppressed, persecuted and killed because of their colour, beliefs and race. Those are the places where defenders of human rights should be focusing on. Catalonia is not one of those places. Spain is one of the most democratic countries in the world ( all reputable scores say it).
        So yes, Catalonians should have the right to “internal” self determination, and I would be very happy they would vote on this. This type of self determination does not violate the rights of anyone else and should be allowed everywhere in the world.

        Going back to secession. Scots and Quebecois voted to separate(in a very different way btw) because their “constitution” allowed them to vote. UK is a “United Kingdom” and is not indivisible by any law. However, secession would never be allowed in almost any constitutional country including the US or France or Germany (i can give you 100 more countries, including Spain). The UK or Canada would never allow a unilateral referendum either (or allow Yorkshire to secede England).
        By law, Spain belongs to all the people in Spain. So everyone must have a say in a secession referendum. Not allowing everyone to vote would actually be the same as not allowing people to vote because of reasons of race (only catalans vote?).

        Note that secession has nothing to do with self-determination as everyone is trying to mix. Many times they go hand in hand because of violation of human rights, crimes of hatred and genocide. Catalonia is obviously not the case here once again and so external self-determination is out of the question. It would once again violate the covenant.

        Spain has acted without a fault as a democratic state of law (at least on this), protecting everyone (yes, everyone) and acting only upon sedition and unlawful bidding. The key here is not the vote or even the referendum of self-determination, it is the use of a vote (a pantomime of a vote really) to break the law by seceding. This same status is what your own colleagues were worried about when they wrote the covenant on civil and political rights (article IV) and it is happening nowadays. Everyone is really careful of saying anything against a self-det referendum, but most will never support what is happening in Catalonia. Here is the last paragraph of the Friendly Relations Declaration (similar to the UN resolution 1514 (XV) (paragraph 6):
        “Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs shall be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting themselves in accordance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples as described above and thus possessed of a government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction as to race, creed, or colour”

        As a conclusion, no one is forbidding the rights of catalans to be self-determined, which in my opinion they have been self-determined already. This should never be confused with Spain stopping the efforts of a few that are trying to break the law. It is true that Spain should have made this a lot more clear from the start.
        There shouldn’t be any social fracture in Spain as we are all indistinguishable. Politicians have created this social fracture out of nowhere that will take years to fix.

        So, in my opinion Dr. de Zayas, you should know better that kindling this fatuous social fracture and should be more clear in your statements. If you are not, then I truly think your opinion is biased.

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      2. Dear Cheryl

        The answer to your questions is found in my 2014 report to the GA, which analyzes the many forms of internal and external self determination and formulates 15 criteria how to apply it (Document A/69/272 — https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N14/497/95/PDF/N1449795.pdf?OpenElement.
        Self-determination includes the option of secession, and the right of secession undoubtedly exists in modern international law. You should not confuse the existence of a right and the actual enjoyment of the right. When the right to secede is denied, you have a violation of article 1 of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. But human rights law is not self-executing, that is why you need international support. Kosovo had international support and was able to secede. Slovenia had international support, so did Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegowina, Also Crimea had international support and was able to secede (and subsequently return to Russia, from which it should NEVER have been taken away by Khrushchev, without any plebiscite or even consultation with the Crimean people). The Kurds certainly have the right to secede, and they should have had a state following the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, but there was no international support. The Igbos of Biafra should have had independence and in the 1967-70 war they were massacred, ditto the Tamils of Sri Lanka. That does NOT mean that the right does not exist. It only means that States have violated international law and human rights law by opposing it. The law of self-determination did not stop with decolonization. See also my interview in today’s Le Temps

        «Il est nécessaire de laisser les Catalans s’exprimer»; INTERVIEW

        28 septembre 2017
        Le Temps

        DÉMOCRATIE Professeur de droit international à la Geneva School of Diplomacy et expert indépendant des Nations unies pour la promotion d’un ordre international démocratique et équitable, Alfred de Zayas livre son analyse sur le référendum relatif à l’indépendance de la Catalogne

        Expert indépendant des Nations unies pour la promotion d’un ordre international démocratique et équitable, Alfred de Zayas parle en tant que professeur de droit international de la Geneva School of Diplomacy. Il justifie les raisons le poussant à soutenir un référendum sur le statut de la Catalogne.

        En tant que professeur de droit international, pourquoi jugezvous le référendum sur l’indépendance catalane nécessaire?

        Le droit des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes est une expression de démocratie. Et l’autodétermination, du ius cogens, va bien au-delà de la décolonisation. Il me paraît incompréhensible aujourd’hui qu’un Etat comme l’Espagne, qui se reconnaît dans les valeurs européennes, puisse refuser aux Catalans de s’exprimer et mettre des dirigeants indépendantistes en prison sous prétexte qu’ils seraient des criminels alors qu’ils manifestent pacifiquement. En droit international, c’est un anachronisme total. La répression de Madrid est contre-productive. Si les Catalans auraient peut-être voté à 30% en faveur de l’indépendance il y a cinq ans, ils pourraient bien être 60% cette fois.

        En quoi le gouvernement espagnol bafouet- il, selon vous, le droit international?

        Il viole l’article 1 du Pacte sur le droit des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes, les articles 19 et 21 sur la liberté d’expression et de manifestation ainsi que l’article 25 sur la participation à la vie politique. On peut même imaginer que Madrid viole l’article 26 en n’accordant pas une représentation suffisante des Catalans dans l’administration nationale et le service diplomatique.

        Américain d’origine cubaine, pourquoi vous érigez-vous en avocat de l’indépendance catalane?

        Je ne suis en aucun cas un avocat de la cause catalane. Je ne me prononce pas sur le fond et ne dis pas que les Catalans ont droit à l’indépendance. Je dis simplement qu’il faut leur donner le droit de s’exprimer. La réalisation du droit à la libre détermination, qu’elle soit interne ou externe, est une stratégie de prévention des conflits. C’est dans ce sens que j’ai écrit, en tant qu’expert indépendant de l’ONU, au secrétaire général des Nations unies, Antonio Guterres, pour l’exhorter à mettre en place une médiation. J’ai aussi écrit à Bruxelles à Jean-Claude Juncker, le président de la Commission européenne, pour que celle-ci engage elle aussi une médiation. Elle ne peut pas laisser la situation échapper à tout contrôle.

        L’indépendance de la Catalogne dans un Etat unitaire, est-ce un cas particulier?

        Il y a des précédents et il importe d’en tenir compte. On ne peut pas dire oui à l’autodétermination du Kosovo et non à celle de la Catalogne. Il y a aussi de vrais parallèles entre le cas de l’Ecosse et celui de la Catalogne. Elles ont toutes deux des cultures, histoires et dialectes différents. Le droit international est universel et ne doit pas être appliqué à la carte. Si cela va pour l’Estonie, la Slovaquie ou le Monténégro, cela devrait aussi aller pour la Catalogne.

        Et l’intégrité territoriale de l’Espagne?

        L’intégrité territoriale est un autre grand principe de droit international. Mais elle n’est pas absolue, surtout si elle entre en collision avec les droits de l’homme. En fin de compte, les droits de l’homme priment toujours. C’est d’ailleurs tout le sens de l’arrêt de la Cour internationale de justice de 2010 qui statue que la déclaration d’indépendance du Kosovo n’était pas illégale. C’est en l’occurrence l’OTAN qui a abandonné le principe d’intégrité territoriale en bombardant la Serbie en 1999. Avec la Catalogne, on peut être content du fait qu’il n’y ait jamais eu de violences. Leur cas, ce n’est pas Maïdan en Ukraine, ni le Venezuela. Or la question de son indépendance ne date pas d’aujourd’hui. Elle remonte même jusqu’au traité d’Utrecht et à la prise de pouvoir des Bourbon. La Catalogne a beaucoup souffert au début du XVIIIe siècle.

        Etes-vous conscient des risques que pourrait engendrer une indépendance catalane?

        Oui, j’en ai conscience. Mais, précisément, mieux vaut permettre un référendum et écouter la voix du peuple puis, une fois le résultat connu, s’asseoir à une table et négocier. Potentiellement, la répression de l’aspiration des Catalans peut devenir une source de déstabilisation de la paix en Europe. C’est pourquoi il faut impérativement résoudre la question en amont, soit par une autonomie généreuse, soit par l‘indépendance.

        Vous êtes critique par rapport au manque de séparation des pouvoirs en Espagne.

        La Commission de Venise s’est penchée de façon critique sur l’action de la Cour constitutionnelle espagnole. Celle-ci devrait se contenter d’interpréter la Constitution. Or elle abuse de son pouvoir en imposant des sanctions jusqu’à 10 000 euros aux fonctionnaires qui seraient liés à la tenue du référendum. Cela va à l’encontre même de l’ontologie d’une cour constitutionnelle. Et donner à cette cour autant de pouvoir, c’est ouvrir la boîte de Pandore.

        Aurait-il fallu fixer des conditions particulières au référendum?

        Oui, on aurait pu fixer par exemple à 70% le taux de participation nécessaire pour le valider ou exiger une majorité qualifiée des deux tiers pour son acceptation. Cela dit, en cas de oui, on peut toujours imaginer des solutions internes, une solution fédéraliste garantissant le maintien des différences linguistiques et culturelles des Catalans.

        PROPOS RECUEILLIS PAR STÉPHANE BUSSARD @BussardS

        ALFRED DE ZAYAS

        PROFESSEUR DE DROIT INTERNATIONAL DE LA GENEVA SCHOOL OF DIPLOMACY

        «Potentiellement, la répression de l’aspiration des Catalans peut devenir une source de déstabilisation de la paix en Europe. il faut impérativement résoudre la question en amont»

        Liked by 1 person

      3. How about Crimeea then? You are avoiding this subject. Yes, there are precedenta. -. but on both sides. Leaving thw subject actually as it was: inteegeity comes first and self-determination second. And deciding otherwise is just a prerogative of world great powers which in this case support Spain (both EU as well as US)

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      4. I’m sorry about the previous comment – the text showed minuscule on the phone’s screen (could not see mistakes)

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      5. Dear Cheryl
        I have seen nowhere that the right of self-determination is divided between internal self-determination and external self-determination.
        Have a separate police office Is it external or internal?
        Have an own tax agency Is it external or internal?
        Have a sovereign parliament Is it external or internal?
        Establish diplomatic relations Is it internal or external?
        Establish own legal institutions Is it external or internal?
        There is no supposed differentiation.
        You say Spain is one of most democratic countries because Spain decides how many autonomy Catalonia can have? Do not you see the contradiction?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Dr. de Zayas,
        You are once purposefully avoiding making a difference between self-determination and secession and thus your response is demagogic at best ( I cannot read your 15 criteria points). But you use examples where human crimes are committed to show your position when Catalonia is nowhere even remotely near those examples. Like I tried to explain, secession can only be considered in a sovereign state that is violating human rights. Spain is not violating any human rights so:
        “It is completely false that not allowing secession violates article I. As I showed you in several examples including article IV and many other declarations after, all your colleagues disagree with that statement of yours. And they should because that view is not even logical. And you know this Dr. de Zayas. The right of secession exists in international law, but so does territorial integrity. The former should only be supported if there is convincing proof of violation of human rights, the latter should be supported and defended by all States (UN dixit), with an emphasis on the importance of not infringing on territorial integrity and political independence”. What you are doing is an infringement on territorial integrity.

        Let me give you an extreme example of your chaotic proposition of self-determination by anyone and everyone. There are 70 million muslims right now in Europe. What would happen if they asked for self-determination as “european muslims”. And that they had decided that 10% of European territory (maybe Spain, bc of historic reasons as well) should be seceded from Europe. Only muslims would get to vote on this, obviously, as it is a self-referendum. Of course this is an extreme example of something that will never happen but it just proves that reasoning is completely bogus.
        A more realistic example would be if the Hispanic community in the US would ask for a self-determination referendum in Miami, seceding from Florida and the States. There is a 70% population of hispanics in Miami, several million. Would this make sense to you?

        Finally note that the proposed referendum was never really about self-determination. This is something secondary that was proposed by demagogues as a way of luring “useful i-diots” and get international support. Of course, once international observers see the truth, they ran away terrified, unless they have a selfish interest. Note that the group that is asking for secession was never called catalans… they are called separatists (independents), and for a reason.

        So I am asking you once again Dr. de Zayas, to be more careful with your postings as you are hurting your reputation and many people with your declarations. I would not be proud to call myself an independent expert and have such a biased opinion on this issue, while going to the extreme of writing a bogus manifesto about it. An independent expert would never have sided like you have, lest they are impartial through immoral interests.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Joan Pescador, I would ask you to stop commenting after reading your posts. You are doing a disservice to Dr. Zayas and the rest of the separtists by posting. Once you are more knowledgeable in these affairs, I will gladly talk with you. Right now, it is a waste of both our times.

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      8. @Cheryl I would suggest it is you who needs to consider not posting any more. After reading your ill-tempered, snide and badly argues and researched contributions, topped off with your scurrilous accusations impugning Dr. Zayas’ reputation and honesty, I am surprised he did you the courtesy of answering and didn’t simply delete your contributions. If you cannot debate in a more temperate manner, perhaps you should stick to twitter….? That would seem to suit your trolling modus operandi better?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. @Andy Ellis Says the person who did not even refute a single comment I made and just posted an accusation. I have my sources to make the accusations I made. Moreover, I have a right to challenge not only his expertise, but his non-bias as well. And he has the right to defend himself which I hope he does. If he convinces me, I will certainly retract my statements as I think for myself. Political correctness is for more formal discussions.
        While I can create a heated argument, I never once insulted him and I gave points to why I believe he is not unbiased. I respect him as well. If not I would not be writing here in his blog. And I make a fair point, which is really what you do not like.

        If he wants to delete my posts because he can, then he can do so, but it would only prove my point.
        Anyway, I should not be feeding you. I should hope Dr. de Zayas erases this post and yours, because they are the only ones that really do not add anything to the conversation.

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      10. If Catalonia was an independent sovereign state some day, what would stop half of its population to secede and join Spain or create a new different independent state? I guess they also can use the right for self-determination? Should Catalonia be divided in half?

        And what will happen once the voters of a certain political party are not happy with the catalan government leaded by a different party of a completely different political spectre? Will the catalan constitution allow them to vote if they want to create a new state and keep a part of the catalan territory for themselves? Will they be allowed to ignore catalan laws? What’s the end of the “right to decide”?

        The catalan constitution draft written by catalan independentists says exactly the same things that the spanish constitution says about national sovereignty and territorial integrity, that all the catalan people as a whole are sovereign and catalan territory can’t be divided, so then why do the catalan independentists whine so much about the spanish constitution (which also says exactly the same things that so many other democratic constitutions all around the world say about sovereignty and national territory)? Will the catalan government allow a self-determination referendum for Barcelona if people get tired of “being robbed” by the other poorer catalan provinces (very popular fallacy in Catalonia)?

        Do you think that the german constitutional court should have not forbidden the self-determination referendum in Baviera? What about the italian constitutional court forbidding the self-determination referendum in Veneto? What about the White House saying Texas and several other states in the US can’t have a referendum either? Will you complain about it in the UN? Will you advice the UN to allow self-determination referendums all around the world in every country with nationalist movements that want to break their own countries laws? Good luck with that.

        Should sovereignty just disappear? How will countries work then? How do you plan investments and budgets in any country if you don’t know when an unhappy region/city/village/neighbourhood is going to ask for a self-determination referendum because you didn’t give them enough money or because they want lower taxes and bigger investments in their territories? Could the richest people in a country or all around the world just decide that they are a nation and should just ignore national or/and international laws and create their own laws to avoid paying taxes or to avoid having anybody telling them what they can or can’t do? If someone tried to stop that, would that be a violation of their fundamental rights too? Shouldn’t they have the right to self-determination and to vote and decide anything they want?

        What if a rich country offers a lot of money and investments to a poorer region in a different country asking them to do a self-determination referendum to secede and later join the rich country as a privileged pseudo colony? Could germans finally “buy” somehow the balearic islands and other spanish territories they enjoy during their summer vacations? Coul Russia, North Korea or Iran “buy” somehow territories near the US looking for a “missile crisis 2.0”? Or could the US “buy” territories near the countries they are not good friends with? That would be the best recipe for WWIII.

        I read that the UN asking for respect of territorial integrity in sovereign countries wanted to avoid these kinds of potential problems, because there were problems in the past with countries interfering in other countries colonies to weak them and sh*t like that, but if any territory and every group of people had the right to self-determinatiion and nobody needs to respect the laws that protect national sovereingty or territorial integrity, that basically means that everything is possible, you couldn’t tell anyone that they can’t do just whatever they want to do, because they will ask for their “right to decide”.

        The possibilities are endless, but in the real world all countries will defend their territorial integrity with laws, and the UN should respect that as long as no fundamental human rights are in danger, and fundamental human rights are not in danger in Spain, just lots of catalan people have been deeply deceived by their politicians to believe that they are special and much better than the rest of Spain, and that Spain can be blamed for everything going wrong in Catalonia, when they have actually been a part of Spain for centuries and all the things that are wrong with Spain are also wrong with Catalonia multiplied by 100.

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      11. Do not bother Shurvivalist. It is as clear as night and day for anyone who does not have an agenda. The separatists make a lot of noise but they only have the support they were able to afford. The freedom upheld by equality, justice and fairness will prevail.

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    2. This specific referendum , apart from being illegal , is not at all plebiscitarian but is imposed by a narrow political majority, on the base of the incredible 80% of votes in 2014 consultation ! It is pity that only 53 % of census voted. With those nu bers they pretend to decide for all, convoke and eventually separate. They are very able to make a big noise, I must recognize it.

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      1. The referendum is neither illegal nor imposed. You complain about a narrow majority imposing its will and pretend the minority to decide for the majority???

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      2. @rmanyabloq, should the minority of the spanish population (catalan independentists that are currently less than half of the catalan population and are a very small percentage of the spanish population) decide for the majority of the spanish population? Why should be more important the “catalan majority” (that isn’t even a majority in Catalonia, only 48% voted for secession in the last “plebiscite elections”) be more important than the vastly numerically superior spanish majority?

        And if Catalonia was an independent state some day, what would stop half of its population to secede and join Spain or create a new independent state? Should Catalonia be divided in half? And what will happen once the CUP voters are not happy with the ERC or PDeCat governments? Will the catalan constitution allow them to vote if they want to create a new state and keep a part of the catalan territory for themselves? Will they be allowed to ignore catalan laws? What’s the end of the “right to decide”?

        The catalan constitution draft says exactly the same things that the spanish constitution says about national sovereignty and territorial integrity, that all the catalan people should decide, so then why do the catalan independists whine so much about the spanish constitution (which also says exactly the same things that so many other democratic constitutions all around the world say)?

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  19. Exactly ! These are the facts, nothing to do with democracy and a plebiscitarian request for a referendum. This from the side of catalans. But from the side of institution is even worse. See the real numbers and you say, if you want to see. I know well that ideals can blind reality with simulacra. Just see the numbers please.

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  20. A minority of catalans supported by a narrow political majority can not impose a yes or no referendum for secession to all the catalans, spending public money for powerful propaganda in all media. This is not fair Mr de Zayas.
    Before there should be a way of asking to all the electorate if they want to even question the political organization of Spain, only afterwards there could be a valid referendum on the base of the first consultation. In Catalonia the government has worked in complete auto-auto-self-determination of their own group of voters, and not for all the catalans. You should say so and not only, and rightly, denounce Madrid government (which PP and not Spain), the shame is not only for the PP central government, but also to present Catalan, irresponsible, government.
    Anyway: good luck to all catalans (not just some of them).

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    1. Diego, we don’t know yet if it’s true that catalans who want a referendum is counting them. Madrid government had the chance (was permanently invited by Catalan government) to approve it and agree the terms (the time, the question, the degree of application, etc), but the referendum itself was in the political program when the campaign for Catalan parliament, and, for a responsible politician, it’s a democratic mandate. What nobody can understand is why Mr Rajoy refused to talk. Might be for stratégical reasons? You know, to be anti-Catalan gives you popularity and votes outside Catalonia. Perhaps we are not so important for them after all…

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Thank you very much for your honesty, Mr De Zayas! ✨ Catalunya urgently needs more clear and impartial voices like yours.

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  22. Josep,
    before Rajoi-PP (Spain if you like), it is worse repeating that a narrow parliamentary majority can not impose (literally) a referendum ‘violating’ (literally citing one of them) the rules of the catalan parliament (6-7 October, just see videos about the ridiculous debate) , weekly based on in-existent or distorted consultations (like that of Nov. 2014 ,with 34.4% of real electorate for yes, but presented in a propaganda style like a plebiscite of 80% ). With an incredible propaganda for years in all media pro-yes (the governments should try be balanced and not totally biased). And now you say..we invited you to be present? Before it is necessary to do a serious consultation, controlled and shared at least within the Catalan parliament. The count of votes should be on the electorate basis, with a quorum, and not on the number of voters.
    Only after reaching a real ..example 80% (not a false one) you can pretend something, with a real force.
    But, knowing the numbers do not help , but the dream of a minority is so strong, nourished with years of romantic propaganda, then the last chance is forcing and impose. An old strategy, called propaganda, nothing new, but do not call that ‘democracy’, please.

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    1. Diego, it’s called “direct democracy”, much better than “indirect” but much more difficult to manage. When there is a good connection and feed back between government and citizens, there is no need for a direct consultations, but when citizens feel a bad tune, then they prefer to warn loudly and make there voice be heard. Even when the establishment is protected by rules built up to make impossible for the minority to assert itself, which proves the rules are incorrect. Don’t be afraid of a referendum, people has to decide if it’s a good idea or not by freely going to the pools and voting, rather be attentive to the result because it involves making decisions

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      1. direct democracy has rules and garantees for all, not just for some
        no need for direct consultation? that’s a good joke

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    2. sorry, the exact data are:
      6-7 September 2014 ( the .. “debate” of an epochal constitutional law )

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    3. Dear Diego.
      In September 6/7 you can see a good tv show but you can not argue any breach of the Parlament’s rules. I invite you to document it.
      The legitimacy of the referendum is not based on 80% of 9N voters as erroneously indicated. It is based on the millionaires demonstrations of the last 7 years and the surveys that represent 80% of the population in favor of a referendum. Just yesterday, a last poll appeared that spoke of 67% of the population (2/3) who will undoubtedly go to vote, despite having been declared illegal by the judicial apparatus of the Spanish government.
      Think about this: If you participate in the referendum, you can vote YES, NO, or not vote. If you do not accept the referendum, you can only not vote.
      Which option is more guarantee for the population as a whole?

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      1. Joan,
        the only demonstrated 80% regards the November 2014 consultation, which is 34% of electorate. The rest are just opinions. A democratic debate in a democratic parliament, about such a sensible question, is in any way like the October 6th 2017. Debating the referendum law with a sudden changes in the agenda , no respect of timing rules for debating , changes at Constitutional level(Catalan Fundamental Law and not only Spanish Constitution)..just read the ‘Estatut’ and the ‘Reglament’, like or not like it, fair or not, there is no space for such a ‘pastiche’ procedure. And in any case a serious legislator can not proceed at such a sensible level with a short majority, it is crazy. You force to be out of game to many people, all catalans, that want to vote in a legal and shared vaste majority.
        Impossible? Difficult? But this is democracy, differently is not democracy.

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  23. again sorry: 6th september 2014 (and not october)

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    1. if we had a reliable data of adhesion to independence, we would not need the referendum, do not you think? Remember that PP govern Spain with a 30% of cense.
      I repeat, beyond your opinion, can do you document what rule of the “Parlament” have been breached?
      I can report quite a few constitutional breaches of the Spanish government to the fundamental rights:
      https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/

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  24. If would be so you would have the same ideology of the PP. I do not defend the PP government. The Estatut of Catalunya and the Reglament do not justify in any way a referendum for a unilateral secession. You should prove the contrary, please.

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  25. To be repetitive: Laws such as that of Referendum and that of Legal transitoriness needed 2/3 of votes in parliament for their approval. They are not ordinary laws.

    In catalan: Unes lleis com la del referèndum i la de transitorietat jurídica necessitaven l’aprovació de les 2/3 parts del plenari del Parlament. Samsó-Puigdemont va ometre el dictamen del Consell de Garanties Estatutàries i va passar-se pel folre la sapiència del lletrat major. Amb només 72 diputats ha enfonsat els pilars de la democràcia i, de passada, ha enverinat la convivència pacífica entre els veïns, d’aquí i d’allà.

    In castillian:Unas leyes como la del referéndum y la de transitoriedad jurídica necesitaban la aprobación de las 2/3 partes del plenario del Parlamento. Sansón-Puigdemont omitió el dictamen del Consejo de Garantías Estatutarias y se pasó por el forro la sapiencia del letrado mayor. Con sólo 72 diputados ha hundido los pilares de la democracia y, de paso, ha envenenado la convivencia pacífica entre los vecinos, de aquí y de allá.

    But those are all lies, evidently

    http://www.eltriangle.eu/es/notices/2017/09/sanson-puigdemont-destruye-la-generalitat-8891.php

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    1. It is not the autonomy statutory what justifies the referendum. It is the parliamentary majority of a representative democracy, the millionaire rallies during 7 years and the polls. The cracy of the demos.
      Both the “lletrat of the Parlament” and “Consell de Garanties Estatutàries” are consultative. Not required.
      Second time you use an opinion as a provatory argument.
      Good luck.

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      1. Propaganda. Good luck.

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  26. Mr De Zayas, open both of your eyes.

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  27. Propaganda. Good luck.

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  28. Estimado Dr. De Zayas, le agradezco mucho su espacio para este debate, en su blog.

    Como observo que es Ud. una persona muy culta; está doctorado y es profesor en Derecho Internacional y también en Historia, comenzaré con una anécdota histórica muy descriptiva del problema que arrastran los secesionistas catalanes desde hace varios siglos.
    Luego haré unas observaciones del sentido más común, aunque sea llamado el menos común de los sentidos.

    El Conde Duque de Olivares; gobernante de facto del imperio español de aquellos tiempos proclamó el 25 de julio de 1626 el nacimiento oficial de la Unión de Armas, como medio de sufragar la costosa Guerra de los Treinta Años ; ya que los Tercios españoles, estaban formados por soldados profesionales de media Europa.
    Con la Unión de Armas, Olivares retomaba las ideas de los arbitristas castellanos que desde principios del siglo XVII, cuando se hizo evidente la «decadencia» de Castilla, habían propuesto que las cargas de la Monarquía fueran compartidas por el resto de los reinos no castellanos.

    En 1632 Olivares volvió a intentar que las Cortes Catalanas aprobaran la Unión de Armas o un “servicio” en dinero equivalente y se reunieron de nuevo. Pero estas aún duraron menos que las de 1626 ya que cuestiones de protocolo —como la reivindicación de los representantes de Barcelona DEL PRIVILEGIO DE IR CUBIERTOS CON SOMBRERO EN PRESENCIA DEL REY*— y los interminables agravios de aquellos notables catalanes, agotaron la paciencia del rey y de nuevo se marchó sin clausurar dichas conversaciones.

    *Cabe recordar que aquél Rey; Felipe IV de España, de la Dinastía Habsburgo de Austria, era llamado: «el Grande» o «el Rey Planeta» pues era Rey de Jerusalem y hasta de Filipinas; pasando por media Europa y parte de las Américas; su imperio abarcaba medio mundo: Entonces, esa pretensión de los burgueses de Barcelona -que bien se descubrían ante una dama o un religioso-, no era sólo una grave afrenta, en realidad, era la excusa para no aportar dinero a las tropas del mismo rey.
    Pero una excusa zafia, grosera; insultante, de acuerdo a la etiqueta de aquellos siglos de absolutismo. Tuvieron mucha suerte de que no les saqueasen sus ejércitos.

    Así que 400 años después, nos hallamos con algo terriblemente peor:
    Los Separatistas catalanes, que disponen de 45 diputados en el Parlamento de España, que han dispuesto de 2 presidentes de la Iª República, de numerosos ministros, militares, congresistas y senadores en todos los regímenes, una enorme cantidad de empresas en toda España, ahora, PRETENDEN ESTAR POR ENCIMA DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE 1978, que en su día, votaron positivamente, y conste que yo no la voté, por ser republicano:

    La Constitución española de 1978.
    Título preliminar
    España se constituye en un Estado social y democrático de Derecho, que propugna como valores superiores de su ordenamiento jurídico la libertad, la justicia, la igualdad y el pluralismo político.

    Artículo 1

    La soberanía nacional reside en el pueblo español, del que emanan los poderes del Estado.

    La forma política del Estado español es la Monarquía parlamentaria.

    Artículo 9

    Los ciudadanos y los poderes públicos están sujetos a la Constitución y al resto del ordenamiento jurídico.

    Corresponde a los poderes públicos promover las condiciones para que la libertad y la igualdad del individuo y de los grupos en que se integra sean reales y efectivas; remover los obstáculos que impidan o dificulten su plenitud y facilitar la participación de todos los ciudadanos en la vida política, económica, cultural y social.

    La Constitución garantiza el principio de legalidad, la jerarquía normativa, la publicidad de las normas, la irretroactividad de las disposiciones sancionadoras no favorables o restrictivas de derechos individuales, la seguridad jurídica, la responsabilidad y la interdicción de la arbitrariedad de los poderes públicos.

    Todo lo que los SECESIONISTAS pretenden, es un GOLPE DE ESTADO:

    1º El Referendum -PARA LA SECESIÓN- es potestad del Gobierno de la Nación, y cabe el derecho a votarlo por el conjunto de la Nación, no en exclusiva por una región, aunque a ellos les afecta; también nos afecta a los demás, pues TENEMOS LOS MISMOS DERECHOS, y ninguna nación lo contempla en sus ordenamiento jurídico. Las que lo contemplaban; desaparecieron.

    2º Ninguna colonia forma parte de una nación desde su nacimiento como Estado hace 500 años, o desde su nacimiento como civilización -hace más de 2000 años- como la Hispania Romana, que dio militares, senadores, poetas y hasta emperadores a Roma.

    3º Ninguna colonia aporta a su metrópoli 2 presidentes de una República, numerosos ministros en todos sus regímenes, militares, congresistas y senadores, y una enorme cantidad de empresas catalanas, extendidas por toda la metrópoli que la coloniza ¿ …?

    4º Ninguna colonia acoge a inmigrantes -trabajadores para la industria- de su metrópoli, con los mismos derechos que los colonizados, como todo lo contrario a lo que se supone que deberían ser: COLONOS DE LA METRÓPOLI !!

    5º Ninguna colonia es capaz de PROHIBIR ESTUDIAR EN ESPAÑOL a sus terribles ocupantes colonialistas; como ocurre en Cataluña, donde se prohíbe -de hecho- el estudio del español, y donde se MARGINA EL IDIOMA DE LA METRÓPOLI ocupante, que es oficial en el conjunto del Estado.

    6º Ninguna colonia es capaz de PROHIBIR ROTULAR EN ESPAÑOL cualquier tipo de negocio a sus ocupantes colonialistas; como ocurre en Cataluña, donde se puede rotular en inglés, francés, italiano, alemán, urdu, árabe, mandarín y cualquier idioma, siempre que NO SEA EN ESPAÑOL, casualmente el idioma de la metrópoli ocupante.

    7º Ninguna colonia pretende que las máximas figuras de la cultura o historia de su metrópoli, sean en origen, justamente personas colonizadas: Cervantes, Teresa de Ávila, Calderón, Lope de Vega y hasta Cristóbal Colón… !! El separatismo catalanista insiste en que eran catalanes !!

    8º Ninguna colonia es capaz de COLONIZAR A SU METRÓPOLI, mediante la conquista de más del 30% DEL MERCADO ECONÓMICO DE SU METRÓPOLI, que es el peso de las empresas catalanas en el tejido económico español.

    9º Ninguna colonia pretende que la máxima competición deportiva mundial; la Olimpiadas, sean REALIZADAS Y COSTEADAS POR SU METRÓPOLI, en una colonia sometida y no en su capital metropolitana. Por el contrario, ninguna colonia es capaz de boicotear la sede de su metrópoli, como ocurrió con la CANDIDATURA DE MADRID, que los principales políticos catalanes atacaron, al apoyar -explícitamente- a Nueva York.

    10º Ninguna colonia pretende que la MONEDA DE SU METROPOLI, la antigua peseta, sea una voz que proceda del vocablo catalán peceta​ (‘piececita’), diminutivo de peça (‘pieza’), nombre con que se conocía desde el siglo XV a algunas monedas de plata, o que por ejemplo, la peseta acuñada en Barcelona en 1837, durante el reinado de Isabel II lleve impreso ” Principado de Cataluña”, aunque esta reina estuviera depuesta.

    Para concluir, Dr. De Zayas, debo añadir que:

    El secesionísmo catalanista lleva implícito un nuevo tipo de imperialismo: Los llamados Països Catalans, que abarcan los territorios de: Andorra, Cataluña, una parte de Aragón, las Islas Baleares, la Comunidad Valenciana, la mayor parte del departamento de Pirineos Orientales franceses, la ciudad sarda de Alguer y también un territorio en la Región de Murcia, el llamado Carche.
    Véase: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa%C3%ADses_Catalanes

    El plan para apoderarse de esos territorios es la IMPLANTACIÓN FORZADA DEL CATALÁN como ÚNICA LENGUA DE USO OFICIAL, con lo cual consiguen apoderarse de la educación, del empleo público; sólo los que dominan dicha lengua pueden ser funcionarios, y hasta la atención medica es catalanizada, aunque los pacientes no la puedan entender.

    El resultado de este SUPREMACISMO tan agresivo, será la guerra civil:
    LA PEOR DE LAS GUERRAS, porque es entre hermanos.

    Gracias por su atención y esta oportunidad para denunciar este Nacionalismo Supremacista. Le ruego que profundice en este drama, antes de que pase a tragedia.

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  29. Dear Cheryl,

    Your interpretation of self-determination right has little sense. Following your logic path, democracy would be just a dictatorship of a majority, where the rights of minorities could be just declared illegal. I am afraid that is what happened in Germany in the 1930’s, were Hitler was legally and democratically elected … to become a dictator and forbid (and kill) political opponents. It is very clear that minority peoples, as it is the case of Catalans in Spain, Scottish in the UK and Quebecois in Canada have the right to self determination and that no national majority has the right to prevent that.

    You should realize denying self determination is equivalent to allowing some peoples having the right to determine the will and political status of other (minority) peoples. Is that what you understand? Is that what you propose? If that is the case, the world chaos would be even larger than the one you are afraid of. What would prevent in that case majority peoples taking control and dominating over minorities while overruling all their legal and legitimate rights? That is surely a straight path to disaster and long-lasting militar or terrorist conflicts. And this is exactly the reason why the right to self determination of all peoples was established as a cornerstone of the entire international law system.

    Of course deciding what ‘peoples’ mean in the context of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is not trivial, but that does not mean the right of those ‘peoples’ exist, whoever they are, as extensively explained by professor De Zayas in several essays.

    P.S. By the way, I find your style of attacking the opinions of professor De Zayas incredibly rude. It reminds me the bullying style of many fanatic supporters of unionism in Spain.

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    1. Your obvious impaired and biased understanding of my communication leaves little space for a proper reply. Anyone with reasonable IQ who reads your text and mine would conclude that your understanding of the matter is next to none. This, together with your snide and snarky pretension in the post script where you complain about my “attacking” but leave a derogatory “racist” remark, would make anyone skip your comment. I will be nice and give you two paragraphs which you clearly do not deserve but will help the discussion in the long run.

      The catalan people are self-determined. They have been for centuries and they are one of the most protected people and culture in the world by far. They even have laws which discriminate against other “people”(to me we are all the same) in your country. I would however fight anyone who would try to steal someone’s right to be a catalan, whatever that means.

      This is contrast with what some catalans are trying to do. That is, imposing their own decisions over those of a majority, even of many catalans, and trying to break the rule of law by seceding (among many other violations).

      Take your tirade and babble somewhere else.

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      1. Probably you would be interested in reading the 2625/XXV UN resolution, which makes clear that forming a sovereign independent state is one of the forms to exercise the right to self-determination right.

        “The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.

        Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and to receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.”

        http://www.un-documents.net/a25r2625.htm

        Take care. Relax.

        P.S. Rude, very rude.

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      2. I have read it and it clearly proves my point. Nowhere in that UN resolution does it say that you can break an Independent State or damage its Integrity in order to create a new Independent State. However, there are many resolutions about maintaining the integrity of a State (in fact, created to avoid the situations you(and others like you) are trying to create which inevitably lead to wars). Basically, in words you will understand, you cannot form an independent State in an existing State without the consent of the people in that existing State because you would be trampling over their own human rights.

        You can definitely go to Antarctica and create your nation there. Maybe you can cool there a bit.

        P.S. Btw, you can try all these lame P.S. tricks to try to win a lost argument, but they just make your argument look less solid, and make you look lame and unprepared. You are welcome for the advice. I should probably charge you for it.

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  30. To make it even more obvious if it was not obvious enough. In your quotation it says:
    “the free association or integration with an independent State”

    From your understanding of the UN Resolution, any set of people from anywhere could potentially freely associate or integrate themselves with an independent State without the consent of that independent State. Morocco should integrate Italy tomorrow and Argelia should do the same with France.

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    1. Cheryl, “territorial integrity of an state” is not a human right. It is an important right, but not a human right. A community might freely and democratically decide on their own to split a state into a dozen an that would not break any right (e.g. Checoslovaquia). On the contrary, self-determination is a human right. You can not stop peoples from exercising their right to self-determination, that is, indeed, inhuman. Allowing peoples to rule over other peoples is analogous to allow human beings to rule over other human beings without their consent. It is about basic freedom, and as such, self-determination is a corner stone of international law since the foundation of the United Nations.

      Still, “self-determination” does not necessarily imply “self-execution” (I recommend reviewing professor De Zayas statements on that regard). I would agree that executing the independence from a legally formed state in a meaningful, lawful way, requires a fair and good faith negotiation between the two parts. But “execution” is post “determination”. The will and decision of separation is unilateral and comes first. The execution is not, or should not be unilateral and comes after. In a different context, the Brexit is an example: the decision of leaving the EU is unilateral while its execution is not unilateral. The EU can not retain the UK against the will of British people, but the UK can not slam the door out and say “I am out”. There needs to be a good faith negotiation and a formal legal procedure to make the “divorce” as smooth and fair as possible. Same reasoning was present both in the cases of Canada and the UK with Quebec and Scotland respectively.

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      1. Europe is not an independent State but a community of 51 independent States so the UK can always leave as long as they abide by the rules they agreed upon to join and leave. The cases of Quebec and Scotland defer completely from the Spanish one. Scotland is an independent country that may leave the United Kingdom if they so choose to. Quebec, on the contrary, cannot leave Canada even if they voted in favor of secession with a great majority. This is even though the Constitution of Canada says nothing about indivisibility and Canada is a Confederation State. The secession would most likely be voted in all of Canada. A unilateral secession would not be permitted.

        Spain is an indivisible State through its Constitution (made to maintain the Integrity of the State and protect the Human Rights of its people). You would have to legally modify the Constitution of Spain to break the country of Spain. That is what was voted by an ample majority.

        Once again, catalans are self-determined people, strongly protected by Spain and its Constitution (just read it). So much that their economy and wealth in detriment of other regions can attest to that. Catalans may also leave the country freely (as long as they do not break the law) and form their own country somewhere else. As territorial designation stands, the north-eastern part of Spain belongs to all Spaniards and all Spaniards shall weigh-in in any integral decision. As it should be. We can always talk and vote about changing the Constitution. However, the rule of law stands.

        Your first paragraph has no meaning in this context: “A community might freely and democratically decide on their own to split a state into a dozen” requires the whole community to decide, not just some. But not only that, taking a territorial part of a country against the will of the people of that country is a clear violation of human rights.

        The moment someone forbids catalan (or spanish) language in Spain and treat catalans (or spaniards) as inferior, we can then talk about violating human rights.

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      2. I am afraid you unduly limit self-determination to some kind of arbitrary autonomy with its scope arbitrarily restrained by the original state. I am sorry, but that is plainly against 2625/XXV UN resolution as demonstrated by the resolution itself posted above.

        On the other hand, you are still mixing “self-determination” and “self-execution”. The will and decision, i.e. the determination, is essentially unilateral. While I agree that the execution of the decision should be made effective bilaterally, as established in the case of Canada and Quebec, self-determination loses all its meaning if it requires the agreement of the state. And the consequence of that is one state can impose its will against the will of minority peoples, like in the case of Spain and Catalonia. Is that what you propose? If so, you’d need the agreement of the UN to change the resolutions.

        To be clear, it is perfectly understandable that, while a minority decides to remain part of a state or any other political system (e.g. the EU), such a minority is subject to a democratic will of the majority, as long as they do not vote against their fundamental rights (you would agree that it would not be democratic that a majority forbids for instance minority peoples to vote). But if the minority peoples decide to leave for whatever reason, why should the majority have the right to retain them under their will? Just because they are a majority? Isn’t that a dangerous proposition that opens the door to any kind of abuse?

        By the way, I don’t know why you are insisting on mixing self-determination with racism, supremacism and all that. Obviously you are trying to create a moral bias against those who want to separate. And by doing that you are cluttering the debate. The right on self-determination either exists regardless of the reasons for peoples to make use of it. The times when divorce was lawful only under some circumstances are happily over in modern democracies.

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      3. You are the one mistaking self-determination with imposition over others. Per your example, a minority can decide whether to keep the possessions of a majority or not, but the majority cannot decide whether they can retain them because it can be considered abuse? What if the minority is the richest part? It is so incredibly wrong I do not know where to start. What if the people of Spain (by vote) decide to break Catalonia in half and gives independents Gerona and Lerida but keeps Barcelona and Tarragona? Would that be fair? By your measures, not mine, it should be…

        You are even mistaking self-determination with secession. Catalans are already self-determined by definition. What you abide for is secession. Spain is not forbidding anyone to leave the country for whatever reason. No one is retaining them against their will. Spain is protecting its borders as it should. If people want to live in Spain, they have to respect its laws. If you are born in Spain, and thus have all the privileges of being a Spaniard, you have also all the consequences of its democratic state.

        I am not mixing self-determination with racism (or supremacism; great word there pal). If you see it that way, it is because you clearly see the deficiencies in your own argument. Maybe, and only maybe, it is because your argument really has nothing to do with self-determination… *Drop Mic*

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      4. You keep mixing concepts. How does self-determination relate to the wealth of one country or peoples? Are you suggesting that the poor or the rich should have more or less rights because of their wealth? I am sorry that doesn’t fly. I believe all human beings have the same rights regardless of their condition, it seems you do not.

        You keep ignoring that the right to self-determination includes the right to create an independent state. That is what was clarified in the 2625/XXV UN resolution, which I repeat again for your review:

        “The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people.”

        http://www.un-documents.net/a25r2625.htm

        What aspect of this statement in the UN resolution you have a problem with? “The establishment of a sovereign and independent State” …”any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by THAT people”. It can not be more clear.

        I understand your point is that Catalans already exercise the self-determination right within Spain, is that right? That means that you acknowledge this right to them. So if you acknowledge the right, you should acknowledge it fully, not just the part that is more convenient to you. Maybe catalans where perfectly happy being part of Spain for 40 years. But somehow, they are not happy anymore, or at least, there is enough debate in Catalonia so that measuring their will is democratically needed. And in democracy, will is measured through referendums. As in the UK and Canada.

        You are confusing the right of a minority to be free with the right of a minority to impose their will to a majority. And that has no sense. No one is pretending that catalans have the right to rule over Spain. Catalonia is not pretending to tell Spain whether they should be part of the UN, the EU or to impose a particular political status. That would be obviously absurd. But catalans have the right to say “hey, we respect your political system, but we do not want to be part of it, we’d rather create our own system”. What is the problem with that?

        And I fully agree that, if catalans decide that their right to self-determination is no longer to be used to keep their participation in Spain but to create their own country, that should be executed in a peaceful and legal way. The same attitude should be found on the Spaniard side. After all this is what the Spanish law dictates. Spanish law includes the right to self-determination since April 1977. You can check that at the BOE:

        http://www.boe.es/diario_boe/txt.php?id=BOE-A-1977-10733

        I suspect you can perfectly read Spanish, so you will have no problems in understanding what this law is saying:

        “Artículo 1

        1. Todos los pueblos tienen el derecho de libre determinación. En virtud de este derecho establecen libremente su condición política y proveen asimismo a su desarrollo económico, social y cultural.

        2. Para el logro de sus fines, todos los pueblos pueden disponer libremente de sus riquezas y recursos naturales, sin perjuicio de las obligaciones que derivan de la cooperación económica internacional basada en el principio de beneficio recíproco, así como del derecho internacional. En ningún caso podría privarse a un pueblo de sus propios medios de subsistencia.

        3. Los Estados Partes en el presente Pacto, incluso los que tienen la responsabilidad de administrar territorios no autónomos y territorios en fideicomiso, promoverán el ejercicio del derecho de libre determinación, y respetarán este derecho de conformidad con las disposiciones de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas.”

        This law was signed by king Juan Carlos I and it became law on April 13th 1977:

        “Vengo en aprobar y ratificar cuanto en él se dispone, como en virtud del presente lo apruebo y ratifico, prometiendo cumplirlo, observarlo y hacer que se cumpla y observe puntualmente en todas sus partes, a cuyo fin, para su mayor validación y firmeza, mando expedir este Instrumento de Ratificación firmado por Mí, debidamente sellado y refrendado por el infrascrito Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores.

        Dado en Madrid a trece de abril de mil novecientos setenta y siete.

        JUAN CARLOS”

        And this law is embedded in the Spanish Constitution through article 10(2) on fundamental rights. When the Spanish Constitution was established in 1978, it was made according to the international law that Spain had already joined. It is actually quite natural, the new Constitution could not be created against or ignoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, and alike.

        You should realise that one of the purpose of the Spanish Constitution, as stated unmistakably in its preamble is:

        “Proteger a todos los españoles y pueblos de España en el ejercicio de los derechos humanos, sus culturas y tradiciones, lenguas e instituciones.”

        http://www.congreso.es/consti/constitucion/indice/titulos/articulos.jsp?ini=1&tipo=1

        And does rights, include, of course, the fundamental right to self-determination.

        It should be stressed that Spain, not only has the obligation to respect the right to self-determination, but to promote it. According to the law above: “…promoverán el ejercicio del derecho de libre determinación, y respetarán este derecho de conformidad con las disposiciones de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas”.

        So the law is very, very, very clear. Spain should promote Catalonia to hold a self-determination referendum. And if and only if the outcome is that Catalans want to leave, then enter into good faith negotiations to allow Catalans to create their own state.

        This is how modern democracies work.

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      5. I refuse to read your babble, got through the first three paragraphs and knew I needn’t go on. From the first paragraph, I can see you have not understood a thing about self-determination and the rule of law.
        You keep on repeating yourself… There is nothing wrong with the UN paragraph. It just does not apply to what you want it to apply to. If people could just take the land of another State to become an Independent State without consent, then so could people just join another State without the consent of that State (obviously ridiculous I know). Right now, in Spain, the consent is not there by law (it might be in other countries). There is therefore nothing to negotiate except for trying to modify the law with all Spaniards so that there is consent and you can buy the land of Catalonia. This is not forcing anyone against their will at all. On the contrary, it is respecting everyone and the law. Self-determined people in Spain can self govern and they can have their customs and land resources(as long as they abide by the law). They are also free to leave the land of Spain and its laws. These people can buy land somewhere and create their own Independent State.
        Please, read this last paragraph carefully because it contains everything you need to know to understand your point of view is misguided. If you do not, please refrain from replying. I will not answer to the same comment again.

        Just for your understanding, Spain does not need to give any of its land (Catalonia is Spain) to anyone that wants to be self-determined. It is absurd to even contemplate such a thing. You cannot create an Independent State inside another Independent State without the consent of the people in it. This would be the only thing that would constitute a violation of human rights in all of this. Forcing people out of their land by imposition (like languages, threats, etc..) is a huge violation of human rights as well.

        What’s finally going to happen in Spain is that they are going to end up declaring separatists parties illegal like they do in most “modern democracies” (this would be a huge human right violation from your perspective right?).

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      6. This must be a joke. So you interpret the right of peoples to self-determination, and therefore, their right to create an independent state (as stated in the 2625/XXV UN resolution), as their right to buy a piece of land and creating the state there. This is hilarious. Let’s be serious please. Enough said.

        Liked by 1 person

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