Brussels says an appeal to the ECJ suspends the amnesty

The Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, confirmed yesterday that any process that is raised in the form of a preliminary question before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is suspended.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
02 April 2024 Tuesday 11:24
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Brussels says an appeal to the ECJ suspends the amnesty

The Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, confirmed yesterday that any process that is raised in the form of a preliminary question before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is suspended. Something that, in any case, is Union law jurisprudence and this is how it is currently done in the member states, including Spain, and that could affect the application of the Amnesty law, now being processed in the Senate. The Belgian politician recalled that pending a "resolution" of a prejudicial question "the national procedure is suspended".

The European Commissioner thus answered a question raised by the leader of Citizens in the Eurochamber, Adrián Vázquez. Specifically, he asked for the elimination of article 43 bis of the Civil Procedure Law, which was part of the omnibus decree approved in Congress in December. Together, he demanded that that article be withdrawn to give his approval to the decree, because he feared that it could affect the application of criminal oblivion.

In that article it was pointed out that in the face of a prejudicial question at the CJEU, any action is suspended. It was eventually removed, but that doesn't mean it isn't fulfilled. As Reynders recalled, according to the statute of the CJEU, when there is a prejudicial question "the decision of the national jurisdictional body by which it submits a case to the Court of Justice suspends the national procedure". In other words, preliminary questions involve the immediate suspension of the law, but only in specific cases that raise doubts in court.

In his question to the commissioner, the MEP points out that the removal of the article from the Civil Procedure Law "has been announced by some political actors as the realization that the presentation of prejudicial questions before the CJEU by part of Spanish courts will not have suspensive effects". Reynders, in turn, denies it and remembers that European legislation always prevails over national legislation. A statement that could also affect article 4 of the Amnesty law itself, which states that "the suspension of the criminal procedure for any reason will not prevent the lifting of those precautionary measures that had been agreed upon before the entry into force of this law and that would involve the deprivation of the exercise of fundamental rights and public freedoms".

In view of the commissioner's response, the oranges argue that this will affect the amnesty, given that several courts are expected to raise preliminary questions at the CJEU. "The primacy of European law is unappealable no matter how much Pedro Sánchez has tried everything to go above the legislation of the Union in order to give impunity to his minister without portfolio, Carles Puigdemont", denounced Vázquez.

The only body that can pronounce on a law and its respect for Community law is the European Commission, as the guardian of the treaties and in charge of supervising compliance with the Community law in the states. As for the amnesty, Brussels has so far always insisted on the fact that it is in contact with the national authorities and that it hopes that the law has passed the entire legislative process. If the Community Executive considers that a specific law does not comply with the rules, an infringement file is opened in the country and, ultimately, after a process, it can end up before the European justice system.