Current Developments

Beyond the exhumation of the dictator

The role of Spanish civil society  in the search of victims of enforced disappearance  during the Franco regime  

After the pronouncement of the Spanish  Supreme Court  endorsing the exhumation of the remains of the dictator Franco from the “Valle de los Caidos” (the enormous mausoleum built by the prisoners of Civil War where Franco was buried for 44 years), the actual exhumation finally took place this week. This measure was foreseen in  Royal Decree-Law 10/2018,  adopted by the socialist government of Pedro Sánchez in August 2018,   which modifies …

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The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination: Long Shots and Legal Flair

The image conjured by the first subtitle of Zoran Oklopcic’s post on the referendum on Catalan self-determination, that of a zombie self-determination resurrected from its post-Kosovan resting place and back to haunt international legal rhetoric perfectly captures the mood amongst many in the international community who had perhaps been hoping that the rhetoric of self-determination had all but given up the ghost. As Oklopcic underlines, the past 15 years have …

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The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part II)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

What encouraged the Catalans to place their bets on the persuasive power of remedial self-determination were two constitutional, not international legal texts: the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1998 Reference re Secession of Quebec, and the 2013 Edinburgh Agreement between the British and the Scottish governments on the referendum of the independence of Scotland. Though neither offered support to the Catalan remedialist vision of self-determination—the Secession Reference empathetically rejects Quebecois’ remedial …

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The Referendum on Catalan Self-Determination (Part I)

Endemic Rhetoric, Interpretive Hypocrisy and Legal Imagination

Scheduled to take place on 1 October 2017, the referendum on the independence of Catalonia looks to be a turning point in the history of the Iberian peninsula; if not a point of no return, then at least the moment after which the relationship between Catalonia and Spain will never again be the same. Though it is hard to predict what will happen on that day—the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal has …

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