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Spain Constitutional Court nullifies Catalan independence declaration

[JURIST] Spain's Constitutional Court [official website] on Tuesday formally nullified [order, PDF, in Spanish] Catalonia's October 27th declaration of independence.

Citing earlier decisions related to the Catalan referendum on independence, the Constitutional Court reiterated [press release, in Spanish] their right to trump last week's declaration of independence under Article 161 of the Spanish Constitution [text, PDF], which provides that

The Government may appeal to the Constitutional Court against provisions and resolutions adopted by the bodies of the Self-governing Communities, which shall bring about the suspension of the contested provisions or resolutions.

The decision warns Catalan officials of the criminal implications if they attempted to prevent, paralyze, or ignore the initiative. The decision further cites Article 81.1, which requires all public authorities to comply with the decisions of the court, and Article 81.2 [texts, PDF], which seeks the jurisdictional help of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia to make the agreed upon notifications, requirements, and warnings.

Spain has already invoked Article 155 [text, PDF] in dissolving Catalan's Parliament, and has asked the speaker of the Catalan Parliament and five senior lawmakers to testify later this week [NYT report]. The Constitutional Court's decision comes one day after Spanish Attorney General José Manuel Maza charged the former president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and other Catalan officials with rebellion [JURIST report] for actions related to the Catalan independence movement.

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