Mes: octubre 2014

The Catalan Question and the Spanish Constitutional Court

The Catalan “problem” is an old one but, in the last years, it has returned with tremendous force. Most probably, the turning point is to be found in a decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court in 2010 on the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006. This Statute, which is an agreed law, was passed by the Catalan Parliament, subsequently amended and approved by the Spanish Parliament and, finally, ratified by the Catalan voters through a referendum. After its official publication, the Popular Party filed an appeal in front of the Constitutional Court.

That institution not only partly overruled the legal provisions provided by the new Statute but also changed the very way of understanding the role of statutes within the Spanish legal system.
Against its own precedents, the Constitutional Court seemed to reject the constitutional role of the Statutes in developing the open territorial organization system established by our Fundamental Law. In fact, this openness is one of the values as well as one of the weaknesses of our system: the Spanish Constitution does not fix a unique and clear decentralized system; it established rules and procedures to be followed in order to achieve autonomy but, from that point, the Constitution was open. Moreover, for 30 years we have been teaching in the classrooms that both the Constitution and the Spanish Constitutional Court case law recognized a specific constitutional role of the Autonomous Statutes: to develop and to close the constitutional open system. Due to their specific constitutional relevance, the Statutes were considered as special laws, just beneath the Constitution. The decision of 2010 seemed to withdraw this “specialty” from the Autonomous Statutes and to set them as common Organic Law.

(más…)

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Responsabilidad de personas jurídicas y reforma penal

RESPONSABILIDAD DE PERSONAS JURÍDICAS Y REFORMA PENAL. O LA BREVE HISTORIA DE UN SEGUNDO TROPIEZO CON LA MISMA PIEDRA.

La LO 5/2010, de 22 de junio, de reforma del Código penal, incorporó por primera vez en la historia legislativa española un sistema de responsabilidad con penas para personas jurídicas. Una de las (muchas) dudas que suscitó dicho sistema sancionador consistía (y consiste) en si la implantación en una empresa de un programa de cumplimiento (Compliance Programm) podría servir para exonerarla de responsabilidad penal. Esta cuestión es abordada por el Proyecto de Reforma del Código penal aprobado por Consejo de Ministros de 4 de octubre de 2013, que contiene, además, una pretendidamente detallada descripción de dicho instrumento. Que el Proyecto aborde la capacidad eximente del Compliance o el detalle de su estructura y contenido no significa, sin embargo, que lo consiga de forma satisfactoria. Las presentes líneas servirán para confirmarlo.

Tal y como puede deducirse de lo ya dicho, la reforma que nos ocupa incide de manera destacada en el sistema de responsabilidad penal de las personas jurídicas. Las líneas fundamentales del nuevo sistema podrían resumirse como sigue. (más…)