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The Supreme Court reiterates that the Administrations cannot place partisan symbols in buildings or public spaces


The court confirms the sentence that forced Quim Torra to remove a poster from the facade of the Generalitat in 2019, and recalls that the institutions are obliged to be neutral even in non-electoral periods

The Supreme Court has issued an order in which it recalls that the "duty of objectivity and neutrality" of the Public Administrations prevents the "privatization of public spaces, of common use, through their occupation by elements that may represent a partisan option".

The resolution, dated March 15, prohibits the "use, even occasional, of unofficial flags and symbols outside buildings and public spaces."

The order comes to confirm —by not admitting the appeal of the Catalan Government— the sentence of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) of April 28, 2021, which forced the then president, Quim Torra, to remove from the facade of the


de the Generalitat a poster of support for the prisoners of the



The TSJC concluded that Torra acted "illegally" and for "partisan" purposes by placing a banner demanding the freedom of the pro-independence leaders convicted of sedition.

The banner called them "political prisoners."

The Supreme Court had already vetoed on previous occasions the placement of partisan symbols in public buildings, such as the

estelada (

independence) flag that many Catalan City Councils displayed before and after the


, but almost all the pronouncements had come as a result of decisions of the Electoral Board Therefore, they were limited to electoral periods.

The court had specifically vetoed the placement of unofficial flags in public buildings, either during the electoral period or outside of it, and had declared the institutions' duty of neutrality, a jurisprudence on which the Supreme Court now bases its decision to not admit Torra's appeal against the decision of the Catalan court.

"We are facing the application by the Trial Chamber of a reiterated and consolidated jurisprudential and constitutional doctrine, so we do not consider it necessary for this Chamber to make a new pronouncement in this regard to confirm, qualify or rectify it," the court stated in the order by which the appeal of the former Catalan president is not admitted.

And, to reach that conclusion, adds the Supreme Court, it does not matter "the discrepancy that the Generalitat of Catalonia may maintain with the reasoning and ruling of the contested sentence, given that the expression of that discrepancy in no case can be considered sufficient, by itself alone, to avoid the justification of the need to qualify or correct the doctrine” of the Supreme Court.

Torra alleged, among other reasons, that the prohibition to display the poster in favor of the prisoners clashed with freedom of expression, but the judges warn that there is also abundant doctrine that establishes "without any doubt" that "in no case are they holders of that fundamental right are public institutions or their bodies”, but only individuals.

"The action to which this case refers was carried out by the


of the Generalitat of Catalonia in his capacity as such, that is, as a public office and -according to constitutional doctrine- in the exercise of that position, his conduct did not It cannot be analyzed from the point of view of the consideration of a subjective fundamental right, but rather from the scope of the powers and limits established in the legal system”.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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