Keys to Forcadell's defence strategy

Speaker tells court that vote was not legislative in nature and therefore lacks any juridic consequence

As well as defending freedom of expression and parliamentary privilege, which protects all the Catalan MPs, including the Speaker of the House, , Carme Forcadell showed her strategy when answering questions put to her by her lawyer, Andrew Van den Eynde.

Among the keys to her defence, Forcadell argued that she did not disobey the mandate of the Constitutional Court (TC) as it did not expressly prohibit the house from studying the constitutional process nor its conclusions. Instead, Forcadell termed the ruling a “general warning”.

Despite legal interpretations of whether or not she disobeyed the TC, the defence introduced a new element: the resolution of the conclusions of the study commission does not have the constitutional process nor significance or legal implication.

Forcadell says she committed no “legal fraud” which the prosecution, using the declarations of House Committee representatives of Ciutadans, the PSC, and CSQP, claims. She said that she followed protocol after a request from JpSí and CUP to include the debate in the order of the day for the plenary session as a matter of urgency, citing parliamentary regulation in her defence.

The TSJC is not influenced by third parties and has the right to unify cases into one as it sees fit, and the charges against the Speaker are clear-cut, meaning that once witnesses are heard and some technical issues clarified, a decision could be handed down before the end of 2017, just when it is assumed Catalonia should approve the referendum and succession law. Acquitted or condemned, one party to the case is certain to appeal to the Supreme Court, which averages two years in resolving cases. If disqualified, then that would not be until late 2019.

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