Blueprint for a new country?

The Barcelona judge has become the object of persecution by state authorities since heading a group of legal experts that have drawn up a proposal for a Catalan constitution

'We share the objective of producing a single text for all Catalans'
'The process of modification to the model we propose is simple'
The Consejo General del Poder Judicial (CGPJ) opened proceedings against you when it learnt you were involved in the constitutional proposal. Are you worried about your career?
I don't think it will affect the final decision. They have known since December 19 that the document was practically finished and that the legal team would present it in January. I suppose we will have news of their decision in February.
Is there a chance of bringing the three constitutional proposals together?
One of the first things we did when we learnt that there were two other groups working on this issue was to meet and talk. That was in November. Since then we have had a number of meetings. We share the same objective of producing a single text, not only for the three working groups, but for all Catalans.
How have the government and the political parties reacted?
Our decision was always a private one and we did not want to involve any institutional organisation. However, we did tell the government, the parties and other bodies, such as the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, Òmnium Cultural, Súmate and Procés Constituent of our initiative.
Have you received any type of direction about the proposal?
None at all, neither from instructions, which we would not have accepted, nor any type of input. The parties and other bodies know what we are doing and, once the public has helped us with its contributions, we will present the finished project.
To the government?
The idea is to present it to the civil bodies, because they are the ones who have led this process. Depending on how the process evolves, we do not rule anything out. In principle, it seems better to hand over the proposal to the civil bodies so that they can then make sure it gets to parliament or the government.
Your proposal is inspired by other constitutional models. Which ones?
Mainly the Swiss. The Swiss constitution is very interesting because it allows many possibilities for citizen participation. Moreover, it is a text designed for a pluri-national state; Switzerland in reality is a federation. And, given the characteristics of the Spanish state, it seems to us that this could be a first step towards facilitating things if in the future we end up with some sort of agreed solution with the state. The process of modification to the model that we propose is relatively simple, not like the Spanish constitution, which is practically untouchable. If at some point other nationalities on the peninsula, such as the Basque Country or Galicia, decide to follow suit, we could be faced with a scenario of a confederation of states.
Simplification of the process of constitutional reform, recognition of the right to decide, separation of powers, greater control over elected posts... The recent sovereignty process has affected the contents of your proposal it seems.
Without doubt it has affected it. Since 2010, a lot has happened in Catalonia. Our country has changed a lot, as has civil society and, fortunately, the political parties, many of which have adapted to the criteria and objectives of the public.
Limited terms in office, the obligation to declare interests before taking office, the possibility of public intervention... In a normal country are these failsafe mechanisms for public office needed?
In Nordic constitutions, for example, it is difficult to find many references to society's control over politicians. Why? Because they are ethical societies with relatively little corruption. Their social and political context is very different from what we sadly have in Catalonia. To hide our problems of corruption would be a mistake. Yet, control mechanisms on the representatives of the future republic does not mean that we must doubt their honesty. The mechanisms that we propose are something like an anti-fraud office or an independent prosecutor; their very existence has a dissuasive effect.
You propose that the future constitution only be put forward after the September 27 elections. If the population votes in favour of independence, you establish an interim term of a year. Why is that?
It is the margin that we consider essential so that the future government of the republic can negotiate Catalonia's integration into international organisations and conditions. It would be a year to consolidate the country's internal structures and to allow the new state to find its place in the international community.
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