"What we see here – and that is the scandal", De Zayas says at about timecode 02:00, "You have here the European Union, the European Commission, the European Parliament, betraying 7,5 million Europeans. Catalans are Europeans. They have a right to have solidarity. Also in Brussels. And Brussels has become complicit to this suppression of article 1 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is considered to be jus cogens, which very clearly states: all peoples have the right to self-determination. And all states parties to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have an obligation, not only not to obstruct self-determination, but a proactive obligation to facilitate it. So you have here hard law. The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is hard law. Hard law – international human rights treaty regime – is incorporated into the Spanish Constitution, into the Spanish legal system by virtue of article 10 paragraph 2 and article 96 of the Spanish Constitution."
Consequently, therefore – which I think can be inferred from De Zayas' argument – it is not the Catalan leadership but rather the Spanish State itself that has acted in violation of the Spanish Constitution, with its suppression of the Catalan independence movement and the wrongful qualification of the 1 October referendum as "illegal".
Three questions on "The Deafening Silence on the Catalan Question", e.g. on the contrast between, on the one hand, the close attention to the flaws of democracy in Hungary and Poland and, on the other, the general indifference to the flaws of democracy in Spain. "So here you have International Law à la carte. International Law applied selectively". What was the response of Jean-Claude Juncker on De Zayas' request for EU mediation in the Catalan political conflict? How do you explain the general indifference to the issues at stake, the ignorance, the lack of awareness and of media interest? What is your appraisal of the rôle of the Spanish king in the conflict?
Excerpt from the lecture presented by professor Alfred De Zayas on "The Catalan Question and International Law" at the Conference on the Right of Self-Determination,The Hague, The Netherlands, 9 November 2018.
Alfred De Zayas is professor of International Law, writer, historian and a leading expert in the field of human rights and international law and a former UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.