Professor Sujit Choudhry Urges a Constitutional Resolution to the Question of Catalonian Independence

In September of this year, Catalonia attempted to hold a vote on secession from Spain. The government in Madrid responded to the referendum by sending security forces to suppress voting. Catalonia generates one-fifth of Spain’s economic output.

Spain has resorted to violence to check the secessionist movement. In response to the crisis a University of California, Berkeley Professor of Law Sujit Choudhry became one of three Constitutional law scholars who authored an appeal for a peaceful and democratic solution to the issue of Catalonian independence. Choudhry has guided nine pledging democracies in constructing their constitutions. He is a founding director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions.

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The missive asks Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy not to suppress the rights of Catalonians who support independence. Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont was asked to demonstrate that he is in earnest when it comes to Catalonian independence.

The letter warns that anything other than a peaceful democratic resolution will have repercussions across Europe. If Spain’s oppression of Catalonia continues the principles upon which the European Union was formed could be undone.

The three constitutional scholars expressed the belief that only a fairly conducted referendum can establish the true attitudes of the majority of Catalonians with regards to independence. The letter suggests that even if the majority do not support a complete break with Spain Catalonians might support a less extreme solution to the current situation.

It was pointed out that PM Rajoy’s continued violations of the rights of Catalonian separatist are in direct violation of International Law and that the Prime Minister’s actions are an offense against Catalonia sovereignty.   A relevant article to read on

In closing the missive stated that PM Rajoy must accept Catalonia’s independence if it is the wish of the majority of its people. Secondly, if Spain’s program of oppression in Catalonia continues then oppression and violence will become the only way Spain can retain control over Catalonia. For more of his views on politically related issues, hit on

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Sujit Choudhry holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard School of Law. He has lectured internationally and authored 10 books addressing different aspects of Constitutional Law. Mr. Choudhry is a member of the United Nation’s Mediation Roster.  Additional article on

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