ACN – Judges will not have to know Catalan to work in Catalonia states the Constitutional Court
On Friday, the Spanish Constitutional Court has issued a sentence by which judges working in Catalonia will not have to know Catalan, which is Catalonia’s official language together with Spanish. The Constitutional Court has responded to a Catalan Parliament appeal from 2004 against the Judicial Power’s last reform, approved by the Spanish Parliament after a proposal from the Spanish Government, run by José María Aznar, of the People’s Party (PP).
Eight years after the appeal, the Constitutional Court has passed the sentence that judicial competences are run at Spanish level and therefore the Catalan Government only has powers over non-judicial staff. This means that the Catalan Government cannot establish that judges and other judicial staff working in Catalonia are obliged to know Catalan language in order to guarantee that Catalan citizens can fulfil their judicial procedures or appear before a judge using their mother tongue. In fact, studies show that the use of Catalan language within the justice staff is very low and that most of the judicial staff only speak Spanish. This means that citizens using Catalan often feel obliged or they are directly asked to change language to Spanish.
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