Council of Europe urges Spain to conduct judicial proceedings in Catalan

Justice

The evaluation report by the European Council Committee of Experts is a clear text showing Spain is not doing its duty. Catalan language is being harassed in the judicial proceedings.  

As the report states:

“On the basis of the observations made by the Committee of Experts in its second evaluation report, the Committee of Ministers recommended that the Spanish authorities “take the necessary legal and practical measures to ensure that an adequate proportion of the judicial staff posted in the autonomous communities concerned by the application of Article 9 of the Charter have a working knowledge of the relevant Language (…) According to the association of jurists,there has been a downward trend in the use of Catalan in terms of numbers of proceedings, documents and sentencing in the last few years.

According to the third periodical report (pages 272 – 285), a substantial survey on language usage in the Department of Justice was carried out among almost all judicial offices in 2008 in Catalonia. The survey revealed that about 25% of the court procedures were held in Catalan. According to a judge whom the Committee of Experts met during the on-the-spot visit, this number has dropped to 16%. Almost 50% of the oral communication with the public was in Catalan. 43.5% ofthe internal meetings were held in Catalan. 75% of the court buildings used signage in Catalan. (…) According to the General Council of the Judiciary,1029 of the 5023 judges and magistrates in Spain have a certified knowledge of Catalan. According to the data from the 2008 Survey, it seems that a large majority (over 75%) of the judicial staff have sufficient knowledge of Catalan to use it as a working language both orally and in writing.

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