The criminality of the Catalan independence referendum

Michelle, Coleman ORCID: (2017) The criminality of the Catalan independence referendum. [Digital artefact]


On 1 October 2017 a referendum vote in the Catalan region of Spain devolved into violence when police officers deployed by the national government attempted to prevent people from voting. According to some reports almost 900 people, including voters and potential voters, were injured. While recognising that there are disputed versions, this post follows the critics of the Spanish police’s actions, as described by the main NGOs and other academic bloggers.

This referendum asked the people of Catalonia whether they wanted the region to gain independence from Spain. This blog post explores the potential criminality that has arisen from participating in the referendum by organisers, voters and potential voters. Specifically, it will argue that participating in the referendum was not a per se criminal act. Participants could be investigated for crimes that occurred in the course of their participation, but not for the participation itself. Moreover, the police should not have targeted potential voters, using disproportionate force, because this violated the freedom of expression and did not fulfil the police’s duties of crime prevention or investigation.

Item Type: Digital artefact
Additional Information: International Law Blog
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 25358
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Michelle Coleman
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 16:12
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2018 16:12

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