Tours, France | New horizons for the right to self-determination
DIPLOCAT has organized a debate with academic experts this afternoon at the University of Tours (France).
There was unanimity among the professors who participated in the academic conference on Catalonia and the right of self-determination that this right remains valid and in force beyond the context of decolonization that granted its original meaning. The nuances arrived when it came to defining how to apply it or the various caseloads that can justify it.
The debate took place at the University François-Rabelais in Tours (France), with the title "Towards a right to postcolonial self-determination? The Catalan case" and organized by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat). The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Alexis Chommeloux, welcomed the attendees who filled the room. On behalf of Diplocat, Elisabet Moragas presented the Council and explained the purpose of such events.
Round table introduction
Jorge Cagiao, associate professor at the University of Tours, acted as moderator of the round table and framed the debate in the field of constitutional law.
The legal philosophy of the right to decide
Guillaume Tusseau, Law School professor at Sciences Po, while accepting new horizons for the right to self-determination, said that as long as the Spanish Constitution does not recognise the right to secede, the debate on this subject is useless.
A comparative perspective of the right to self-determination in several Western democracies
Antoni Abat Ninet, professor of comparative constitutional law at the University of Copenhagen, replied that in any democracy, including Spain, it is paradoxical that the right of self-determination can be denied using any pretext.
The self-determination referendum in Catalonia from the perspective of international law
Emanuel Castellarin, professor of Public Law at the University of Strasburg, defended the right to self-determination today and its application in different contexts, not always related to a future independence.
The self-determination referendum in Catalonia from the perspective of European Union law
Christine Guillard, professor of Public Law at the University François-Rabelais, remarked that EU law doesn’t take a stance on the right to postcolonial self-determination and therefore it is domestic and international law that have to be applied. EU law does not say anything about the possible consequences of exercising such right either, so that a new EU membership or an external agreement seem to be the most likely solution.
The Catalan case from the point of view of the Spanish Constitution
Finally, Eva Pons, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona and member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the Government of Catalonia, used the opportunity to make an overview of the most important recent events and agreed with the other speakers on the fact that the Catalan case has an important political overtone, that will not be solved only with laws.
Finally there has been a discussion among the participants and the audience.
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The Université François-Rabelais, spread throughout the entire city of Tours (in the center-west of France), has seven education and research units, two university technology institutes, and one polytechnic school. It allows for very diverse studies to be carried out (human arts and sciences, law, economics, commerce and management, letters and languages, health, science and technology…). With more than 40 nationally and internationally recognized laboratories, the University of Tours is the premier public research institution in the Central France region.
Last updated: 21 June 2017