The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, has decided to dismiss the lawsuit of the former president of the Generalitat Artur Mas against Spain for his disqualification for disobedience for carrying out the independence consultation of 9-N 2024 by not receiving the plaintiff’s observations requested by the court itself.

The fifth section of the court, in a resolution taken on April 14 and communicated this Thursday, has made the decision to eliminate the lawsuit from its list of cases after Artur Mas’ legal representation did not respond to its requests for observations. attitude that has been taken as a withdrawal.

Mas’s lawyer, Xavier Melero, has been very surprised by the ECHR’s decision, considering that the processing of allegations given to the plaintiff by the court is not “procedurally mandatory” as he understood that his allegations were the complaint itself and has clarified in statements to La Vanguardia that he has never proposed a withdrawal from it. “I don’t understand what they have done,” admitted Melero, who has announced that he is going to study the situation. However, he believes that there is very little chance that any type of resource can prosper.

The magistrates explain that Mas’s complaint was communicated to the Spanish Government, which in turn presented observations on its admissibility and merits. These observations were transmitted to the plaintiff on October 9 when he was invited to present his observations no later than November 20.

In the absence of the required observations and after verifying that no extension had been requested, the ECHR Secretary sent a new letter to Mas and gave him a new deadline to present observations until February 12, 2024. At that time, the judges, the applicant’s attention was drawn to the fact that the Court, under Article 37 of the European Convention on Human Rights, may annul an application from its list of cases when “the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the applicant does not have intention to continue with the application.” No response was received either.

For all these reasons, the judges have decided that it is no longer justified to continue examining the application and that the ECtHR must remove it from its list of cases.

In his lawsuit, Mas questioned whether his sentence met “the requirement of clarity and predictability” contained in Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which establishes that no one may be convicted for an action that – at the time it was committed – does not constitute an infringement under national or international law.

The former Catalan president maintained in his lawsuit that the warning that the Constitutional Court gave him before November 9, 2014 “was not sufficiently precise, concrete and categorical regarding the prohibition of carrying out the consultation” and questioned whether it had a “criminal” nature. , as the ECHR recalls.

Three years later, in 2017, the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) sentenced Mas to two years of disqualification from public office for having disobeyed the warning of the Constitutional Court regarding the 9-N consultation, organized with public funds, on a possible future independence of Catalonia.

In 2018, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence imposed to one year and one month of disqualification. But, later, he took his case to the Constitutional Court, where he presented an appeal for protection that was rejected. Thus, the former president exhausted all national avenues, which allowed him to bring the matter before an international court such as the ECtHR.