The Supreme Court will decide on the legitimacy of the political parties to appeal the pardons

The announced filing of appeals by the PP and Vox against the pardons that the Government would be preparing for those convicted by the process it will foreseeably force the Supreme Court to debate a matter on which there are no jurisprudential precedents: the legitimacy of the political parties to file a contentious-administrative appeal against this measure.

This has been pointed out by sources from the high court, who point out that what is decided on this formal requirement may come to prevent the PP from fulfilling its claim regarding this matter. The possibility that Vox can appeal seems clearer, since it was part of the process that was substantiated before the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court.

In any case, according to the same sources, everything will depend on how the appeals against the pardons are presented, which in principle will correspond to the resolution of the Fifth Section of the Contentious-Administrative, made up of the magistrates Segundo Menéndez Pérez, Octavio Juan Herrero Pina, Wenceslao Olea (who is also a member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) at the request of the PP), Ángeles Huet de Sande and Fernando Romás. It is not ruled out in any case that the matter ends up transcending the Section and ends up being seen by the entire Third Chamber.

Consulted jurists insist on the absence of legal background on this matter, since pardons are usually appealed by the victims of the crime in question.

Legitimate or direct interest

In general, in the contentious-administrative order, “the holders of a right or a legitimate interest” are legitimized (article 19 of the Law of Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction). To this is added that there is no public action unless expressly recognized by law, and for this reason the Supreme Court has declared the lack of active legitimacy to file resources from political parties in many matters.

Among these matters the presentation of pardons cannot be found, so there is no jurisprudence. In addition, this Chamber is not very inclined to the legitimation of the parties, although it is a matter to be studied and the final decision would depend a lot on the reasoning presented by the party in question, the same sources point out.

Other jurists consulted add that in addition to the “legitimate interest” mentioned above, legitimation in the Contentious order is defined by the so-called “direct interest”, and at this point the debate should focus on determining whether politicians have a direct interest in the pardon of other politicians who have been convicted. The lack of background leads again to enter into unclear matter.


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