The TC ruling hits the Government and leaves more than 1 million fines ‘in albis’

The sentence of constitutional Court against the state of alarm that was decreed in the confinement by the Covid almost a year and a half ago is a hard blow for the Government for using the wrong legislative route to leave people at home and, in addition, leaves in the air the payment of nearly a million fines of which were imposed on those who did not comply with the rules. According to sources close to the Executive, the ruling does not contemplate any patrimonial responsibility of the State, so that all the penalties that are pending payment will not be collected, while Those already paid and without a deadline to claim their return, cannot be recovered.

From the legal point of view, the lack of patrimonial effects of the Constitutional ruling on the alarm means that claims for damages that could be established now are rendered ineffective. That is, all those affected by the government’s measures in their businesses or whose income fell due to not being able to work, cannot rely on this ruling to hold the State accountable now. The fines and sanctions imposed can only be claimed in those cases in which they have not been ratified by a final judgment or the legal term to do so has expired, which are a very small part of the 1.3 million fines that are estimated to be they were imposed then. The lack of complete data from the Government delegations in the autonomous communities and in the Ministry of Territorial Policy does not allow an exact number of sanctions to be established, but sources close to that environment warn that up to a million sanctions may remain ‘in albis’.

From the police field they recall that most of the sanction proposals that were produced did not materialize after the resources that were received, except for serious or very serious cases, so that the penalties that remain to be paid are very few. Even so, the average sanction that was imposed was around 600 euros, so that the amount that the Executive stops entering for this measure is not a considerable amount for the public coffers either.

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Most of the sanctions imposed by the State Security Forces during confinement focused on the “disobedience” shown by citizens before the prohibition to go out except for justified cases, and the roadblocks and perimeter closures that were established in the hardest moments of confinement (March, April and May 2020), although in most cases, those who admitted the error and they rectified their attitude in a peaceful way, no sanction was imposed on them, recall some of the agents who worked those days in the street. Another thing is the subsequent sanctions that have been imposed for holding illegal meetings or ‘bottles’, out of the state of alarm, which are still in force because they are illegal.

Sentence at the end of the month

As is customary in this type of Constitutional rulings, the announcement of the decision on Wednesday will be followed by, in about ten or twelve days, the publication of the full sentence, in which the magistrates will have to explain the decision, which has been taken in a very tight way (six votes compared to five), so it is expected that several dissenting votes will be published by the jurists who do not agree with the position winner.

If we follow in the wake of the legal reasoning of similar rulings of the High Court on rules contrary to the Magna Carta but without patrimonial significance for the Administration (tax amnesty, joint taxation in personal income tax …), we can hope that the explanation goes through understand as valid the measures adopted to stop the pandemic, because they are necessary at that critical moment, although they were established by the wrong method of the alarm state, which must have been a state of exception.

The main difference between one degree and another of the legal emergency situations contained in the legal system (alarm, exception and siege) lies in the capacity to limit fundamental rights, on the one hand, and in the need to obtain the prior approval of Congress. of the Deputies to apply the exception, on the other. To impose the state of alarm for fifteen days, only the decision of the Council of Ministers is necessary without going through Parliament. That obligation to have parliamentary approval would have forced to Sánchez and his team to give many more explanations of those that were offered in their day and, what is more complicated, to have a sufficient majority in the Hemicycle to establish it, legal sources explain.

Faced with all the doubts that have now arisen about the limitations of fundamental rights in the state of alarm, the new Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has warned that “the Government respects, but does not share” the decision of the TC, understanding that this first confinement, which was extended up to six times, saved “hundreds of thousands of lives” and was taken with the support of studies that defended Its utility.

Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by

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