Declaration of Civil Society in Spain for the recovery of Universal Jurisdiction


(Madrid) FIDH and other organisations are calling on the Government of Spain to undertake the necessary steps for the recovery of the Universal Jurisdiction of Spain.

One of the immediate effects that the recent political change produced in Spain must necessarily bring is the reversal of setbacks in terms of human rights, recovering, as much as possible, the lost ground.

The Organic Law 1/2014 brought about the complete elimination of Universal Jurisdiction in Spain, as well as any other form of extraterritorial jurisdiction, for the most grave international crimes- genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes- preventing the obtainment of minimal amounts of justice for the Spanish victims of these crimes. It led to the dramatic closure of practically all criminal cases in the National Court (Audiencia Nacional), leaving the victims of the most serious violations of human rights in a state of great legal helplessness.

It meant, in short, a before and after in the Spanish legal tradition, that despite the restrictions of the disastrous reform of 2009, had managed to keep our country in the international vanguard- as a model of reference- in the struggle against the impunity of the most serious international crimes.

With Law 1/2014, Spain took distance from the current international trend, precisely when in Europe, actions and initiatives to expand the extraterritoriality of their jurisdictions, with a view to greater cooperation between States and with the International Criminal Court (ICC). This trend was bet on a model of complementary actions, in accordance with the principles of the ICC, and other international mechanisms for the investigation and prevention of these crimes. All of this had the intention of ending the flagrant situations of impunity generated by the lack of effective prosecution by the jurisdictions of the places where the commission of these crimes occurred with more transcendence to the international community.

For this reason, the organisations and people promoting this document are demonstrating a priority on the part of the new Government of Spain, of the necessary steps for the recovery of Universal Jurisdiction in Spain, that is recognizable as such, and that returns us to- although technically improved and updated- to the original form of the regulation contained in article 23 of the Organic Law of the Judicial Power of 1985.

We are aware of the initiatives in this regard of the Ministry of Justice, which has commissioned an expert commission to draft a reform proposal with the intention to be presented to Parliament. We of course encourage the Ministry of Justice in this initiative, but at the same time from the viewpoint of a civil
society, we want to express our opinion about the key points that should inspire such reform, and which are the following:

 Universal Jurisdiction should be distinguished in a clear manner for the most grave international crimes - genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression, torture or forced displacement - from the other forms of extraterritorial jurisdiction or interstate jurisdiction for other international crimes.

 The recognized Universal Jurisdiction must be unconditional and not subjected to, be linked to, or have a connection to the Spanish territory.

 Equally, the principle of protection of Spanish victims and European citizens resident in our country who are victims of international crimes must be strengthened, in parallel with that of Universal Jurisdiction for all the victims.

 There must be a broad recognition of the legitimacy and the right to protection of victims against international crimes, in accordance with the European concept of the victim (Directive 2012/29/EU and Guide Document for the transposition of the Directive.)

 International protection of new generation rights, like all forms of modern slavery and those related to the environment, ecocide, as well as international natural spaces contained in the regulation of article 325 of the Criminal Code, in relation to the earth’s atmosphere, high seas etc.

 Likewise, the application of Universal Jurisdiction should include economic and financial crimes that, due to their size and scale, seriously affect human rights.

 Clearly, effective extraterritorial prosecution must be established in the criminal and civil law of legal persons domiciled or operating usually in Spain, whether they are parent companies of subsidiaries.

 The broadest legitimacy for the exercise of actions must be sought in criminal proceedings, not only by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but also by the victims and in the exercise of popular action.

 A specialised criminal investigation unit should be created in the prosecutor’s office, as it exists in other countries, that coordinates its activities and that of the police and that also facilitates cooperation with other States in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes.

Finally, we want, in addition to reiterating our call of attention to the Spanish Government, to extend this interpellation to the political party that supports it and the rest of the parliamentary groups in relation to the urgent need to take effective actions to recover lost ground in terms of human rights, raising this priority to the category of State Policy, over and above party interests.

Likewise, human rights policies are not to remain mere announcements, or programmatic proposals, but materialize in direct reforms and in the approval of well-structured legal projects, which are adequately debated and voted on in Parliament and that represent an advance and deepening of the Spanish democracy. All with a vision and scope that overcomes the conditioning factors of short-sighted and narrow views of international relations or those imposed by corporate interests, regardless of the general interests of our society.

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  • Co-signatories

    National Organisations

    Activat Red de abogad@s
    Asociación de Víctimas contrala Impunidad de las Desapariciones Infantiles en todo el Ámbito Nacional
    Asociación Internacional de Juristas por el Sahara Occidental (IAJUWS)
    Asociación de Hermanos, Amigos y Compañeros de José Couso
    Asociación de la Memoria Social y Democrática de España (AMESDE)
    Asociación de Mujeres de Guatemala (AMG)
    Asociación Elin
    Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional
    Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos (AEDIDH)
    Asociación Libre de Abogadas y Abogados (ALA)
    Asociación Memoria en Acción
    Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica en Catalunya (ARMHC)
    Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía
    Asociación pro Derechos Humanos de España (APDHE)
    Asociación Recuerdo y Dignidad
    Centre Iridia
    Comisión Legal Sol
    Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet (CAT)
    Comité Solidaridad Causa Árabe
    Consell de l’Advocacia Catalana
    Convocatoria Cívica
    Coordinadora para la Prevención y Denuncia de la Tortura
    Ecologistas en Acción
    Foro de abogados/as de Izquierdas (FAI-RAD)
    Fundación Abogacía Española
    Fundación Casa del Tíbet
    Fundación Internacional Baltasar Garzón (FIBGAR)
    Green Peace España
    Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Girona
    Iniciativas de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (ICID)
    Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya (IDHC)
    Instituto de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Valencia
    Juezas y Jueces para la Democracia
    Movimiento por la Paz la Libertad y el Desarme (MPDL)
    Observatori DESC
    Paz con Dignidad
    Plataforma Comisión de la Verdad de Córdoba
    Red Jurídica de Abogados
    Rights International Spain (RIS)
    Rumbo a Gaza
    Secretaría Confederal de Internacional y Cooperación de CC.OO

    International Organisations

    Ahmed Abed, International League for Human Rights Germany
    Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
    Amnistía Internacional
    Anti-Discrimination Centre "Memorial"
    Anti-Discrimination Centre "Memorial"
    Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA
    Asociación de Investigación y Especialización sobre Temas Iberoamericanos (AIETI)
    Association Marocaine des Droits Humains (AMDH)
    Bahrain Center for Human Rights
    Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
    Casa Tíbet (México)
    CDH Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas (Mexico)
    Citizen Watch (Russia)
    Civil Society Institute (Armenia)
    Civil Society Institute (Armenia)
    Colectivo Nacional Mario Bosch
    Committee on the Administration of Justice (Northern Ireland)
    Damascus Center for Human Rights in Syria
    Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
    Dutch League for Human Rights (LvRM)
    European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
    Finnish League for Human Rights
    Friends of Tibet (Finland)
    Friends of Tibet (New Zealand)
    Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete (Portugal)
    Guernica Centre for International Justice (GCC)
    Human Rights Association (IHD Turkey)
    Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgzystan" (Kyrgyzstan)
    Human Rights Movement "Bir Duino Kyrgzystan" (Kyrgyzstan)
    International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
    International Human Rights Organisation "Club des coeurs ardents" (Uzbekistan)
    International Legal Foundation (Kyrgyzstan)
    International Legal Foundation (Kyrgyzstan)
    International Society for Human Rights (ISHRI) - (Münich Section)
    International Tibet Network
    Justice for Iran
    Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Kazakhstan)
    Lao Movement for Human Rights
    League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
    Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (LDH France)
    Odhikar (Bangladesh)
    Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT)
    Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
    Public Foundation - Human Rights Centre "Kylym Shamy" (Kyrgyzstan)Save Tibet Austria
    Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights
    The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales
    Tibet Initiative Germany
    Tibet Justice Centre
    Tíbet Mx Querétaro (México)
    Trial International
    UDEFEGUA (Guatemala)
    US-Tibet Committee

    Individual Signatures

    Adam Koziel (Tibet Desk, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights)
    Aina Vidal Sáez (diputada)
    Alan Cantos (oceanógrafo )
    Albert Mora Castro (Profesor del Departamento de Sociología y Antropología Social, Universitat de València)
    Alfonso de Bustos Donate (México)
    Alfredo Liñan (Profesor de Derecho Penal, Univesidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Alison Reynolds (Director of International Tibet Network)
    Ana Messuti (abogada y Doctora en Derecho por la Universidad de Salamanca)
    Ana Pérez Cepeda (Catedrática de Derecho penal de la Universidad de Salamanca)
    Andrés Zaragoza (analista de Derechos Humanos)
    Ángel López - Soto (fotógrafo y periodista)
    Antoni Pigrau Solé (Catedrático Derecho Internacional, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona)
    Antonio Cuerda Riezu (Catedrático de Derecho Penal, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos)
    Antonio López Pina (Catedrático de Derecho constitucional, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Antonio Segura (abogado)
    Augusto Klappenbach Minotti (Catedrático de Filosofía jubilado)
    Bartolomé Clavero (Profesor Emérito Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Sevilla)
    Benet Salellas i Vilar (abogado)
    Carlos Iglesias (abogado)
    Carlos Jimenez Villarejo (fiscal anticorrupción)
    Carmen Márquez Carrasco (Catedrática de Derecho Internacional Público y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad de Sevilla)
    Carmen Pérez González (Profesora Titular de Derecho Internacional Público y RRII, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Carol Brighton (Profesora. San Francisco Bay Area Friends of Tibet)
    Cinta Krahe (Profesora de posgrado, Universidad de Alcalá)
    Cristina Almeida (abogada)
    Dalila Seoane (Profesora de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derecho Penal Internacional, Universidad de Buenos Aires)
    Dan Haig (Jefe de Operaciones InteLex Corp, EEUU)
    David Bondia Garcia (Profesor titular de Derecho internacional público y RRRII, Universidad de Barcelona)
    David Couso (Portavoz Asociación de Hermanos, Amigos y Compañeros de José Couso)
    Dessislav Valkanov (Lecturer, Friends of Tibet, Bulgaria)
    Doctor en Derecho (Abogado y Profesor asociado Universidad de Vigo)
    Dorothy Estrada Tanck (Profesora de Derecho Internacional Público y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad de Murcia)
    Elena Reviriego Durán (Abogada)
    Eliana Perinat (Pintora)
    Elizabeth Gaywood, Chairperson (The Tibet Society)
    Enrique Carnero Rojo (Abogado penal internacional)
    Enrique de Santiago (abogado)
    Enrique Olivas Cabanillas (Profesor Titular Filosofía del Derecho, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Estefania Torres Martínez (eurodiputada)
    Estefanía Torres Martínez (eurodiputada)
    Faustino Rodríguez (Magistrado)
    Fran Rojas Morales (Educador social)
    Francisco de la Fuente Cardona (doctorando en Derecho Penal por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Francisco Javier Zamora Cabot (Catedrático Derecho Internacional, Universidad Jaume I Castellón)Francisco Jiménez García (Catedrático Derecho Internacional Público y Relaciones Internacionales)
    Gerardo Olivares (director de cine)
    Gonzalo Boye (abogado)
    Gustavo García Fong ( Profesor en la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Sociales y de Humanidades, Universidad Rafael Landívar)
    Héctor Faúndez Ledesma (Catedrátido de Derecho Internacional Público y de Derechos Humanos)
    Hernando Valencia Villa (Profesor retirado de Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos)
    Isabel Elbal (abogada)
    Itziar Ruiz-Giménez Arrieta (profesora de Relaciones Internacionales y experta DDHH, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
    Jaime Ruiz (Presidente AMESDE)
    Jan Andersson (Prof. Dr. Jan Andersson, Universidad de Münster, Alemania)
    Jaques Arnal (defensor del Tíbet)
    Jaume Moya (diputado)
    Javier de Lucas (Catedrático de Filosofía del Derecho y Filosofía política, Universitat de València)
    Javier Moro (escritor y periodista)
    Joaquín González Ibáñez (Profesor de Derecho Internacional Público y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio)
    José Alberto del Rivero (Mexico)
    José Antonio Perea Unceta (Profesor de Derecho Internacional Público, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    José Antonio Rodríguez Sáez (Magistrado)
    José Elias Esteve (Secretario Instituto Derechos Humanos y Profesor Derecho Internacional, Universitat de València)
    José Luis Galán (abogado)
    José Revert (abogado)
    Joserramon Bengoetxea Caballero (Profesor de Teoría Jurídica, Sociología y Filosofía del Derecho, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea)
    Juan Jose del Aguila Torres (magistrado e investigador)
    Juan Manuel de Faramiñán Gilbert (Catedrático emérito de la Universidad de Jaén)
    Kate Saunders (Directora de Comunicaciones, International Campaign for Tibet. Testigo caso Tibet)
    Laura García Martín (Investigadora postdoctoral y profesora asistente - Universidad de Sevilla y Universidad de Amberes)
    Leticia Jericó Ojer (Profesora de Derecho Penal, Universidad Pública de Navarra)
    Lola Sánchez Caldentey (eurodiputada)
    Luis Acebal Monfort (licenciado en Filosofía, en Teología, y en Ciencias de la Información)
    Manuel Sánchez Moreno (Doctor Internacional en Ciencias Jurídicas, Universidad Carlos III)
    Marcos Martíns López (abogado)
    Margalida Capellà i Roig (Profesora de derecho internacional público Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Margarita Martínez Escamilla (Catedrática Derecho penal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Maria Chiara Marullo (Profesora Derecho Internacional, Universidad Jaume I Castellón)
    María Gutiérrez (Profesora de Derecho Penal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Mercedes Melon Ballesteros (abogada)
    Miguel A. Ramiro Avilés (Profesor Titular de Filosofía del Derecho, Uniersidad de Alcalá)
    Miguel Ángel Martín López (Profesor Titular Derecho Internacional Público, Universidad de Sevilla)
    Miguel Urban Crespo (eurodiputado)
    Neil (Trustee, Lamrim Buddhist Center)
    Neil Steedman (Tibet Support Group, Ireland)
    Ngodup Dorjee (Representative, Office of Tibet)
    Norma Morales Uriostegui (abogada)
    Patricia Orejudo (abogada y Profesora Titular de Derecho Internacional Privado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Pau de Vílchez Moragues (Profesor Adjunto de Derecho Internacional Público de la Universitat de les Illes Balears)Quynh Nga Vuova (U. College London and UCL Amnesty International)
    Rafael Escudero (Profesor titular de Filosofía del Derecho Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Ramiro García de Dios (magistrado)
    Robert Grima (Presidente Live Nation, España)
    Rodrigo Lledó Vásquez, (jurista y Doctor en Derecho por la Universidad Carlos III)
    Roldán Jimeno Aranguren (Profesor Titular de Historia del Derecho, Universidad Pública de Navarra)
    Rosa Ana Alija Fernández (profesora de Derecho internacional público de la Universitat de Barcelona)
    Ruth Martinón Quintero (Directora Académica del Centro de Documentación Europea de la Universidad de La Laguna)
    Sebastián Arabia (director de cine)
    Tania González Peñas (eurodiputada)
    Thubten Wangchen (acusación particular y víctima tibetana)
    Tom Kucharz (investigador y activista)
    Vidal Martín (abogado)
    William B. Kerr (M.D. , Independent Human Rights Investigator. Testigo Caso Tibet)
    Xabier Benito Ziluaga (eurodiputado)
    Xosé Manuel Pacho Blanco (Doctor en Derecho, Abogado y Profesor asociado Universidad de Vigo)

  • Member organisations - Spain
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