She signed opinions when she was vice-president of the Council of Statutory Guarantees of the Generalitat of Catalonia
MADRID, Jan. 17 (.) –
The magistrate of the Constitutional Court (TC) Laura Díez –proposed by the Government and in charge of the presentation on the Catalan law that eliminates 25% of Spanish in the classrooms after the appeal of unconstitutionality of PP and Cs– signed opinions of the Council of Statutory Guarantees of Catalonia, in her capacity as vice-president, in favor of not imposing said percentage of Spanish in the classrooms of the autonomous community.
As recorded on the website of the Generalitat’s Council of Statutory Guarantees, Díez signed opinion 3/2022, on the proposed law on the use and learning of official languages for non-university education; and Opinion 4/2022, on Decree-Law 6/2022 in which it establishes the criteria for the elaboration of the linguistic projects of the educational centers.
Now, as reported by the Constitutional Court, Díez will be responsible for drafting the presentation on the appeals presented by the deputies of the PP and Citizens against the Decree-law of Catalonia 6/2022, which sets the criteria for the preparation of the linguistic projects of the educational centers, and against the law of Catalonia 8/2022, on the use and learning of the official languages in non-university education.
This presentation, which was in the hands of the outgoing magistrate Antonio Narváez, has fallen to Díez after the president of the court, magistrate Cándido Conde-Pumpido, distributed this Tuesday the presentations that were in charge of the magistrates who left the Constitutional Court last January 9 after the partial renovation of the organ.
It was on June 7, 2022 when Díez, as vice-president of the Council of Statutory Guarantees of the Generalitat, signed opinion 3/2022, in which it is concluded –unanimously– that the law on the use and learning of the official languages in non-university education “does not violate” the Constitution or the Statute, nor with regard to the omission of declaring Spanish as the vehicular language or the curricular and educational use of Catalan and Spanish without establishing percentages.
Opinion 3/2022 maintained that the requirement to establish a minimum percentage of 25% of Spanish as the language of use in non-university education, set by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia in 2020, was not a “parameter of constitutionality or of statutory nature” that binds the legislator and, therefore, obliges him to “respect it”.
CATALAN AS THE “CENTER” OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
In the text it was highlighted that the Constitutional Court -of which Díez is now a part- “explicitly” had not considered unconstitutional a law that does not contain the express declaration of Castilian as the vehicular language.
The opinion also insisted that the guarantee body had ensured that omitting the mention of Spanish as the vehicular language was not unconstitutional because it did not imply the exclusion of Spanish as the teaching language.
In turn, it was underlined that the basic state legislation on education “never”, except for the period in which the LOMCE was in force (from December 30, 2013 to January 19, 2021), had declared Spanish as vehicular language.
Regarding the fact that Spanish and Catalan are used in Catalonia without establishing percentages, the Council of Statutory Guarantees also stressed that it was endorsed by the Constitution.
The body concluded that it had been “naturally admitted” that the treatment of languages was “different in the various educational systems that exist in the autonomous communities”, which translated into “multiple linguistic models of teaching, all considered legitimate by constitutional doctrine”. In this case, the Council endorsed that Catalan be placed as the “center of gravity of the educational system”.
“The clear admission of this differentiated use of Catalan and Spanish in the education system is the foundation on which rests the declaration of constitutionality that the Constitutional Court has always made of the general model of linguistic conjunction that Catalonia has adopted from the beginning” , insisted the Council in the text.
Díez signed the opinion in which it was maintained that it was “easily verifiable” that “neither the Constitution, nor the Statute of Autonomy, nor the basic legislation of the State (…), nor the Catalan legislation, nor the Constitutional Court in the multiple occasions in which they have interpreted all these norms have at no time established the requirement of specific percentages in the distribution of the use of the official languages in education and not even another similar one”.
In this sense, the Council indicated that the linguistic treatment in non-university education on the basis of determined percentages between the official languages was a “legitimate educational policy option, although not the only possible one”.
Days later, on June 20, 2022, Díez signed -also as vice president- opinion 4/2022 of the Council of Statutory Guarantees approved unanimously in which it was concluded that the law establishing the applicable criteria to the elaboration, approval, validation and revision of the linguistic projects of the educational centers – regarding the omission of the declaration of Castilian as the vehicular language – “does not violate” neither the Constitution nor the Statute.
Within the framework of this opinion, the body stressed that the fact that the Catalan law 6/2022 only mentions Catalan as the vehicular language of education “is not unconstitutional and does not imply in any case the exclusion of the Spanish language
as a teaching language.