The Constitutionality of the Catalan Referendum and the Potential Impact of Secession on the EU

The Catalan independence process was first ushered in by the adoption of a Parliamentary resolution in January 2013, asserting the right of self-determination of the Catalan nation. Ever since, the various attempts made by the Catalan authorities towards independence have met fierce resistance from the national authorities. In 2015 and in 2017, the Constitutional Court in Madrid quashed Catalan political declarations and budgetary provisions on the grounds that they were inconsistent with the sovereignty of Spain that reckons upon a single nation and with the primacy of the Spanish Constitution.

The events of 1 October 2017 must be understood in light of the political restraints stemming from the 1978 Constitution and the settled case law of the Spanish Constitutional court. Further, the referendum will give rise to complex EU legal questions, should it lead to secession by Catalunya (Catalonia). Professor de Sadeleer will shed light on the legal issues unfolding from the referendum.

This event is co-presented by the ANU Centre for European Studies, the ANU Centre for International and Public Law, and the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Business, Government and Law.

Professor de Sadeleer is a guest of the School of Law & Justice, University of Canberra, as part of its Distinguished International Visitor Program. He is Professor of EU Institutional Law and Comparative Law and holds the Jean Monnet Chair at the University Saint Louis, Brussels. He has been guest professor at Universidade da Coruña and Universidad del País Vasco.

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Date & time

Thu 26 Oct 2017, 12am


Law Link Lecture Theatre ANU College of Law The Australian National University Building 7, 7 Fellows Road Acton ACT 2601


Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer, EU Law Professor, University Saint Louis, Brussels


ANU Centre for International and Public Law


Updated:  20 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications