Spanish Citizens’ Security law: There is still some hope

By EDRi · April 8, 2015

Despite considerable global criticism, the Spanish Citizens’ Security law was passed on 26 March 2015, together with the reforms of the Criminal Code, which include punishment of badly-defined “terrorist crimes” online. The Citizens’ Security law was greatly opposed by political parties, but that was not enough against the majority in the Parliament of the Popular Party in Spain.

The EDRi-gram previously reported on the Spanish Citizens’ Security law and gave examples of the dangers that it presents to fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. These include threats to data protection, privacy rights, freedom of expression, the right to information or the presumption of innocence. Yet, the Spanish government ignored the warnings of citizens, civil society, United Nations (UN) experts and Spanish and European members of the Parliament, among others.

The Citizens’ Security law is supposed to enter into force on 1 July 2015. However, the law may still be challenged at both national and EU level.

On the one hand, the Spanish socialists, the biggest opposition party in Spain, took the decision to challenge the law before the Spanish Constitutional Court. The appeal is likely to be open for contributions from other parliamentary groups and organisations. On the other hand, it is reliably reported that the European Commission is analysing the Spanish law in view of the concerns raised by civil society and the parliamentary questions received by some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

EDRi-gram: Spanish Citizens’ Security Bill: Many restrictions, few freedoms (28.01.2015)

EDRi-gram: Spain: Why you should care about the Citizens’ Security Bill (30.07.2014)

Publication of the Criminal code reforms and the new Organic Law on the Protection of Citizens’ Security (in Spanish only, 31.03.2015)

Spain Accused of Bullying Protesters With New “Gagging Law” (27.03.2015)

“Two legal reform projects undermine the rights of assembly and expression in Spain” – UN experts (23.03.2015)

(Contribution by Maryant Fernández Pérez, EDRi)