La Equidad refuses to blame the mediator who compared the PCE to the NSDAP because he is protected by the privilege of expression

The president of the Supreme Court of Castile and León, José Luis Concepción, during an act in Burgos in October 2020.

The president of the Supreme Court of Castile and Bravo, José Luis Concepción, during an act in Burgos in October 2020. Santi Otero (EFE)

The Common Council of Juridical Power (CGPJ) has established to catalog the two complaints filed against the president of the Supreme Court of Castilla y Bravo, the mediator José Luis Concepción, for his statements last June to a newspaper in which he compared the PCE with Nazism. The governing delegation considers that these words “are more or less appreciated and like any opinion can be considered appropriate or inappropriate”, but also that “a personal opinion on such and such a political party” is protected by the privilege of expression in under the resolution, to those who have been approached by EL PAÍS. Audacity can still be challenged in the presence of the Permanent Commission, the main decision-maker of the CGPJ.

This is the third time that controversial public statements by the president of the TSJ de Castilla y Bravo have come into the hands of the Council and gone unpunished. In 2020, after the commotion caused by a few words from Concepción during the first state of fear due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Permanent Commission had to intervene, in which it denounced the PSOE government and United We Can, assuring that this is the case of “the paralysis of a country for purposes other than the exclusion of illness from competition”. Later, the President of the Council, Carlos Lesmes, settled the incident by sending a letter to the mediator reproaching him for his remarks and reminding him that the privilege of expression of the judges has “stricter” limits. Nine months later, Concepción accused Podemos of “endangering democracy”. The CGPJ then opened an internal investigation, which concluded that these remarks were protected by the privilege of expression, the file was therefore archived without major consequences.

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The protests that provoked the two complaints now archived -one by Concepción Sáez, member of the CGPJ at the proposal of the IU, and another by the Forum of Lawyers and Defenders of the Left- were brought to the mango during a interview with Diario de Burgos in which the journalist reminded the magistrate how dusty his earlier remarks about the coalition meeting had been. “Do you still think the same thing?” asks the interviewer. What Concepción claims: “I don’t say it, the story says it. Communism has claimed the lives of more than 110 million people in countries where it has had some influence since the Soviet revolution of 1917. […]“. The interviewer reminds him that the PCE “is a legitimate party that usually stands for election.” What the magistrate alleges: “The Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933 through the ballot box, and we must not recall the consequences of its trophy.”

In her complaint, the deputy Sáez pointed out that by assuring this, the magistrate had violated “the duty of impartiality and appearance” of the procedural power, and with it also “the public image of the procedural power itself and citizens’ confidence in their judges.]and the courts”. “. . For this reason, the deputy requested “state and disciplinary measures” against the magistrate. Without removal, in its resolution, the Council concludes that these protests did not result in the imposition of sanctions against Concepción. He argues that judges and prosecutors, although with certain limitations, “are not deprived of the constitutional right to the privilege of expression” and that statements of the president of the TSJ of Castilla y Bravo are “proven use”.

For the CGPJ, comparing the PCE to the NSDAP requires a “normal opinion on a political party” which does not constitute “an annoying and objective contempt for citizens”. The Council also recalls that previous complaints against this mediator for his public demonstrations against the Government or United We Can did not result in any disciplinary charges and were ultimately archived. For all these reasons, he files the two complaints and refuses to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the president of the TSJ de Castilla y Bravo.

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