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Formal Procedures of Self-determination Right


Proposal of Constitutional Amendment

Extension of Title I, Chapter II
Modification of Preliminary Title
Actual mechanisms of constitutional amendment in Spain



This document proposes the amendments required by present spanish Constitution to manage democratically the self-determination right according following criteria. Although the proposal is oriented to spanish realities, it is useful in another contexts too:

The individual nature of the self-determination right and its initiative is not a frequent approach. It is opposed to usual strategies of nationalisms without state (for instance, see the non-legislative proposal of Vasque Legislative House, 15/Feb/90).

This constitutional amendment states as formal procedure the sequence of following political events submited to sovereign and direct decision of people:

Its normative development within present spanish Constitution requires the modification of the Preliminary Title and the extension of the Title I, Chapter II.

This proposal is inspired radically by principles of democracy and freedom. It is intended to replace the circular nationalist debate, denoting following political attitudes of unacceptable intolerance:

The document encloses other reference documents about the self-determination right.

Proposal of Constitutional Reform

Spanish Constitution. Enlargement of Title I, Chapter II (Rights and freedoms), Section 1 (On fundamental rights and public freedoms).

Article 1.- The self-determination right is an individual right that is collectively exercised. It expresses collective will on the State: its geographical boundaries and constitutional structure. It is an untransferable individual right and cannot be delegated to any representative institution. Its collective exercise has not got any restriction, without historical, religious, ethnic, linguistic foundation, or another kind either.

Article 2.- Initiative concerns to Assemblies of Autonomous Communities, grouping of municipalities or popular initiative. Popular initiative will have to be supported by at least 7% of electoral body of geographical territory under self-determination. Never initiative will be exercised by national or international institutions.

Article 3.- Initiative will contain a detailed description of municipal territories under self-determination. If initiative is due to the Assembly of an Autonomous Community will include exclusively every its municipalities. In case of popular initiative, in every town there have to be at least 5% of signs of its electoral body, else the municipality will be excluded from initiative.

Article 4.- For ten years a new initiative cannot be submitted if it includes at least 60% of people who reject, in any stages, a former initiative.

Article 5.- Initiative will be submited before Constitutional Court, which is concerned for vouching signs and constitutional ratification of initiative complies with articles 2, 3 and 4. It will have two months, or six months if vouching of signs is required, after this term initiative will be understood automatically ratified.

Article 6.- It is for Government calling and execution, in municipalities described within initiative, of referendum on beginning of a constituent process which will be managed by the Assembly of Municipalities. It will have two months since initiative have been constitutionally ratified, after this term Assembly of Municipalities will be understood automatically constituted without referendum.

Article 7.- Assembly of Municipalities will be constituted if initiative is ratified on referendum at least by 50% of voters. Assembly of Municipalities will be composed by majors of municipalities where initiative have been accepted, conforming the new geographical limits of the initiative.

Article 8.- Call and execution of elections of an Constituent Assembly is for the Assembly of Municipalities, composed by 80 deputies, elected by means of the electoral system of Single Transferable Vote.

Article 9.- It is responsibility of the Constituent Assembly writting of the constitution of the hypothetical new state, having not any another function or authority. In order to guarantee rights of minorities, writting of the constitution will have to include literally the present articles regulating the right of self-determination.

Article 10.- The constitutional text will be submited, not before a year since election of the Constituent Assembly, to the Assembly of Municipalities.

Article 11.- Call and execution of a second referendum is for the Assembly of Municipalities on creation of the new state equipped with the written constitution. The new state will be constituted if referendum is supported by at least 50% of voters.

Spanish Constitution. Modification of Article 2 of the Preliminary Title.

Article 2.- Constitution is legitimized by dynamic of Constituent Power held by all and every one of individuals of spanish society.

Present mechanisms of constitutional amendment in Spain

Present Constitution prevent practically from being able to manage the self-determination right. Legal framework is so extremely rigid that logically it can be understood non-existent.


Following some reference documents related with self-determination right can be found:

Reference by the Governor in Council concerning certain questions relating
to the secession of Quebec from Canada. 20 August, 1998

Self-determination, a great deception, James Petras, Oct/98

Self-determination right. Territory and its inhabitants.
Julen Guimón. University of Deusto, 1995. ISBN: 84-7485-402-4

This book sets out different historical and political uses of term "self-determination right". Through book, and particularly in its last chapter 6, 7 and 8, political positions of spanish nationalism, hegemonic after Transition, are developed and supported. Basically, negation of self-determination right is argued. From this point of view it is an excellent reference of positions very far removed from concept of self-determination stated by these pages.

Proposals of Euskal Herritarrok, Nov/99. Bases and development forms to shape the vasque democracy

This proposal introduces the creation of a Constituent Assembly. In a sense quite far removed from these pages. Assembly proposed by EH is constituted as director organ of a process, which is not detailed. On the other side, from point of view of Demopunk Net is specially rejectable entitlement of self-determination right by "nation".

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