Ana Stanic, a lawyer specialized in international conflict resolution, considers that “Catalonia should insist that this is not secession but the dissolution of the Spanish State,” in an interview to newspaper Ara.
Ms. Stanic considers that “a Spain without Catalonia will also be out of the European Union,” Stanic, daughter of one of the organizers of the Slovenian independence referendum in 1990, is the founder of E&A law firm and has worked for the most prestigious London firms.
The lawyer considers that “Catalonia should insist that this is not secession but the dissolution of the Spanish State. Catalonia is an essential part of it. If it achieves independence, Spain will no longer exist as it is conceived right now, and the states which derive from it will have to be considered as heirs of the dissolved state.”
“This is important,” she explains, “from the point of view of EU membership for Catalonia and for what would remain of Spain: either both territories stay inside the EU or both are left out.” “Spain without Catalonia would be a different country. I do not see why just Catalonia should have to apply for readmission. If this were to happen, Spain should also have to do so,” she stated.
Stanic explains that “as it is happening in Catalonia, pro-independence efforts in Slovenia were driven by the people” and politicians joined later on. There was some uncertainty until the last moment, she explains, because, despite of their win in the referendum with a 88.5% of votes, a few months before the day of the election, December 23, 1990, separatist sentiment was not majoritary.”
“In Slovenia, the amount of people in favor of this route shot up when they saw that the process was for real. There comes a time when a no return point is crossed and support for independence becomes unstoppable. I do not know if this time has arrived to Catalonia yet,” she pointed out.
She does not hesitate to position herself in favor of Catalonia’s right to self-determination: “Freedom of speech is a fundamental democratic right. There is no legal justification to oppose to it,” she says.
Finally, Stanic explains the existing a-legality, within the international framework, regarding unilateral declarations, “The position of the International Court of Justice was clear regarding Kosovo’s case, stating that nothing in the international law forbids a unilateral declaration. The international law does not legalize the right to secession, but it does not forbid this. It just ignores it. No one could then argue that international law considers it illegal,” she said.
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