Sujit Choudhry’s Open Letter Addressing the Standoff between Spain and Catalonia

International experts on politics and comparative constitutional law including Sujit Choudhry have penned an open letter in light of the current standoff between Spain and Catalan. Apparently, the Catalonian people are seeking autonomy, and to this end, they are in favor of seceding from Spain. However, Spain seems to be opposed to the secession talks. In their letter, Choudhry, Asanga Welikala, Zoran Oklopcic, and Robert Howse applied the international law perspective to the current situation between Spain and Catalonia.

The letter seemed to point the finger at the Spanish government headed by Prime Minister Rajoy for undermining the rights of the Catalonian people. In the letter, the experts suggest that Spain should desist from undermining the efforts of the Catalonian people to express their needs. Meanwhile, they encourage President Puigdemont to demonstrate his commitment to the secession talk by arranging for a referendum in which all the Catalonians will have a chance of expressing their desires as opposed to leaving a few individuals to speak for them. The view of Sujit Choudhry and his peers is that the two warring sides should come to a constitutional settlement.

Choudhry’s letter somewhat praises President Puigdemont for his decision to postpone the declaration of independence by Catalonia; the president arrived at the decision to allow for talks between Catalonia and Spain. However, the letter advises Puigdemont to soften his stance on the secession topic and let the people speak through a referendum.  To read more about his views on politically related issues, click on

The open letter castigates Prime Minister Rajoy. According to the authors of the letter, Rajoy should deal with Catalonian people constitutionally as opposed to employing a heavy-handed approach. Rajoy should publically state his position on the outcome of a referendum; whether he will accept the result or shy away from it. The letter emphasizes that Rajoy should refrain from handing the disagreements in a repressive manner.  Additional reading on

Relevant article to read on

Sujit Choudhry is the founding director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions. He is also the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California.  Check on this for a related article.

Over the years, Choudhry has carved a niche as an authoritative figure on matters comparative constitutional law.

Keep up-to-date with his tweets, follow him here