May 17, 2022 6:58 am

The dissenting members with the setback to the Housing Law accuse the majority of having overstepped the limits




Five of the six members of the General Council of the Judiciary who voted yesterday against the report that knocks down the Government’s housing bill consider that the majority has been extra-military in their functions and has incurred in a “forced and unconstructive interference” in aspects of the articles, “with exaggeratedly critical a priori and judgments of intentions inappropriate for the reporting institutional function«. This is stated by the former socialist deputy Álvaro Cuesta and the members Pilar Sepúlveda, Clara Martínez de Careaga, Rafael Mozo and Concepción Sáez in the dissenting opinion of the report approved by the majority, which sees in the draft, among other issues, an »expropriation« of regional powers by the Executive. The other dissenting member, Mar Cabrejas, has not signed this particular vote.

In his text, which, without a doubt, represents support for the Executive in its intention to go ahead with the reform, The five members denounce that the report “incurs in an excess of the traditional content of the reports of this CGPJ on different Draft Laws, and of what should be the reporting function contained in article 561 of the LOPJ, within the due and loyal collaboration of constitutional powers. They consider that their fifteen colleagues have operated as a “third legislative chamber”, when that should not be its function.

These members disagree that the Government’s text invades regional powers, the axis around which the majority’s argument revolved. “From the perspective of constitutional law (…) the previously projected norm constitutes an adequate normative instrument for the consecration of said right and to provide it with a content that can be enforced,” they point out in the vote. The fact that the autonomous communities can assume competences in Territorial Planning, Urbanism and Housing, as established in article 148 of the Magna Carta, «it does not leave them shielded before the State, which also has its obligations in relation to article 47 of the Constitution (…). There is no constitutional shield for the autonomous communities in terms of housing, likely to prevent the recognition of the powers of the State on the basic conditions that guarantee the equality of all Spaniards in the exercise of their constitutional rights and on the general coordination of the economic planning of the so-called housing subsector«.

market unit

To this is added, in addition, that the dispersed, although to a certain extent homogeneous, regional legislation on housing, “although it responds to a regulatory diversity consubstantial to the regional State, does not sufficiently guarantee the principle of market unity and the uniqueness of the general economic order«, and at the same time, the basic equality of all Spaniards in the exercise of constitutional rights.

In his opinion, “Deserve a favorable reception” measures to contain housing rental prices, as well as those for intervention in the residential rental market in relation to the essential content of the right to home ownership. “The draft adopts a regulation that does not make the right unrecognizable or deny the economic utility of the property, not entailing disproportionate and excessive burdens, and therefore moves within the control parameters established by the Constitutional Court and the ECHR that They require a fair balance and a reasonable relationship between the means employed and the end pursued.

In line with Cuesta’s initial speech, which was rejected by the majority on January 14, the members acknowledge that the Government’s text “suffers from a certain vagueness and imprecision” in some respects. It is missing, for example, when defining certain concepts, such as substandard housing, decent and adequate housing or when establishing the duties of the citizen in relation to the actions of conservation, repair, or improvement of housing.

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