Five members of the Judiciary see the housing law as "coherent" and accuse the majority of "exceeding limits"

Five of the six members of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) in office who, this Thursday, refused to sign a report critical of the Bill for the Right to Housing have signed a private vote in which they describe as "coherent and coordinated” the regulation of “the most essential aspects of housing policies” proposed by the Government and accuse the majority of the plenary session of exceeding its function with “political or economic considerations that do not correspond to it”. The text is signed by members Álvaro Cuesta, Clara Martínez de Careaga, Rafael Mozo, Concepción Sáez and Pilar Sepúlveda. They all belong to the progressive sector.

Moncloa tries to placate the differences in the coalition on Ukraine and the housing law

Moncloa tries to placate the differences in the coalition on Ukraine and the housing law

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By fifteen votes in favor and six against, the plenary session of the institution approved this Thursday an opinion that warns of the alleged invasion of regional powers and object to measures such as price intervention. A report that, according to the five dissenting members, incurs in an "excess of the traditional content of the reports of this CGPJ". In his opinion, the majority of the plenary carried out a "forced and unconstructive interference" in aspects of the draft that are "absolutely available to the legislator" and used "a priori and exaggeratedly critical judgments of intentions" that they describe as "improper ” of its institutional role.

In addition to making these considerations, the particular vote accepts the postulates of a first draft of the report prepared by the Technical Office of the CGPJ under the supervision of the progressive member Álvaro Cuesta and that, in general terms, endorsed the Government's text. that proposal was rejected two weeks ago by the same 15 members who this Thursday signed the definitively approved report.

The dissenting text not only refers to general issues, but also speaks about specific issues of the new regulation such as the limitation of the rental price in the so-called stressed areas. Thus, it defends that the regulation proposed by the Government in this regard neither makes the right to property “unrecognizable” “nor does it deny its “economic utility” and does not entail “disproportionate and excessive burdens”. And he insists that it is "within the canons contemplated by the constitutional doctrine and the ECHR."

On the contrary, the final report qualifies as "cumbersome" the article that allows capping certain rents and questions that the "patrimonial burden" of this measure does not fall on the Public Administrations, but on "private landlords" who are not "sufficiently compensated with the tax incentives” provided for in the standard. In addition, he affirms that the "regulatory complexity" of this measure can lead to "not a few judicial procedures" and criticizes that "perhaps it is not adequate" its "generalization and maintenance" when the pandemic ends.

Similar objections are made by the report to the provision that introduces improvements in the regulation of the eviction procedure in situations of vulnerability. Thus, the speakers affirm that both this measure and the one that allows limiting prices in stressed areas lack "sufficient justification" and an evaluation of the "social benefits and inconveniences that can be derived from them". The dissenting members, however, understand the bill introduces "important improvements" in the regulation of vulnerable evictions.

The particular vote, of 107 pages, also refutes the critics of the report to the supposed invasion of autonomic competitions of the text of the Executive. Thus, he recalls that "in no case" does the draft "disregard or deny the tenor" of the article of the Constitution that underlines that the autonomies "may assume powers" in matters of "territorial planning, urban planning and housing" and insists that this “it does not leave them shielded before the State, which also has its “obligations” in this matter. The majority report goes so far as to speak of "expropriation of regional regulation by the state legislator" and predicts a situation of great legal insecurity as it is difficult to determine which rule will apply when they do not agree with each other.

Despite having its mandate expired for more than three years, the CGPJ maintains among its functions the preparation of reports on bills and other provisions. Although it is mandatory, the conclusions of this opinion are not binding for the Executive, which is determined to take its text to the Council of Ministers next Tuesday without modifying any essential aspect. In this way, the parliamentary processing of a regulation to which the partners committed themselves a year ago after a tense negotiation can finally begin.

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