Why the defense of Juan Carlos I did not provide an official opinion on his status in London

  • The Ministry of Justice confirms to this newspaper that there was no request on the matter

One of the most suggestive intricacies of the hearings on Monday, December 6 and 7, at the High Court of Justice of England and Wales on the sovereign immunity and jurisdiction that it alleges Juan Carlos I in front of the civil lawsuit of his ex-lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein for harassment, unlawful pursuit and defamation is as follows: Why is your lawyer Daniel Bethlehem, hired by the law firm Clifford Chance, refrained from providing an official opinion from Spain on the status of the king emeritus to the court?

In the first session, on Monday the 6th, when the lawyer explained that Juan Carlos I was part of the family and the house (‘household’) of his son, the king Felipe VI, Judge Matthew Nicklin interrupted him. So much emphasis from the lawyer made him feel “uncomfortable.” And he explained why: “I would be calmer if the Spanish State said that. It is not up to me to say it.” And he suggested that clarification could be requested through diplomatic channels. It didn’t seem like a brilliant idea to Bethlehem. Not much less. “The states are very reluctant to get involved in these cases, due to the conclusions that could be derived.”

Los ‘skeletons’

The judge’s intervention was not improvised. Because in the English civil and criminal procedure everything is previously black on white in the so-called ‘skeletons’, the extensive arguments that the parties share among themselves, and to which the judge has access.

The only point agreed between plaintiff and defendant for the hearing on November 26 was to argue on an essential preliminary question that decides the departure. According to the defense brief of Juan Carlos I, was “if Your Majesty, high member of the Family and the Royal House of Spain, is immune from the jurisdiction of the English courts. “

Note that the emeritus is already defined as a member of the Royal House of Spain. In their preliminary exchange, the plaintiff’s lawyers already noted that the English law of state immunity (State Immunity Act) requires the presentation of a certificate from the Secretary of state where it is conclusively established on the person or persons who should be considered head of state.

No proof

“No evidence has been provided by, or on behalf of, the king Felipe VI, about what Juan Carlos I is a member of your household or that Spain asserts immunity despite the fact that this issue was specifically raised in the lawyer’s report Robin Rathmell [de la defensa de Corinna] and it was not answered in the report of Jeremy Paul Kosky, partner of Clifford Chance, acting on behalf of Juan Carlos I. The only inference is that Spain does not claim that the defendant enjoys immunity “.

The defense of Juan Carlos I provides a lawyer’s report Bernardo del Rosal stating that “his abdication has created an unprecedented new position,” adding that it confers on him legal coverage and status in “in a much deeper and more transcendental sense.” Del Rosal worked as head of the economic criminal department of Clifford Chance between 2012 and 2016 and was an external consultant for the firm between January and September 2017.

Counterproductive document

Why provide this report and not a clarification of the House of His Majesty the King or from the Spanish Government as Judge Nicklin has suggested? THE NEWSPAPER has posed the question to Ministry of Justice. Has there been any consultation, management, direct or indirect, by the defense of Juan Carlos I, about the status of the emeritus king in Spain? This Thursday, a spokesman said: “No request on this issue has been received by the Ministry of Justice.”

Related news

The only reason why the defense has decided not to request an official clarification from Spain for the London hearing – as was suggested by Judge Nicklin – is because it would hardly help them to strengthen their arguments.

As Corinna’s defense has responded, “the suggestion that Spanish law determines the issue of membership in the House of Felipe VI to enjoy immunity is wrong. I would be suggesting that any state with thousands of members of the royal family could be treated in internal law as part of the house of the head of state and, therefore, enjoy state immunity, which is totally wrong & rdquor ;.


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