New Populisms and Constitutional Review: Recovering The Lost Legitimacy

Constitutional Justice is currently held by an aggravate counter-majoritarian difficulty supported by the new populisms. In Spain, the Constitutional Court’s legitimacy was eroded at the same time that the Catalan crisis became deeply embedded. What is more, citizens have witnessed how their access to the Court’s protection was reduced due to the establishment of hardened requirements after the reform of the individual writ for protection of fundamental rights. The consequence is a Court very cut off from the citizenship, feeding the counter-majoritarian criticism in a deeply complex legal and political context. We need to analyse whether the procedural law reforms implemented in the last decade have strengthened or weaken the Court in this context, or have been even indifferent to the drift, which is justified by a global political reality. Finally, depending on the answer we get, we should evaluate the convenience of correcting some of these reforms to recover the lost legitimacy.

The Constitutionalization of European Economic Policy and the Dismantling of the Welfare State. Guidelines for Change in Spain

The institute of constitutional amendment guarantees the legal superiority of the founding pact, conciliates the principles of democracy and constitutional supremacy, and fosters the balance between stability and change. Nowadays, this change is inescapable. However, in the face of well-articulated and sufficiently well-founded proposals relating to the gender equality, the distribution of powers between the State and Autonomous Communities, or the recovery of public confidence in democratic institutions (among others), the impulses to contain the perverse effects of globalization on our constitutional economic model, they seem timid and insufficient. Especially regarding the impact of the constitutionalization of the principle of budgetary stability on the protection of social rights. This paper aims to highlight the need to erect walls of constitutional containment against unbridled neoliberal capitalism, formulating reform proposals.

Public Administration collection and storage of massive data and the advanced provision of social services

In order to perform their legal obligations, public authorities collect, gather and process huge amounts of personal data. Until the digital revolution public authorities provided services on an individual basis. The increasing complexity of the social services and benefits available to citizens has made the knowledge about the benefits available and their access increasingly difficult to the citizenry, but this is particularly so for the most vulnerable and/or needed. Public administrations have data available to better identify potential beneficiaries of their services, track the appropriateness of the benefits granted to them and improve access and efficiency of those services. Some pilot innovative projects are trying to undertake these challenge and use extensive use of data mining and try to reverse the whole process by reaching citizens to offer them the services they would be entitled to. This paper will explore these pilot projects and the risks and challenges they are facing.

The digitalization of the public sphere and its impact on political fundamental rights

Digitalization and artificial intelligence are causing great changes in the relationship between public authorities and citizens. In fact, in some areas, the scope and exercise of fundamental rights are being directly affected by the new capabilities that digitization enables public authorities and other actors in the public sphere. In Spain, there have been two paradigmatic cases in recent months. Firstly, the approval of an electoral law reform regulating the use of technological means and personal data in electoral activities and, specifically, the possibility for political parties to collect personal data relating to people's political opinions. Secondly, the so-called Digital Decree, which recognises the possibility of the General State Administration of directly managing or intervening in electronic communications networks and services in certain exceptional cases that may affect public order, public security and national security.