The contentious-administrative court number 15 of Barcelona has decreed that the Vic City Council violated the right to ideological freedom of Citizens by not authorizing the installation of an information tent on public roads through a resolution that the justice has annulled. The party led by Inés Arrimadas requested permission from the town hall of Vic (Barcelona) to set up an information tent on the morning of January 30, specifically on Bisbe Strauch street on the corner of Paseo de la Generalitat, but the City Council denied permission despite which is a space that is usually used for activities of this nature.
The City Council, governed by the mayor Anna Erra (JxCat), alleged to Ciudadanos that, according to the municipal ordinance, the Consistory can “authorize or deny discretion” any use of public roads. Ciudadanos took the case to court, arguing that the ban was politically motivated. In the allegations presented to the court, the municipal government argued that it did not authorize the tent because it did not want to make it easier for Ciudadanos to “proselytize” its vision of the linguistic situation in the classrooms in Catalonia.
In its ruling, the court concludes that, although the local administration has the right to authorize or deny at its discretion, it must be well motivated. “The existence of a discretionary power implies that the Administration has a certain margin of freedom, insofar as it can decide between legal indifferents, which does not mean that it can do so without motivation”, reasons the judge.
In this case, the court considers that the denial administrative act is not reasoned and “confirms the direct attack on the fundamental right of ideological freedom” of Ciudadanos, for which it annuls the contested administrative resolution and imposes on the City Council half of the costs caused by the litigation. Citizens had also denounced a violation of two other rights, that of assembly and that of equality, but the court has not upheld this part.
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