Josep Mª Castellà

“El reto de la secesión en Europa:

perspectivas desde Reino Unido y España”

Thursday 7th May 2015



About the speaker: Josep Maria Castellà Andreu, associate professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona and habilitation for full professor. PhD in Constitutional Law by the University of Barcelona, with extraordinary award and “European Doctor” mention (1996). Director of the “Group of studies on Democracy and Constitutionalism” (GEDECO). His main fields of research are democracy and political participation; and comparative federalism and Spanish decentralization. Lately he has been focusing on the legal aspects of the secession of territories in Western countries, particularly Quebec and Catalonia, publishing some papers in Spain and Italy. He has done academic stays at universities as Università di Pisa, Université de Montréal, Senshu University (Tokyo), Universidad de Chile and Boston College. Currently he is a member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe for Democracy through Law.


About the event: On the 7th of May 2015 a group of Oxford students and faculty met at Balliol College’s Massey Room for the first Madariaga Colloquium. These Colloquia are intended to provide deeper analysis of current issues and allow for a fluid discussion with the speaker in the spirit of Oxford tutorials. The guest this time was Professor Josep Maria Castellà, who shared with the group his analysis on the differences and similarities between the independence movements in Scotland and Catalonia. He first provided an overview of recent developments in both regions, then looked at the different legal approaches to separatism in the UK and Spain, and lastly, explored the issue of the right of self-determination in the contemporary world. After the talk and an extensive Q&A the group had dinner at the White Horse pub on Broad Street where the debate continued.


The Madariaga Series would like to thank Prof. Castellà for his time and insights on a very complex and topical matter. We would also like to thank Balliol College for providing the space for our first Colloquium.