Events, Awards and Grants

The Generalitat awards the 2023 Justice Prize to the former president of the Catalunya Europa Foundation, Josep Maria Vallès

The Government of the Generalitat has agreed to distinguish Josep Maria Vallès with the Justice Prize 2023, the highest distinction awarded by the Generalitat of Catalonia in this area, in recognition of its "primary role in the integral planning and the impulse in the construction of judicial and penitentiary equipment, providing a substantive modernization of the infrastructure of administration of justice and the penal execution of the country".

Josep Maria Vallès was Minister of Justice of the Generalitat of Catalonia (2003-2006) during the mandate of President Pasqual Maragall, pastor of the UAB (1990-1994), deputy in the Catalan Parliament (1999-2003) and until last year he was president of the Catalunya Europa Foundation (2020-2022), where he is currently a member of the Board and the Executive Committee of the foundation. In addition, he was the first director of the School of Public Administration of Catalonia (1979-1980) and president of the Catalan Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IVALUA) (2008-2013).

The award will be presented by the President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and the Minister of Justice, Rights and Memory, Gemma Ubasart, in an institutional event that will take place on November 16 and where thirteen people will be distinguished, collectives and entities for their contribution to the improvement of justice in Catalonia.

The decisive contribution of Josep Maria Vallès

As head of Justice, Vallès promoted the drafting of the Green Paper on the Administration of Justice, a compilation of challenges and reflections that have guided the work of government until today in the field of justice. This document represents the introduction of a strategic perspective in the definition of the Department’s public policies, as well as methods of monitoring and evaluating them.

The contribution of Josep Maria Vallès also covers the field of juvenile justice, the foundations of the deployment of the judicial office, the progress in the codification of Catalan civil law and the strengthening of rehabilitation policies that, Still today, they establish the basis of the main lines of action of the conselleria. It also had an important role in the new regulation and management of professional collectives and foundations.

Josep Maria Vallès is a retired professor at the UAB, where he was the first dean of the faculty of political science and sociology (1985-1990) and pioneered academic research from a multidisciplinary field of social and legal sciences on the justice system and administration.

As the head of the Justice Department, Josep Maria Vallès laid the foundations for the creation of the five new prisons in Catalonia: Brians 2 (2007), Lledoners (2008), the Youth Penitentiary (2008), Puig de las Balsas (2014) and Mas de Enric (2016). The process of construction of equipment was accompanied by an innovative framework of dialogue and negotiation with the local world, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Citizen Participation.

During his mandate, he promoted the planning for the construction and renovation of 26 new judicial buildings throughout Catalonia, with the aim of facing a future with adequate and modern judicial facilities, and to introduce criteria of uniformity in the provision of service to the citizen.

His commitment to promoting the Green Paper on justice provided an overview of the situation of the administration of justice in the country, in order to establish priorities in this area. The text includes 102 recommendations aimed at improving the system on issues related to financing, personnel, infrastructure and digitization, in order to advance the effectiveness, performance and quality of the administration of justice in Catalonia. The work was the result of a collaboration with professionals and social, economic and citizen agents.