By Olga Cabrero
Update by Vanessa Casado
Vanessa Casado- Pérez is the Environmental Law and Policy Program Teaching Fellow at Stanford Law School. She graduated from Universitat Pompeu Fabra Law School (’06) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra School of Economics (‘08). She also holds LL.M. degrees from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (‘08) and University of Chicago Law School (‘09), and a JSD from NYU (’13). She speaks Catalan, Spanish, and English.
Olga Cabrero holds a law degree from the University of Barcelona School of Law where she is also currently enrolled in a History Degree Program. She completed her internships with Cornell Law Library (Ithaca, New York) in May 2000 and October 2001. She speaks Spanish, Catalan, English and French. She worked as a law librarian for several years at the legal department of some enterprises in issues involving international business and legislation research.
(Previously updated by Vanessa Casado on May/June 2011 and February 2013 )
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2.1.3 Judicial power
2.3.2 Constitutional Court
3. Legal system
3.1.1 Case Law
3.1.2 Legal Doctrine
3.2.1 Types of law
3.2.2 Legislative process
6.2 Legal publishers
The Kingdom of Spain is the largest country on the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal and the British-dependent territory Gibraltar. It is situated in the South-West of Europe and its territory also includes the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla (North Africa).
Since 1986, Spain has been a member of the European Union.
The Spanish population is about 47.021.031 people (2010).
Spain gained admission to the group of countries launching the euro in 1999. In January 1, 2002, the euro coins and bills started circulating and the former currency – peseta - ceased to exist.
Spanish is the official Spanish language but coexists with other regional languages that are official in their respective Autonomous Communities (article 3 Spanish Constitution), mainly Catalan, Basque and Galician.
The capital of the State is the city of Madrid (article 5 Spanish Constitution).
Spain is an hour ahead the GMT, except the Canary Islands which are on GMT time zone.
The Spanish Constitution (SC) was approved by the Spanish legislative chamber ( Cortes Generales ) on October 31, 1978, ratified by national referendum on December 6 and signed by the King on December 27. It entered into force on December 29 th , 1978.
The Constitution contains the basic principles of the political system and is the supreme rule of the legal system.
It has been amended twice. First, in 1992, to establish passive suffrage in the local elections for nationals from other EU countries who have their residence in Spain. Second, in 2011, to introduce a limit to public deficit for the central and regional governments according mainly to the principles set forth at the European level.
This amendment is part of the strategy proposed by the European Union to solve the effects of the global financial crisis. It has been called “the golden rule”. Only the German Constitution has similar clauses. The amendment includes budget stability principles but the actual limits will be fixed by legislation or by EU instruments.
Spain is defined in it as a social and democratic “ Rechtstaat ”. The sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people (articles 1.1 ad 1.2 SC)
The political form of the Spanish State is the Parliamentary Monarchy (article 1.3 SC). The King is the Head of State and exercises only those functions expressly attributed to him by the Constitution and the laws (article 56.1 SC).
Even though the Constitution defines Spain as unitary and indissoluble, it also recognizes and guarantees the principle of autonomy of nationalities and regions (article 2 SC).
Spain has three different levels of government (article 137 SC)
· Central government
· Autonomous Communities government
· Municipal government
The powers of each one are specified in Title VIII th SC (articles 137 to 158). Especially significant are the articles 148 and 149 referred to the distribution of powers between the State and the Autonomous Communities. The country is divided in 17 Autonomous Communities which are not listed in the Constitution and 2 Autonomous Cities (5 th Transitory section SC).
Central government has three branches:
· Legislative Power: Cortes Generales
· Executive Power: Government
· Judicial Power.
The Parliament is divided in two chambers (Article 66.1 SC): the Congress of Deputies
( Congreso de los Diputados , art. 68SC), and the Senate ( Senado, art. 69SC).SC
Congress is the chamber of popular representation and the Senate is the chamber of territorial representation. In practice, the Congress holds a superior position over the Senate.
Parliament’s functions can be described mainly as:
· Legislation: approval of laws
· Budget: authorization the revenues expenses of the State
· Oversight of Government
· Consent on international obligations
Parliament is regulated by articles 66 to 80 SC and by the own internal regulations of each Chamber:
This is the English version (it is from 2004, but it has comments with the updates).
Each chamber has its own organs:
· A President
· Board ( Mesa ) [  ]
· Bureau of Spokesmen ( Junta de Portavoces )
Both Chambers convene in Plenary sittings and in Committees (article 75.1 SC). Due to the difficulty (or impossibility) of discussing each question in a Plenary Session, the Houses may delegate to Standing Legislative Committees the approval of Government or non-governmental bills. Commissions have full legislative power in most matters: they can approve bills or proposals of acts although the Plenary Session may require debate and voting on any delegated bill or proposal of act (article 75.2 SC). As stated in art 75.3 SC, constitutional reform, international affairs, organic and basic acts, and the Budget cannot be delegated.
The Parliament elects the President of the Government.
The electoral system is partly regulated by SC:
· Articles 23, 68, 69 and 70 for Spanish Parliamentary Elections
· Article 140 for Municipal government
· Article 152 for Autonomous Communities
The electoral system is also regulated by Organic Act 5/1985, June 19, del Régimen Electoral General (LOREG), and by Royal Decree 605/1999, de 16 de abril, de regulación complementaria de los procesos electorales . [  ]
The Government is composed of the President, Vice-Presidents (one or various) –which is not a mandatory figure-, the Ministers and “other members the act may establish” (article 98.1 SC).
As stated by articles 97 SC and 1.1 Act 50/1997, the Government exercises executive authority and statutory power according to SC and the laws. The Government conducts domestic and foreign policy, civil and military administration and the defense of the State.
The relation between the Government and the Parliament is based on confidence. The Government is collectively accountable before the Congress of Deputies for its actions (article 108 SC). Congress may pass a motion of censure ( moción de censura ), regulated by article 113 SC. The Government, via the President, may also ask Congress for a vote of confidence ( cuestión de confianza ) which is regulated by article 112 SC. Article 114 SC regulates the consequences of losing the Parliamentary confidence trough a motion of censure or through a vote of confidence
Criminal responsibility of the members of the Government will be judged before the Criminal Section Supreme Court (article 102 SC, which also includes other questions related to their responsibility).
In the Spanish system, the Parliament elects the President (article 99 SC) and the President nominates the Ministers (article 100 SC). President and Ministers are formally appointed by the King.
Article 99 SC regulates President’s appointment procedure.
According to article 98.1 SC and article 2 of Act 50/1997, the President directs Government action and coordinates the functions of the rest of the members of Government (nevertheless, each Minister is competent and directly responsible in carrying out his/her duties) The President is in a preeminent position over the rest of the members of the Government.
Articles 62.9, 92.2, 112, 115.1, 162.1.a SC and article 2, Act 50/1997 also regulate the functions of the President.
Vice-President or Vice-Presidents, in case they exist, have the functions stated in article 3 of Act 50/1997 and those assigned expressly by the President. They can also be ministers of one area.
Currently there are 3 vice-presidents.
Article 100 SC regulates the appointment of the Ministers. The president nominates the ministers, who are formally appointed and dismissed by the King. The causes of dismissal are: President’s proposal, causes stated in articles 101, 112 and 113 SC, and by voluntary resignation. Ministries cannot be dismissed by Parliament.
The number of Ministries is fixed by the President in a Real Decreto . Currently, there are fifteen ministerial offices (the ministers of the three first departments are also Vice-Presidents):
· Vice Presidency, Presidency ’s minister and speaker
· Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación)
· Justice (Justícia)
· Defense (Defensa)
· Treasury (Hacienda)
· Interior (Interior)
· Public Works (Fomento)
· Education, Culture and Sports (Educación, Cultura y Deportes)
· Labor (Empleo)
· Industry, Energy and Tourism (Industria, Energía y Turismo)
· Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente)
· Economy and Competitivity (Economy and Competitivity)
· Health, Social Services and Equality (Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad)
Ministers are defined as directors of a department of the Administration (ministerial department); although there is, the possibility of having ministers who are not the directors of a ministerial department, called “ ministros sin cartera ”, and who are in charge of some governmental functions. This is an unusual figure.
Ministers have both an administrative position, as heads of a ministerial office, and a political one, as members of the Government.
Article 4, Act 50/1997 states de functions and powers of the Ministries.
Government is constituted as a collegiate organ, although its members have their own functions. Government is usually identified with the Council of Ministers.
The Council of Ministers is formed by the President, Vice-President and Ministers although other high officials ( Secretarios de Estado ) can attend if they are invited.
Articles 16 and 17 Act 50/1997, establish the rules of operation of the Government and the Council of Ministers and refers to internal dispositions for further organizational details.
Functions of the Council of Ministers are listed in article 5, Act 50/1997.
Judicial Power is regulated at Title VI SC and by Organic Act 6/1985 , July 1, 1985, of the Judicial Power (LOPJ) . (modification up to 2010)
According articles 117.1 SC and article 1 LOPJ, justice is administered only by judges and magistrates and the exercise of judicial authority in any kind of action is vested exclusively in the courts and tribunals established by act (article 117.3 SC and article 2.1. LOPJ).
Although Spain is divided into Autonomous Communities, the Judicial Power is unitary (articles 117.5, 149.1.5 SC and article 3.1 LOPJ). Autonomous Communities do not have judicial power and their courts are courts of the state.
The provision of unitary also implies that the existence of special courts, courts of exception (article 117.6 SC) and Honor courts (article 26 SC), is forbidden. Although Article 117.5 SC recognizes the existence of a military jurisdiction, its exercise is limited strictly within military framework and in cases of state of siege (martial law), alarm or exception and in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.
The judicial power is general and is extended to all the people, all the matters and all the territory (article 4 LOPJ), including the Public Administration (article 8 LOPJ). The only exception is the King who enjoys a special immunity, is inviolable and shall not be held accountable (article 56.3 SC).
Judges are independent and they are subjected only to the rule of law (article 117.1 SC). Judges are not subjected to any orders or instructions by any other power of the State or other judges (and article 1 LOPJ). They may only be dismissed, suspended, transferred or retired on the grounds provided for by the law and subject to its safeguards (article 117.2 SC).
The Judicial System is controlled by the General Council of the Judiciary ( Consejo General del Poder Judicial, CGPJ) as stated in Article 122.2 SC. LOPJ 6/1985, of July 1 (mainly articles 122 and et.seq.) regulates the Council. Following a constitutional mandate (article 122.1 SC), this Organic Act sets up operation and internal administration of courts and tribunals as well as the legal status of professional judges and magistrates. The Council is also regulated by its own internal regulation: Regulation 1/1986, of April 22, 1986, on the Organization and Operation of the General Council of the Judiciary.
The functions of the Council are listed in articles 107 to 110 LOPJ.
The CGPJ has 20 members plus the President who is the President of the Supre m e C ourt (article 111 LOPJ). The members are elected by the two legislative chambers, ten each, and appointed by the King. Twelve of its members shall be judges and magistrates of all judicial categories and eight members shall be chosen amongst lawyers and other jurists of acknowledged competence with more than fifteen years of professional practice (Article 122.3 SC and articles112 et.seq. LOPJ). The members of the Council are appointed for a five-year period and they cannot be reelected, with the exception of the President. The President is elected by the members of the CGPJ.
Judicial Power structure
Spanish territory is divided for jurisdictional purposes into (articles 30 and et.seq. LOPJ):
· Municipalities ( municipios )
· Judicial Districts ( partidos judiciales )
· Provinces ( provincias )
· Autonomous Communities ( Comunidades Autónomas )
This division coincides with the administrative division of the territory and it corresponds to the administrative demarcation with the same name. The exceptions are “Judicial districts” which are defined at article 32 LOPJ and by Act 38/1988, de demarcación y planta judicial [  ] .
When the act talks about Juzgado it means an organ with a single judge and when talks about Tribunal it is referring to a collegiate organ.
Article 26 LOPJ lists the different types of courts.
Each territorial unit has a specific type of court:
· Municipalities in which there is no First Instance and Examining Court have Courts of Peace ( Juzgados de Paz ), whose particular status and functions are defined in articles 99 et.seq. LOPJ
· Judicial districts have Civil First Instance and Examination Courts ( Juzgados de Primera Instancia e Instrucción ), Criminal Courts ( Juzgados de lo Penal ), Courts for the judicial review of administrative acts ( Juzgados de lo Contencioso-administrativo ), Labor Courts ( Juzgados de lo Social ), Juvenile Courts ( Juzgados de Menores ) and Penitentiary Courts ( Juzgados de Vigilancia penitenciaria ). Their functions are specified in articles 84 et.seq. LOPJ. Ley Orgánica 1/2004, Dec.28, de Medidas de Protección Integral contra la Violencia de Género introduced in each district a Violence against Women Court ( Juzgado de Violencia sobre la Mujer ).
Criminal Courts were created by Organic Act 7/88, December 28, (Ley Orgánica de los Juzgados de lo Penal y por la que se modifican diversos preceptos de las leyes orgánica del poder judicial y de enjuiciamiento criminal)
Juzgados de lo contencioso-administrativo were by Act, 29/1998, July 13, de la Jurisdicción contencioso-administrativa .
· Provinces have a Provincial Court ( Audiencia Provincial ) (articles 80 et.seq. LOPJ)
· Each Autonomous Community has a High Court of Justice ( Tribunal Superior de Justicia ) (article 152.1 2nd paragraph SC and articles 70 et.seq. LOPJ)
Two courts have jurisdiction over the whole territory :
· Supreme Court ( Tribunal Supremo ), (article 123 SC and articles 53 et.seq. LOPJ)
· Audiencia Nacional (articles 62 -69 LOPJ). It has power over criminal, administrative and labor cases. Criminal cases include attacks to the Crown or the government, drug trafficking, falsification of coins or bills, etc. Cases started in a foreign country or foreign judicial decisions that need to be executed in Spain are also attributed to the Criminal section of the Audiencia Nacional. Administrative cases include mainly terrorism financing and actions against acts of the high officials of the central government. Labor cases regarding collective conflict or regarding collective agreements that affect more than one autonomous community are held before the Audiencia Nacional.
Chapter V LOPJ also recognizes the existence of:
- Juzgados Centrales de Instrucción (article 88 LOPJ)
- Juzgado Central de lo Penal (article 89 bis.3 LOPJ), created by Organic Act 7/1988.
Juzgados Centrales de lo Contencioso-administrativo were created by Act 29/1998.
Spanish courts are also organized hierarchically. There is a system of appeals against the decisions of lower courts to higher courts and, when certain conditions are met, to the Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial body in all branches of justice except concerning constitutional guarantees (article 123.1 SC)
According to the subject of the matter, Spanish courts are organized in four categories (article 9 LOPJ):
· Civil, for civil or commercial issues
· Criminal, for violations of the criminal code
· Social, for social security and employment contracts controversies
· Administrative, for claims against acts of the public administration.
The Fifth Chamber ( Sala Quinta ) of the Supreme Court is the Military Chamber (article 55 LOPJ).
Basic jurisdictional organization
Civil Procedure is mainly regulated in Ley 1/2000, de 7 de enero, de Enjuiciamiento Civil (LEC).
First, in general, the issue is attributed to a First Instance Court.
In a second instance, the issue is attributed to the Civil Chamber of the Provincial Court through a “ recurso de apelación ” (455 LEC).
After appeal, there is a “ recurso de casación ” (477-489 LEC) which can be presented to the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and the less frequent “ recurso extraordinario por infracción procesal ” 468-476 LEC) and “recurso en interés de ley (490-493 LEC). If there is an infraction of the Autonomous Community law, the “ recurso de casación ” is presented before the Civil Chamber of the High Court of Justice of that Autonomous Community. (478.1LEC).
There are certain exceptions:
Family Law cases will be held before Violence against women Courts if a victim and the possible author of gender violent crimes are opponents and if criminal liability procedure related to these have started.
For claims under 90 €, the issue is assigned to a Court of Peace (if there is one). For a second instance, the issue is attributed to the First Instance Court through a “ recurso de apelación ”.
Since 2004, Commercial Courts have been recently created by Organic Act 8/2003, July 9 th , 2003, para la reforma concursal . See also Act 22/2003 [  ] , July 9 th , 2003, Concursal (Insolvency Act).
The Criminal Procedure is regulated mainly by Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal ( Real Decreto de 14 de septiembre de 1882, por el que se aprueba la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal) (LECr)
This is a consolidated version offered in Spanish by the Official Gazette (it includes modifications until 2010):
There is a distinction between crimes with an associated punishment is imprisonment below or above 5 years or other types of punishment (article 14 LECr).
Under 5 years, fine or other types of punishment below 10 years:
The examination phase is held before an Examination Court and the oral phase before a Criminal Court.
For a second instance, the issue is attributed to the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court through a “ recurso de apelación ”.
Above 5 years :
The examination phase is by held by an Examination Court and the oral phase is held by the Criminal Section of the Provincial Court.
A “ recurso de casación ” can be presented before the Criminal Chamber (2 nd chamber) of the Supreme Court.
- Audiencia Nacional (Audiencia Nacional) jurisdiction -
Above 5 years:
At the examination phase, the issue is attributed to the “ Juzgado Central de Instrucción ” and the oral phase is held before the Criminal Section of the Audiencia Nacional.
A “ recurso de casación ” can be presented before the Criminal Section (2 nd chamber) of the Supreme Court.
Under 5 years:
In the examination phase the issue is attributed to the “ Juzgado Central de Instrucción ” and the oral phase is held before the “ Juzgado Central de lo Penal ”.
Second instance is held by the Criminal Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional through a “ recurso de apelación ”.
It decides cases related to crimes against people, crimes committed by civil servants, crimes against honor, crimes against security and liberty, crimes related to fires, etc. (article 1 Organic Act 5/1995)
The examination phase is attributed to an Examination Court and the oral phase is held before a jury constituted at the Provincial Court. [  ]
If a Court of Peace does, the first instance for minor misdeeds is held by a Court of Peace. The second instance is held by an Examination Court through a “ recurso de apelación ”.
Juvenile Courts :
The first instance for crimes and misdemeanors committed by juveniles (14-18 years-old) is held by a Juvenile Court according to Organic Act 5/2000 .
, Jan. 12, reguladora de la responsabilidad penal de los menores. The second instance is held by the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court through a “ recurso de apelación ”.
Violence against women Courts:
They act as examination court for all crimes (homicide, sexual crimes…) where the victim has been the spouse, the partner, the girlfriend, the common children or the children of the spouse/partner and similarly positioned people. These courts will judge also the less severe misdemeanors. (article 14.5 LECr).
It is regulated mainly by the Act 29/1998 , July 13th, reguladora de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa.
The first instance is held before an Administrative Court, and the second instance, through a “ recurso de apelación ”, before the Administrative Section of the High Court of Justice.
Actions against general regulations of the government of the autonomous communities are held in first instance before the Administrative Section of the High Court of Justice of the community (article 10). Similarly, the actions against actions or rulings by the central public administration are held before the Juzgado Central de lo Contencioso-Administrativo (article 9). When the general rulings or acts are from Ministers or “Secretarios de Estado”, the case is decided by the Administrative Section of the Audiencia Nacional (article 11). When the acts are from the Council of Ministers, the case is decided by the Administrative Section of the Supreme Court in unique instance (article 12).
When the invalidity of a general disposition has been declared (not the invalidity of an administrative act), a “ recurso de casación ” can be presented before the 3 rd Chamber of the Supreme Court. “Recurso de casación” can also be filed against decisions where the Administrative Section of the Audiencia Nacional or the High Court of an autonomous communities if certain conditions, such as an amount in controversy over 150,000 euros, are met. (articles 86-95 Ley 29/1998).
In general, the unique instance is held by the Labor Courts (article 6 RDL 2/1995). But when the dispute regards, among others, the fundamental right to join a union or collective agreements or conflicts and it extends beyond the limit of a district or an autonomous community, the judicial power is attributed to the Labor Section of the High Court of Justice of the autonomous community and to the Labor Section of the Audiencia Nacional, respectively (articles 7 and 8 RDL 2/1995).
Some decisions (requirements are listed on article 189 RDL 2/1995) by labor courts can be appealed on restricted grounds through a “ recurso de suplicación ” (articles 188-202; 227-233 RDL 2/1995) which will be decided by Labor Section of the High Court of Justice.
A “ recurso de casación para unificación de doctrina ” can be presented before the 4 th Chamber of the Supreme Court to solve discrepancies between decisions of “ recursos de suplicación ” ( articles 216-226 RDL 2/1995).
Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court and Labor Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional decisions can be appealed through a “ recurso de casación ” before the 4 th Chamber of the Supreme Court. (articles 203-216 RDL 2/1995).
Its regulation is established by Organic Act 4/1987 , July 15 th , de la Competencia y Organización de la Jurisdicción Militar.
The jurisdiction is divided among the different courts according to the rank of the officials charged. The hierarchy (from low to high) attributes jurisdiction in first or unique instance to the “ Juzgados togados militares ” (examination)- “ Tribunal militar territorial ” (oral procedure), “ Juzgados militares centrales ” (examination) -“ Tribunal militar central ” (oral procedure), and the 5th Chamber of Supreme Court. This chamber will also decide on the appeals of cases decided by “ Tribunales militares territoriales ” and “ Tribunales militares centrales ” through “ recurso de casación ” if the conditions are met.
Autonomous Communities’ formation procedure (148,2, 151 SC), status and powers are stated at articles 137-139 and 143-158 SC. They are financially autonomous (art. 156.1 SC).
Their basic institutional rule is the Statute of Autonomy ( Estatuto de Autonomía ). The Statute must contain (article 147 SC):
· name of the Autonomous Community
· its territorial boundaries
· name, organization and seat of its institutions
· powers assumed
· amendment procedures
There are different procedures to pass or amend Statutes of Autonomy. These acts are “Organic Acts” and they are normally approved by both the regional and the central Parliament and, sometimes, by popular referendum in the respective autonomous community. It is important to emphasize that, as a consequence of the recognition of autonomy in the Spanish Constitution, Autonomous Communities can organize their own institutions (article 147.2 SC) and assume certain powers according to the framework laid down by the SC.
Though the Constitution does not impose a model to organize the institutions of the Autonomous Communities, all of them have followed the scheme set in article 152 SC; they have a Legislative Assembly, which shall appoint the President who is in charge of the Executive Council.
The structure of the Legislative Assembly is basically the same in all Autonomous Communities, and it is tends to follow the model of the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
The electoral system of Autonomous Communities is stated at a “federal” (i.e. central government) law, LOREG, which establishes certain common, mandatory elements, to be completed by legislation issued by the self-governing entities. All, except for Catalunya, have passed electoral regulations.
The Executive councils are similar across the regions. The model is close to the Spanish Government’s one. The President is elected by the Assembly among its members and he or she assumes(article 152 SC):
· the leadership of the executive council
· the supreme representation of the Autonomous Community
· the State’s ordinary representation in the Autonomous Community
The Spanish Constitution does not consider the existence of different judicial powers , that is, the autonomous communities have Executive and Legislative Branches, but not a Judicial One. Nonetheless, as explained above, the Constitution established High Courts of Justice in each of the regions.
Autonomous Communities Parliaments and Governments
CASTILLA Y LEÓN
CASTILLA LA MANCHA
2.3 OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL ORGANS OF THE STATE
The institution is regulated by Title II, articles 56 to 65 SC. As said before and stated in article 1.3 SC, the political form of the Spanish State is a Parliamentary Monarchy. The King is separated from the Executive power; Government is responsible before Parliament.
According to article 56 SC the King is the Head of State. The King’s functions (articles 62 and 63) and constitutional position are mainly defined by articles 56 and 62 SC. His powers, as those of other constitutional organs, are granted by the Constitution. The King enjoys formal and honorific high dignities and is the symbol of the unity and permanence of the State. Nowadays, is the King is H.M. Juan Carlos I de Borbón.
The person of the King is inviolable and shall not be held accountable (article 56.3 SC). In order to be valid, his acts shall be countersigned in the way established by article 64 SC, with the exception stated at article 65.2 SC that establishes that the King can freely appoint and dismiss the military and civil members of his household.
Succession is regulated by article 57 SC and it is based on the principles of primogeniture and representation, complemented by the following rules:
· Priority of first lines over subsequent ones.
· In the same line, the closer degree will precede the more remote.
· Preference of male over female within the same degree.
· Priority of elder over younger within the same degree.
Questions of regency in case the King is under age are regulated by article 59 SC and the guardian of the King during his minority by article 60 SC.
The King will be proclaimed before the Cortes Generales .
The Constitutional Court is regulated at Part IX SC, articles 159 to 165 and by its own Organic Act, 2/1979 , October 12 th , del Tribunal Constitucional (LOTC), modified by Organic Acts 8/1984, 4/1985, 6/1988, 7/1999, 1/2000, 6/2007 and 1/2010. BOE offers the consolidated version .
The Constitutional Court is not a part of the court system. It is an independent institution with its own rules, power, and regulations. It is the supreme interpreter of the SC (article 1.1 LOTC).
It’s composed of twelve members Judiciary (article 159.1 SC): four nominated by Congress by a majority of three-fifths, four nominated by the Senate by the same majority among the candidates proposed by the autonomous regions (article 16 LOTC), two by the Government and two by the General Council of the. Constitutional Court members are Spanish citizens chosen among magistrates and prosecutors, university professors, public officials and lawyers, all of all of them with at least fifteen years of professional experience in their profession (article 159.2 SC). Incompatibilities are listed on article 19.1 LOTC. Their mandate is for nine years and they are renewed in staggered cohorts; a third is renewed every three years (article 159.3 SC)
The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over the whole territory and its functions are listed mainly in article 161.1 SC. These functions are:
· Control of the constitutionality of the laws, either of the central levels of government or of the Autonomous Communities.
· Protection of fundamental rights recognized at Part I, Chapter II, articles 15 to 29 SC (Fundamental Rights and Public Liberties)
· Disputes regarding the allocation of powers between the Central Government and Autonomous Communities or among Autonomous Communities themselves (also regulated by Title IV, Chapter II, articles 60 to 72 LOTC)
· Disputes among the different organs of the State (article 59.3 LOTC and Title IV Chapter III, articles 73 to 75 LOTC)
The Constitutional Court accomplishes its functions through different procedures:
· Appeal of unconstitutionality ( Recurso de inconstitucionalidad ). This is the one of the two main procedures of centralized judicial review. This is an appeal alleging unconstitutionality of acts and statutes having the force of a law (act) and it is regulated by article 161.1.a and by Title II, Chapter II, articles 31-34 LOTC. This appeal has to be filled within 3 months from the date the act was published (article 33 LOTC). This period can be extended under specific circumstances when the act is being discussed in a bilateral commission between an autonomous region and the central executive (article 33.2 LOTC).
· “Decentralized” appeal of unconstitutionality ( Cuestión de inconstitucionalidad ) which is the anther procedure to trigger centralized judicial review. If a judicial body when hearing a case considers that, an applicable regulation with the force of an act may be contrary to the Constitution it may bring the matter about its constitutionality before the Constitutional Court. It is regulated by article 163 SC and Title II, Chapter III, articles 35-37 LOTC.
Both procedures’ decisions are referred to as declarations of unconstitutionality (Title II, articles 27 to 40 LOTC). Entities or individuals entitled to lodge the mentioned procedures are stated at article 162 SC. ”Cuestiones de inconstitucionalidad” can only be filled by judicial bodies.
· Individual appeal for protection of fundamental rights ( Recurso de amparo ) is designed to protect the citizens against violations of the fundamental rights and pubic liberties protected by Part I, Chapter II, articles 15 to 29 SC by any public power. It is regulated by articles 53.2 and 161.1.b CE and by Title III, articles 41 to 58 LOTC.
· If an international treaty contains stipulations contrary to the Constitution, its signature will require prior constitutional amendment. As stated at article 95 SC and article 78 LOTC, Constitutional Court may be questioned by the Government or the Parliament about the constitutionality of the provisions of such treaty.
The Spanish legal system is a civil law system.
3.1 SOURCES OF LAW
The SC should regulate sources of law but due to historical reasons, sources of law are regulated by the Civil Code .
As stated in article 1 of the Spanish Civil Code (Cc), the sources of law are:
· Law. It must be understood in the sense of any written rule of law created by the central state or the autonomous communities. It is the pre-eminent source, the others are subsidiary sources.
· Custom. Customary rules are usually non-written law originated in society; they do not come from established public institutions. Custom needs the existence of a practice and the existence of an opinio iuris, that is, the general conviction about the obligatory character of a customary rule. It is only applicable by a judge if there is no applicable law and cannot be contrary to morals or public law. Custom against legislation ( contra legem ) is forbidden by article1 CC.
· General principles of law. General principles of law are the basic rules reflecting the convictions of a community regarding its organization. General principles of law permeate the legal system and they also inform other sources.
Case law issued by the Supreme Court is a complementary source of interpretation and application of the law. The Supreme Court is allowed to decide not only if the if decisions are against the law, but also, if judicial decisions of the lower courts were against the established jurisprudence. The decisions of a court may be appealed if they not conform to the case law decided by the Supreme Court on the same issue or there is contradictory case law on the matter. Furthermore, in the civil order –that is, roughly private law- when there are contradictory judgments by different High Courts of Justice regarding procedural rules, there is an appeal before the Supreme Court (“ recurso en interés de la ley” ). Its decision is binding upon courts of the same jurisdictional order
Legal doctrine does not set applicable rules. It is not mentioned as a source of law and the Supreme Court has denied this character. Legal doctrine just provides an interpretation or clarification about the other sources of law.
The Spanish legal system is hierarchical, so norms of a lower rank cannot override rules of a higher one. The relationship between the central and the autonomous communities’ laws is based on the principle of allocation of powers, that is, central government’s rules will prevail if this level ha power over the matter regulated. . The rank, from higher to lower level, is:
· Organic Act ( Ley Orgánica ). Organic Acts have two main differences with ordinary acts (article 81 SC) :
- The matters they regulate. The SC establishes that certain relevant issues have to be regulated by Organic Acts(article 81.1 SC). Among them: the exercise of fundamental rights and public liberties; Statutes of Autonomy; the general electoral system; ombudsman ( Defensor del Pueblo , article 54 SC); Council of State ( Consejo de Estado , article 107 SC); Constitutional Court ( Tribunal Constitucional , article 165 SC) and popular legislative initiative (article 87.3 SC).
- Organic acts require an absolute majority of the Congress in a final vote of the entire bill for their approval, modification or repeal. (article 81.2 SC)
· Ordinary Act ( Ley ). Ordinary acts are all the acts whose subject matter is not reserved to organic acts by the Constitution. They are always initiated in Congress. After Congress’ approval, the bill is discussed in the Senate, which may approve, amend or veto it. In any case, Congress has the final decision(article 90 SC). They require a simple majority of Congress and of the Senate, with the Congress adopting the final decision.
· Decree-Act ( Decreto-ley; article 86 SC). These are provisional rules that Government may issue for extraordinary and urgent matters. They have the same rank as acts. Decree Acts may not affect basic institutions of the State; rights, duties and liberties of the citizen regulated in Title I; the system of the Autonomous Communities; or the general electoral law. Decree Acts must be ratified by Congress, within a period of 30 days. If Congress is not in session, it has to be convened.
· Legislative Decree ( Decreto legislativo ). Legislative decrees are issued by the executive as a result of a delegation from Parliament (article 85 SC) and they also rank as laws. This legislative delegation must be granted by a Basic Act ( Ley de Bases ) if the delegation mandates Government to draft a detailed statute (that is, the bases for the regulation are set by Parliament and Government puts forward an articulated text) or an ordinary act if the delegation mandates the consolidation of several acts and amendments into a single text (article 82.2 SC). The delegation must be granted to Government expressly, for a concrete matter and establishing a period of time for its exercise (article 82.3 SC)
· Regulation ( Reglamento ). Regulations are ranked below acts. The term Regulation refers to any general rule dictated by the executive power. Article 97 SC gives the Government regulatory power, but other constitutional organs of the State may also have regulatory power in order to regulate their own institution and procedures. For instance: Congress and Senate (article 72.1 SC), General Council of the Judiciary (article 139 LOPJ) or the Constitutional Court (article 2.2 LOTC).
Regulations implement acts; they cannot contradict legal rules or regulate issues expressly reserved to acts. Even if they have a collaborative relation with the act, they cannot establish crimes or affect the rights and duties of citizens, . Only organizational regulations might not be developing an existing act. (article 23.3 of Act 50/1997, of Nov. 27, del Gobierno ).
Types of regulations (of the central executive):
- Decree ( Decreto ) from the Council of Ministers
- Order ( Orden ) from the Ministers or Delegated Commissions.
- Instruction ( Instrucción ) and Orders of Regulation ( Circulares ) from lower authorities and high officials of public administration
The executives of the autonomous communities can also issue regulations.
· International treaties. As stated at article 96 SC international treaties become internal laws once they have been signed, ratified and published in the Official State Gazette ( Boletín Oficial del Estado ).
If the treaty attributes to an international organization or institution the exercise of competencies derived from the Constitution, the authorization must be established by means of an Organic Act (article 93 SC).
If the treaty concerns certain matters of a political or military nature, it affects the integrity of the State or fundamental rights and duties established at Title I SC, creates financial obligations for the public treasury, involves modifications or repeals some act, or requires legislative measures for its execution, then the treaty shall require Parliament’s authorization (article 94 SC).
Any other treaty may be signed for the Government who shall inform the Parliament (article 94.2 SC)
As stated in article 95, any international treaty, which contains stipulations contrary to the Constitution, shall require a prior constitutional revision. The Government or either the Chambers may request the Constitutional Court to decide whether this contradiction exists.
· European Union legislation. In 1986, Spain became a member of the European Union and transferred the exercise of certain domains and State powers. European Treaties and the rules produced by the institutions of European Union, as International rules, are directly applicable as a part of the national system once signed, ratified and published in the Official State Gazette. The Spanish Supreme Court and European Court of Justice have both resolved that any conflict between domestic legislation and the European Union legislation must be resolved by ordinary jurisdiction according the principle of supremacy of Community law.
For further information about EU law:
· Summaries of EU legislation available in all EU languages.
· The European Union at a glance. Available in all EU languages.
As stated in article 87 SC, legislative initiative belongs to:
· Government. Government can introduce a bill called Proyecto de Ley . These draft bills are approved in the Council of Ministers ( Consejo de Ministros ) which shall submit them to the Congress accompanied with an exposition of motives and its record (article 88 SC).
· Congress and Senate. They exercise the legislative power through a bill called Proposición de Ley . These proposals are regulated in the standing orders of the chambers. The ones initiated in the Senate have to be transmitted to Congress where they will follow the standard legislative proceedings (article 89.2 SC).
· Assemblies of the Autonomous Communities. Assemblies of the Autonomous Communities may ask the Government to adopt a bill or send to the Board of the Congress a proposal of act, which could be sponsored by three delegated members(article 87.2 SC)
· Popular initiative. This initiative requires at least 500,000 signatures and it cannot introduce legislation dealing with issues reserved to Organic Acts or regarding taxes, international affairs and the prerogative of pardon. It is regulated by Organic Act 3/1984, March 26 th , Reguladora de la Iniciativa Legislativa Popular (LORIP)
Ordinary legislative process is regulated by SC (articles 89 to 91 SC) and completed by the Standing Orders of the Chambers.
· The bills proposed by Government are published by the Bureau of Congress and sent to a Commission. If amendments to the whole bill are introduced, the Commission will send the bill for a debate on the whole. There, the amendments can be rejected or the alternative text can be adopted. After this procedural step, amendments to sections are discussed in the Commission. A rapporteur will prepare a report before the debate. Then, the text of the bill approved in the Commission will be discussed in a plenary session where some of the amendments not adopted may be reintroduced. (Articles 109-123 Congress’ Standing Order)
· An initial vote regarding the proposals introduced by Congress is held in this chamber in order to decide whether the proceedings should go forward or not. If approved, it will be sent to a Commission. Once this vote has been held, the bill follows the same steps in the respective Commission and the Plenary as the bill introduced by the Executive (Articles 124-127 Congress’ Standing Order). Amendments to the whole bill are not possible unless the bill has been introduced by the Senate. The Senate’s proposals follow roughly the same procedures as a government bill.
· Once the text is approved by the Congress the bill or proposal of act is submitted by the President of Congress to the Senate.
· As in Congress, Senate works in Plenary Sessions and in Commissions. The Senate may accept veto or amend the text transmitted by Congress.
- If Senate rejects the text (by an absolute majority) the text goes back to Congress which can:
- Approve the bill or proposal of act by the same majority required at the Senate
- Wait for two months and approve the text by a simple majority.
In both cases, the text is the one approved initially by Congress. Congress can preclude the veto placed by the Senate.
- If Senate introduces amendments, Congress only has to accept or reject them by a simple majority.
- If text is accepted without any modification, it is ready to be sanctioned by the King.
The King shall sanction the acts approved by the Parliament within the period of fifteen days and shall promulgate them and order their publication (art 91 SC). The King’s sanction is required by SC but has lost its original political and legislative sense and has only the consideration of a formal requirement nowadays.
Acts are published in the Spanish Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado) .
Decisions of special importance may be submitted for a consultative referendum convoked by the King, after being proposed by the President of the Government who has to seek authorization by Congress (article92 SC). Referendum is regulated by Organic Act 2/1980, January 18 th .
As said above, Autonomous Communities issue their own legal rules in order to organize their institutions and regulate the domains attributed to them by their Charters of Autonomy within the framework set forth in the SC. Autonomous Communities’ acts can only regulate those matters that are part of the power domain of the Autonomous Community.
They are produced by the Legislative Assembly following their legislative procedure. They have the same rank and character as the acts produced by the “Cortes Generales”, the Spanish Parliament. They are published by the Autonomous Community Official Gazette and by the Boletín Oficial del Estado (Spain’s official gazette).
Autonomous Communities do not issue Organic Acts, but they may issue Acts, Legislative Decrees, Decrees-Acts, and Regulations.
Autonomous Communities’ Official Gazettes:
The practice of any legal profession in Spain requires obtaining a law degree ( Grado en Derecho ) at a law school ( Facultad de Derecho ), obtaining a master in laws-, which must include a professional internship-, and passing a Professional Bar Exam . Act 34/2006, Oct. 30 th , sobre el acceso a las profesiones de Abogado y Procurador de los Tribunales , regulates the legal education and access to the professional bar.
After obtaining the law degree, one can choose to complete a Doctorate program (PhD in Law or S.J.D). The Doctorate in Law provides specialization of knowledge in a certain area through lectures and seminars and the elaboration and defense of a dissertation.
Some major Universities:
The main legal professions in Spain are:
· Lawyer ( Abogado ). Lawyers carry on the advice and defense of public and private interests. The rules and organization of the profession of lawyers are stated at the Estatuto General de la abogacía española, RD 658/2001, June 22 nd . This provides a definition of lawyer and the functions, rights and duties, the requirements to practice as a lawyer and the governing organizations of the legal profession. For the legal practice, it is necessary to be admitted to the Bar Association (Colegio de Abogados). There is one Bar Association in each province and in major towns. Bar Associations are organized by the Consejo General de la Abogacía Española . Lawyers can settle their retributions but contingent fees ( cuota litis ) are expressly prohibited.
Examples of Bar Associations or their organizations:
· Procurador . Unlike lawyers, who give legal advice, “ procuradores ” represent the parties in Court through a power of attorney. They also receive and deliver documents from and to court. “ Procuradores ” have to be incorporated to the “ Colegio de Procuradores ”. The “ Colegios ” are organized by the Consejo General de los Procuradores de los Tribunales . The profession is regulated by RD 1281/2002, December, 5 th .
· Notary. Notaries perform a public service conferring authenticity to documents. To develop their function, they are conferred power by the State, a sort of delegation. Accordingly, they depend from the Ministry of Justice and they join the profession after passing an official examination. They have to join a “Colegio de Notarios” presided by Consejo General del Notariado . The profession is regulated by Act of May 28 th , 1862 , and by Decree June 2 nd , 1944 .
· Judges and Magistrates.
· Professors (“Catedráticos”) at University. Among other merits, a Doctorate in Law is required after obtaining the Law degree to compete for these positions.
· ROMAN LAW
Historia del Derecho Romano
Derecho Privado Romano
Ed. Marcial Pons
Derecho Romano. Historia e Instituciones
· HISTORY OF LAW
Curso de Historia del Derecho. Fuentes e Instituciones polític-oadministrativas
José Antonio Escudero López
La Creación del Derecho. Una historia del derecho español . 2 volumes
Ed. Gráficas signo
Manual de derecho español
Francisco Tomás y Valiente
· CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
Introducción al Derecho Constitucional
Luis López Guerra
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Derecho Constitucional . (2 volumes)
Luis López Guerra, Eduardo Espín, Joaquín García Morillo, Pablo Pérez Tremps, Miguel Satrústegui
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Temas de Derecho Constitucional
Miguel Ángel Aparicio
.Manual de Derecho Constitucional (2 volumes),
Francisco Balaguer Callejón,
· PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW
Derecho internacional privado
ABARCA JUNCO, P. (dir.)..
Derecho Internacional Privado
José Carlos Fernández Rozas y Sixto Sánchez Lorenzo
Derecho Internacional Privado . 2 Volumes
Alfonso-Luis Calvo Caravaca y Javier Carrascosa González
Guía práctica de los convenios de la Haya de los que España es parte
Secretaría General Técnica. Centro de Publicaciones
Ministerio de Justicia
· INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC LAW
Curso de derecho internacional público
Julio D. González Campos, Luis I. Sánchez Rodríguez, Paz Andrés de Santa María
Instituciones de Derecho Internacional Público
Manuel Díez de Velasco
Las Organizaciones internacionales
Manuel Díez de Velasco
Lecciones de Derecho Internacional Público
Alejandro J. Rodríguez Carrión
· EUROPEAN UNION
Manual de Derecho de la Unión Europea
Fernando Díez Moreno
Instituciones de Derecho Comunitario
Antonio Fernández Tomás, Ignacio Forcada Barona, Rosario Huesa Vinaixa, Ángel Sánchez Legido
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Lecciones de Derecho Comunitario Europeo
Victoria Abellán Honrubia, Blanca Vilà Costa
Instituciones de Derecho Comunitario
Concepción Escobar Hernández(dir.),
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Instituciones y Derecho de la Unión Europea,
Araceli Mangas Martín, Diego J. Liñán Nogueras
Instituciones de Derecho Comunitario
Pilar Mellado Prado, Enrique Linde Paniagua, E.; Marta Gómez de Liaño
· ADMINISTRATIVE LAW
Curso de Derecho Administrativo ( 2 volumes)
Eduardo García de Enterría y Tomás-Ramón Fernández
Principios de Derecho administrativo general
Juan Alfonso Santamaría Pastor
Derecho Administrativo (3 vol)
Ed. Marcial Pons
Tratado de Derecho Administrativo y Derecho Público General (3 volumes)
Santiago Muñoz Machado
· CIVIL PROCEDURE
Derecho Procesal Civil. Ley 1/2000 . 2 volumes
José María Asencio Mellado
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Derecho jurisdiccional (I, II)
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Enjuiciamiento Civil: Cómo gestionar los litigious civiles
Francisco Ramos Méndez
Sistema Procesal Español (introduction to both civil and criminal procedures)
Francisco Ramos Méndez
· CRIMINAL PR OCEDURE
Derecho Procesal Penal
Vicente Gimeno Sendra, Victor Moreno Catena, José Almagro Nosete, Valentín Cortés Domínguez
Derecho Jurisdiccional. Proceso Penal
Juan Montero Aroca, Juan-Luis Gómez Colomer, Alberto Montón Redondo, Silvia Barnona Vilar
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Derecho Procesal Penal
Andrés de la Oliva Santos, Sara Aragoneses Martínez, Rafael Hinojosa Segovia, Julio Muerza Esparza, José Antonio Tomé García
Ed. Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces
Derecho jurisdiccional (III)
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
· CRIMINAL LAW
Derecho Penal. Parte General
Santiago Mir Puig
Curso de Derecho Penal Español .
J. Cerezo Mir
Derecho Penal. Parte General
Manuel Cobo del Rosal, Tomás S. Vives Antón
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Derecho Penal. Parte General
Francisco Muñoz Conde, Mercedes García Arán
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Curso de Derecho Penal. Parte General
Gonzalo Quintero Olivares, Fermín Morales Prats, Miquel Prats Canut
Curso de Derecho Penal Español. Parte Especial
Manuel Cobo del Rosal (dir)
Ed. Marcial Pons
Derecho Penal. Parte Especial
T.S. Vives Antón, J. Boix Reig, E. Orts Berenguer, J.C. Carbonell Mateu, J.L. González Cussac
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
· CIVIL LAW
Curso de Derecho Civil. 5 volumes
José Mª Bosch Editor
Fundamentos del Derecho Civil Patrimonial
Elementos de Derecho Civil
José Luis Lacruz Berdejo
José Mª Bosch Editor
Comentarios al Código Civil
Alberto Bercovitz Rodríguez-Cano et al.
Derecho de Contratos
Ángel Carrasco Perera
· COMMERCIAL LAW
Lecciones de Derecho Mercantil
Rodrigo Uría, Aurelio Menéndez
Curso de Derecho Mercantil (2 volumes)
Rodrigo Uría, Aurelio Menéndez
Introducción al derecho Mercantil
Francisco Vicen t Chulà
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
· LABOR LAW
Introducción al Derecho del Trabajo
Manuel Alonso Olea
Derecho del Trabajo
Manuel Alonso Olea, Mª Emilia Casas Bahamonde
Manual de Derecho del Trabajo
Manuel García Fernández
Derecho del Trabajo (this is the only one that includes the modifications introduced by RD 10/2010, but still not the measures included in Law 35/2010 )
Derecho del Trabajo
Manuel Carlos Palomeque López, Manuel Álvarez de la Rosa
Ed. Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces
Tomás Sala Franco, Ignacio
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Instituciones de la Seguridad Social
Manuel Alonso Olea, José Luis Torturero Plaza
Derecho de la Seguridad Social
Directed by Enrique de la Villa
Ed. Tirant lo Blanch
Sistema de la Seguridad Social
Mª José Rodríguez Ramos, Juan Gorelli Hernández, Maximiliano Vílchez Porras
· TAX LAW
Curso de derecho Financiero y Tributario
Juan Marín Queralt, Carmelo Lozano Serrano, Gabriel Casado Ollero, José M. Tejerizo López
Sistema Tributario Español y Comparado
Curso de Derecho Financiero (2 volumes)
R. I. Calvo Ortega
Curso de Derecho financiero y tributario
J. Martín Queralt, C. Lozano Serrano, G. Casado Ollero, J.M. Tejerizo López
Manual de Derecho Tributario (Parte Especial)
A.Cayón Galiardo, J. Martín Queralt, J.M. Tejerizo López
Derecho financiero y tributario (2 volumes)
F. Pérez Royo
Memento Práctico Francis Lefebvre is very helpful for legal practice
- Memento Práctico. I.V.A. (V.A.T.)
- Memento Práctico. Urbanismo
- Memento Práctico. Sociedades Mercantiles (Commercial)
- Memento Práctico. Social (Labor)
- Memento Práctico. Fiscal (Tax)
- Memento Práctico. Contable (Accounting)
· BOE . Spanish Official Gazette web site. Free access to published gazettes since 1995. Links to other organs of the State, to Official Journal of the European Union, Official Gazettes of other members of the European Union, Autonomous Communities Gazettes and Provincial Gazettes.
· Legislación consolidada It offers consolidated versions of the most important statutes with their latest amendments.
· Boletín Oficial de las Cortes, Official Gazette of the Congress and the Senate.
· Westlaw (Thomson & Aranzadi) Only by subscription. On-line service. Spanish, Autonomous Communities and European legislation. Spanish and European case law. Legal news and access to different Aranzadi publications.
· La Ley. By subscription. On-line service, CD-ROM and paper products. Diario La Ley, weekly magazines Actualidad Civil, Actualidad Penal, Actualidad Laboral y Actualidad Administrativa, and monthly magazine Impue s tos.
· 060. Information about the Spanish institutions. Information about: public job offers, Government Guide administrative proceedings, formularies, legislation, subventions, scholarships, web page directory, Spanish Official Gazette and official gazettes, organization, functions, addresses and telephones of the General Administration of the State, Autonomous Communities and local entities, information offices, registry offices.
· Projecte Norma Civil . Spanish and Catalan civil legislation. The site is ruled by the University of Girona.
· Bank of Spain (Spanish Central Bank)
· Agencia Española de Protección de datos (Spanish Data Protection Agency)
· Noticias jurídicas (it offers updates versions of important statutes and regulations)
· Página jurídica . Spanish legal page; Index of web pages about Spanish law; by Universtiat de
· European Parliament. Available in all EU languages.
· European Council . Available in all EU languages.
For further information about the EU:
· European Union. Gateway to the European Union. Available in all EU languages.
· Eur-Lex . Available in all EU languages. Official Journal of the European Union (latest updates and previous issues, 1998-2004), Collections (Treaties, Legislation in force, Preparatory acts, Case law, Parliamentary questions), Research, About European law Available in all EU languages.
· TED . Tenders Electronic Daily. Supplement to the Official Journal of the EU. Available in all EU languages.
· Prelex . Database on inter- institutional procedures. Monitoring of the decision-making process between institutions.
· European Union documents . This site sets out all the documents available and it is helpful for finding the document needed. It is divided into three sections (European Law, Documents common to all institutions and Documents of individual institutions) and contains links to legislation, activity reports, brochures, audio-visual material, internal documents, archives, etc.
· European Union institutions and other bodies . Available in all EU languages.
· Centro de Documentación Europea by Universidad de Alicante. Links to: Official Journal of the European Union, Official Gazette, Autonomous Communities Gazettes, Provincial Gazettes and Official Gazettes of other members of the European Union . Information about EU, access to documents, how to work at EU, Directory of the European Union at the World Wide Web by topic, European institutions.
Other European Institutions:
· European Court of Human Rights . Available in English and French
· La Ley
· Lex Nova
· El País
· El Mundo
· La Sexta
· La Caixa
· Páginas amarillas (business)
· Páginas blancas (individuals and business)
Passenger transportation railway
The Senate is formed by the President, two vice-presidents and several secretaries.
[  ] In the CGPJ web, the amendments until 2010 can be found here .
[  ] In English (not updated)