By Olga Cabrero

Published February 2005

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.

Update to an article previously published on on January 15, 2002

< >


1.              Introduction

2.              Political system

2.1.          State

2.1.1.     Parliament

2.1.2.     Government

2.1.3.     Judicial power

2.2.          Autonomous Communities

2.3.          Other constitutional organs of the State

2.3.1.     Crown

2.3.2.     Constitutional Court

3.              Legal system

3.1.          Sources of law

3.1.1.     Case Law

3.1.2.     Legal Doctrine

3.2.          National legislation

3.2.1.     Types of law

3.2.2.     Legislative process

3.3.          Autonomous Communities legislation

4.              The legal profession.

5.              Bibliography

6.             Resources

6.1.         On-line Resources

6.2.         Legal publishers

6.3.         Miscellaneous



The kingdom of Spain is the main country on the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal and the British-dependent territory Gibraltar. It’s 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 40,000,000 people.

On January 1, 2002 Spain joined the Single European Currency with the Euro as its Currency. Prior to that, the national currency was the Peseta.

Castilian 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.

Table of Contents


The Spanish Constitution (SC)[1] was approved by the Spanish legislative chamber (Cortes Generales) on October 31, 1978, ratified by national referendum on December 6 and sanctioned by the King on December 27.

The Constitution contains the basic principles of the political system and is the supreme rule of the legal system.

Spain is defined at Constitution as a social and democratic State of law whose 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 the functions expressly attributed to him by the Constitution and the laws (article 56.1 SC).

The country is divided in 17 Autonomous Communities, each with its own Parliament and Government. 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).

In this way, Spain has three different levels of government (article 137 SC)

·                Central government

·                Autonomous Communities government

·                Municipal government

The limits and domains of each one are specified in Title VIIIth SC (articles 137 to 158). Especially significant are the articles 148 and 149 referred to the distribution of domains between the State and the Autonomous Communities.

2.1       STATE

Central State power is divided among:

·                Legislative Chamber or Parliament, which exercises the legislative power

·                Executive or Government, which exercises executive power

·                Judicial system, which exercises judicial authority


Spanish Parliament is the institution that represents the Spanish people. Its functions can be described mainly as:

·                Legislative: producing the main rules of the system

·                Budgetary: authorizing the expenses of the State

·                Control of the Government

·                Parliament also authorizes the international obligations of the State and proposes candidates for other constitutional organs

The Parliament is divided in two chambers (Article 66.1 SC): the Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados) [2], defined at article 68 SC and the Senate (Senado)[3], defined at article 69 SC

Parliament is regulated by articles 66 to 80 SC and by the own internal regulations of each Chamber:

·                Regulation of the Congress, February 24, 1982

·                Regulation of the Senate [4], May 3, 1994

This division is mainly a consequence of the recognition of the right to autonomy: the 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.

Each chamber has its own organs:

·                A President

·                A Board (Mesa)[5]

·                Board of Spokespeople (Junta de Portavoces)

·                A representative from the Executive, chaired by the President of the Chamber

Both Chambers work in Plenary Sessions and in Commission (article 75.1 SC). Due to the difficulty (or impossibility) of discussing each question in a Plenary Session, Chambers may delegate to the Commissions which study the different proposed regulations and the technicalities involved therein. Commissions have full legislative power in most matters: they can approve bills or proposals of law although the Plenary Session may require debate and voting on any bill or proposal of law (article 75.2 SC). As stated in art 75.3 SC, constitutional reform, international affairs, organic and basis laws and the general budget must be treated in Plenary Session.

The Parliament elects the President of the Government who appoints the Ministers.

The electoral system is partly regulated by SC:

·                Articles 23, 68, 69 and 70 for State election

·                Article 140 for Municipal government

·                Article 152 for Autonomous Communities elections

The electoral system is also regulated by Organic Law 5/1985, June 19, del Régimen Electoral General (LOREG, and by Real Decreto 605/1999, de 16 de abril, de regulación complementaria de los procesos electorales.[6]


The functions and the structure of the Government [7] are regulated by Title IV SC. Government is also regulated by Law 50/1997, del Gobierno.

The Government is composed of the President, Vice-Presidents (one or various), the Ministers and “other members the law may establish”. The President and the Ministers are the essential members of the Government, and the Vice-President and the “other members” are possible members (article 98.1 SC)

As stated by articles 97 SC and 1.1 Law 50/1997, the Government holds the executive and statutory power according to SC and the laws. The Government controls the directions of national 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 jointly accountable to 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 may also ask Congress for a vote of confidence (cuestión de confianza); regulated by article 112 SC. Article 114 SC regulates the consequences of loosing the Parliamentary confidence trough a motion of censure or trough a vote of confidence.

Criminal responsibility and the responsibility of the members of the Government are regulated by article 102 SC.


In the Spanish system, the Parliament appoints the President (article 99 SC) and the President appoints the Ministers (article 100 SC). President and Ministers are formally appointed by the King.

Article 99 SC regulates the way the President is appointed.

According to article 98.1 SC and article 2 of Law 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 their 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, Law 50/1999 also regulate the functions of the President.


In the current government there are two Vice-Presidents.

Functions of Vice-President or Vice-Presidents, in case they exist, are stated in article 3, Law 50/1997 and have also been defined by practice.

The Ministries

Article 100 SC regulates the appointment of the Ministers. Ministers are formally appointed by the King following the President’s proposal. Their cessation is also by President’s proposal, by cases stated in articles 101, 112 and 113 SC and by voluntary cessation. Ministries can not be dismissed by Parliament.

The number of Ministries can be changed by a Real Decreto. Currently, there are sixteen ministerial offices:

·                Presidency (Presidencia)

·                Economy and Treasury (Economía y Hacienda)

·                Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación)

·                Justice (Justicia)

·                Defense (Defensa)

·                Interior (Interior)

·                Development (Fomento)

·                Education and Culture (Educación y Ciencia)

·                Labor and Social Affairs (Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales)

·                Industry, Tourism and Commerce (Industria, Turismo y Comercio)

·                Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación)

·                Public Administrations (Administraciones Públicas)

·                Health and Consumption (Sanidad y Consumo)

·                Culture (Cultura)

·                Environment (Medio Ambiente)

·                Housing (Vivienda)

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”, this is unusual.

The position of ministers is at the same time administrative, as heads of a ministerial office, and political, as members of the Government.

Article 4, Law 50/1997 states de functions and competences of the Ministries.

Council of Ministries

Government is constituted as a collegiate organ, although its members have their own functions and identity. In this collective way, Government is usually identified with the Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers is formed by the President, Vice-President and Ministers although other persons who are not members of the Government may assist.

Articles 16 and 17, Law 50/1997 state the rules of function of the Government and the Council of Ministers and make a reference to internal dispositions for the organization.

Functions of the Council of Ministers are stated at article 5, Law 50/1997.

2.1.3        JUDICIAL POWER

Judicial Power is regulated at Title VI SC and by Organic Law 6/1985 [8], July 1, 1985, of the Judicial Power (LOPJ). Organic Law 6/1985 has been modified, in much part due to Organic Law 19/2003, December 23, 2003 (Published at the BOE December 26th, 2003)

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 laid down by the law (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 don’t have judicial power and their courts are courts of the State.

The provision of unitary also means that the existence of special courts, courts of exception (article 117.6 SC) and courts of honor (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. Military jurisdiction is also a part of the Judicial Power.

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 and with the only exception of the person of the King, who enjoys a special immunity and 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. Judges are not subjected to any orders or instructions by any other power of the State or other judges (article 117.1 SC and article 1 LOPJ). They may only be dismissed, suspended, transferred or retired on the grounds and subject to the safeguards provided for by the law (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. Judiciary Act 6/1985, of July 1 (mainly articles 122 and et.seq.) regulates the Council. This Organic Law is the provision for the setting up operation and internal administration of courts and tribunals as well as for 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 particular functions of the Council are stated at articles 107 to 110 LOPJ

20 members and the President who will be also appointed as the President of the Supreme Court (article 111 LOPJ) compose the CGPJ. The members are proposed by the Congress and the Senate. Twelve of its members shall be judges and magistrates of all judicial categories and eight members 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 structure of the Judicial Power

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 exception of this correspondence is “Judicial districts” which are defined at article 32 LOPJ and by Law 38/1988, de demarcación y planta judicial, modified by law 3/1992.

When the law talks about Juzgado it means a single organ 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 ub articles 99 et.seq. LOPJ

·                Judicial districts have First Instance and Examining 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 Juzgados de Vigilancia penitenciaria. Each one’s functions are specified in articles 84 et.seq. LOPJ.

Criminal Courts were created by Organic Law 7/88. Juzgados de lo contencioso-administrativo have been created recently by Organic Law, de la Jurisdicción contencioso-administrativa, 29/1998

Chapter V LOPJ also recognizes the existence of:

– Juzgados Centrales de Instrucción (article 88 LOPJ), created by RD-Law January 4, 1977

– Juzgado Central de lo Penal (article 89 bis.3 LOPJ), created by Organic Law 7/1988

Juzgados Centrales de lo Contencioso-administrativo were created by Organic Law 29/1998

·                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

Over the whole territory two courts have jurisdiction:

·                Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo), article 123 SC and articles 53 et.seq. LOPJ

·                National Court (Audiencia Nacional) articles 62 et.seq. LOPJ

Spanish courts are also organized hierarchically. There is a system of appeals against the decisions of lower courts to higher courts and to the Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial body in all branches of justice excepting provisions 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 issues

·                Administrative, for claims based on acts performed by public administration.

Commercial Courts have been recently created by Organic Law 8/2003 [9], July 9th, 2003, para la reforma concursal, and Law 22/2003 [10], July 9th, 2003, Concursal, both published at BOE 164, July 10th, 2003.

The Fifth Chamber (Sala Quinta) of the Supreme Court is the Military Chamber (article 55 LOPJ).

Basic jurisdictional organization


At first instance 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”.

A “recurso de casación” can be presented  to the First Chamber of the Supreme Court and marginally a “recurso extraordinario por infracción procesal”. If there is an infraction of the Autonomous Community law the “recurso de casación” is presented before the Civil-Criminal Chamber of the High Court of Justice.

For claims under 90 € in a first instance, the issue is attributed 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”.


We must distinguish if the punishment is under or above 5 years.

– Above 5 years –

The examination phase is by held by an Examination Court and the oral phase is held by the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court.

A “recurso de casación” can be presented before the Criminal Chamber (2nd chamber) of the Supreme Court.

– Under 5 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”.

– National Court issues –

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 Chamber of the National Court.

A “recurso de casación” can be presented before the Criminal Chamber (2nd 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 National Court through a “recurso de apelación”.

– Jury –

At the examination phase the issue is attributed to an Examination Court and the oral phase is held before a jury constituted at the Provincial Court.[12]

In a second instance the issue is attributed to the Civil-Criminal Chamber of the High Court of Justice through a “recurso de apelación”.

A “recurso de casación” can be presented before the Criminal Chamber (2nd chamber) of the Supreme Court.

– Misdeeds –

If a Court of Peace does not exist:

At first instance the issue is attributed to an Examination Court.  At a second instance the issue is attributed to the Provincial Court through a “recurso de apelación

If a Court of Peace does exist for minor misdeeds (Courts of Peace do not know of all misdeeds), the first instance 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 is held by a Juvenile Court.  The second instance is held by the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court through a “recurso de apelación”.

A “Recurso de casación para la unificación de la doctrina” can be presented before the Supreme Court.  It is infrequent.  It is used by the Supreme Court to update jurisprudence.


Article 8 “Ley de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa

First instance: Administrative Court.

Second instance: Administrative Chamber of the High Court of Justice through a “recurso de apelación”.

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 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Court. It is infrequent.

Article 12 “Ley de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa

First instance: Administrative Chamber of the High Court of Justice.

3rd Chamber of Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.

National Court issues:

Article 9“Ley de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa

First instance: “Juzgado Central de lo Contencioso Administrativo”.

Second instance: Administrative Chamber of the National Court.

A “recurso de casacion” can be presented before the 3rd Chamber of the Supreme Court, just in certain cases, when the nullity of a general disposition has been declared.

Article 11 “Juzgado Central de lo Contencioso Administrativo”.

First instance: Administrative Chamber of National Court.

Second instance: 3rd Chamber of Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.


First instance: Labor Court

Second instance: Labor Chamber of the High Court of Justice through a “recurso de suplicación

A “recurso de casación para unificación de la doctrina” can be presented before the 4th Chamber of the Supreme Court.

Collective disputes or collective bargaining that extends beyond a judicial district. Litigations that extend beyond one Labor Court:

First instance: Labor Chamber of the High Court of Justice.

Second instance: Labor Chamber of the Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.

Collective disputes or collective bargaining that extends beyond one Autonomous Community:

First instance: Labor Chamber of the National Court.

Second instance: 4th Chamber of the Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.


We must distinguish between high-ranking soldiers (commandant and higher) and low-ranking soldiers.


Examination phase: “Juzgados togados militares” and oral phase: “Tribunal militar territorial

Second instance: 5th Chamber of Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.


Examination phase: “Juzgados militares centrales” and oral phase: “Tribunal militar central”.

Second instance: 5th Chamber of Supreme Court through a “recurso de casación”.

Table of Contents


Autonomous Communities’ status, domains and rights are stated at articles 143 to 158 SC.

As a consequence of the recognition of autonomy at Spanish Constitution, Autonomous Communities can organize:

·                their own institutions (article 147.2 SC)

·                their territory (articles 148.1.2. and 152.3 SC)

·                their financial activity (article 156.1)

Autonomous Communities issue their own legal provisions. The 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

Though the Constitution doesn’t impose a model to organize the institutions of the Autonomous Communities, all of them have followed the model set by article 152 SC and they’re governed by a Legislative Assembly, which shall apply the President, and an Executive Council with executive and administrative functions.

The structure of the Legislative Assembly is basically the same in all Autonomous Communities, and it is based quite accurately on the provisions set by the Regulation of the Congress.

The electoral system of Autonomous Communities is stated at the State’s law, LOREG, which appoints some common elements and it’s completed by the legislation of the Autonomous Communities. All Autonomous Communities except Catalonia have issued their own electoral legislation.

Compositions of the Executive Councils have also followed similar guidelines. This has been translated into a model similar the State’s Executive.

The President is elected by the Assembly among its members and will assume (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

Though the Spanish Constitution allows Autonomous Communities to have executive and legislative institutions, it doesn’t allow them to have judicial institutions. As said above, judicial power is unitary in Spain and Autonomous Communities Courts are Courts of the State.

Autonomous Communities Parliaments and Governments


·                Parlamento de Andalucía

·                Junta de Andalucía


·                Cortes de Aragón

·                Diputación General de Aragón


·                Junta General del Principado de Asturias

·                Consejo de Gobierno del Principado de Asturias


·                Parlament de les Illes Balears

·                Govern de les Illes Balears


·                Parlamento de Canarias

·                Gobierno de Canarias


·                Parlamento de Cantabria

·                Gobierno de Cantabria


·                Cortes de Castilla y León

·                Junta de Castilla y León


·                Cortes de Castilla-La Mancha

·                Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha


·                Parlament de Catatlunya

·                Generalitat de Catalunya [14]


·                Corts Valencianes [15]

·                Generalitat Valenciana


·                Asamblea de Extremadura

·                Junta de Extremadura


·                Parlamento de Galicia[16]

·                Xunta de Galicia


·                Parlamento de la Rioja

·                Gobierno de La Rioja


·                Asamblea de la Comunidad de Madrid

·                Gobierno de la Comunidad de Madrid


·                Asamblea Regional de Murcia

·                Consejo de Gobierno de Murcia


·                Parlamento de Navarra[17]

·                Diputación Foral de Navarra


·                Parlamento Vasco [18]

·                Gobierno Vasco


·                Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta


·                Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla

Table of Contents


2.3.1    THE CROWN

As said before and stated in article 1.3 SC, the political form of the Spanish State is a Parliamentary Monarchy, which means the separation of the King from executive power and the Government responsibility before the Parliament.

The institution is regulated by Title II, articles 56 to 65 SC.  The King’s functions and constitutional position are mainly defined by articles 56 and 62 SC.

The Crown is an organ configured by the Constitution itself, so it is one of the constitutional organs of the State.  In this sense, the King is in a position of parity with all the other constitutional organs, because all of them derive directly from Constitution.

Nowadays, the titular of the Crown is H.M. Juan Carlos I de Borbón.

According to article 56 SC the King is the Head of State, with the functions expressly attributed to him by the Constitution.  The King enjoys formal and honorific higher dignities and he is the symbol of the unity and permanence of the State.

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.

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 earlier lines over the later lines.

·                In the same line, the closer degree will precede the more distant.

·                Preference of male over women in the same degree. This rule does not mean that women can not reign.

·                Priority of older generations over the younger ones.

Questions of regency 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 functions of the King are listed at articles 62 and 63 SC.

The Royal Household [19]


The Constitutional Court is regulated at Part IX SC, articles 159 to 165 and by its own Organic Law, 2/1979, October, 12, del Tribunal Constitucional (LOTC), modified by Organic Laws 8/1984, 4/1985, 6/1988, 7/1999 and 1/2000.

The Constitutional Court is not a part of the court system. It’s an independent institution with its own rules, rights, and regulations. It is the supreme interpreter of the SC (article 1.1 LOTC).

It’s composed of twelve members: four nominated by the Congress, four nominated by the Senate by a majority of three-fifths, two by the Government and two by the General Council of the Judiciary (article 159.1 SC). Constitutional Court members are chosen among magistrates and prosecutors, university professors, public officials and lawyers, all of all of them with at least fifteen years’ practice in their profession (article 159.2 SC).  Their mandate is for nine years and they are renewed every three years by thirds (article 159.3 SC)

The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over the whole territory and its functions are stated at article 161.1 SC. These functions are:

·                Control of the constitutionality of the rules having the force of an act.

·                Protection of fundamental rights recognized at Part I, Chapter II, articles 15 to 29 SC (Fundamental Rights and Public Liberties)

·                Disputes between State and Autonomous Communities or among Autonomous Communities themselves (also regulated by Title IV, Chapter II, articles 60 to 72 LOTC)

·                Control of the constitutionality of the legislation of the Autonomous Communities

The Constitutional Court accomplishes its functions through different procedures:

·                Appeal of unconstitutionality (Recurso de inconstitucionalidad).  This is an appeal alleging unconstitutionality of acts and statutes having the force of an act and it is regulated by article 161.1.a and by Title II, Chapter II, articles 31-34 LOTC.

·                Issue of unconstitutionality (Cuestión de inconstitucionalidad). 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’s regulated by article 163 SC and Title II, Chapter III, articles 35-37 LOTC

Both procedures are referred to as declarations of unconstitutionality (Title II, articles 27 to 40 LOTC)

·                Individual appeal for protection (Recurso de amparo) is designed to protect the citizens against violations of the fundamental rights and pubic liberties protected at Part I, Chapter II, articles 15 to 29 SC performed by any public power. It’s regulated by articles 53.2 and 161.1.b CE and by Title III, articles 41 to 58 LOTC

Entities or individuals entitled to lodge the mentioned procedures are stated at. Article 162 SC. Issues of unconstitutionality can only be held by judicial bodies.

If an international treaty contains stipulations contrary to the Constitution its conclusion 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 Constitutional Court is also entitled to hear about disputes among the different organs of the State (article 59.3 LOTC and Title IV Chapter III, articles 73 to 75 LOTC)

Table of Contents


The Spanish legal system is a civil law system.

The three main codes in Spain are:

·                Civil Code

·                Criminal Code

·                Commercial Code

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.[20]

As stated in article 1 of the Spanish Civil Code (Cc) the Spanish sources of law are:

·                Law. Must be understood in the sense of any written rule of law created by the State. It’s the pre-eminent source, the others are subsidiary sources.

·                Custom. Customary rules are usually non-written law and don’t came from the State but from society. 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’s only applicable by a judge if there is no applicable law and can not be contrary to morals or public law. Custom against legislation (contra legem) is forbidden by the article1 Cc.

·                General principles of law. General principles of law are the basic rules reflecting the convictions of a community in respect its organization. General principles of law permeate the legal system, for instance art 1.1. SC and they also inform other sources

3.1.1    CASE LAW

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 in at least two judgments.


No applicable rule can be derived from legal doctrine. 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.

Table of Contents


3.2.1    TYPES OF LAW

The Spanish legal system is hierarchical, so laws of a lower jurisdiction cannot override laws of a higher jurisdiction. The rank, from higher to lower level, is:

·                Organic Law (Ley Orgánica). Organic Laws are a specific type of statute. They are regulated by article 81 SC and are different from ordinary legislation in two ways:

–        The matter of the regulation. Exercise of fundamental rights and public liberties, Statutes of Autonomy, the general electoral system and others provided for in the Constitution must be issued by an organic law (article 81.1 SC). The matters provided for in the SC include: 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 laws 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 Law (Ley). Ordinary laws are all the laws whose subject matter is not reserved to organic laws by the Constitution. They require a simple majority of the Congress and of the Senate, with the Congress adopting the final decision.

·                Decree-Law (Decreto-ley; article 86 SC). These are provisional legislative decisions that Government may issue for extraordinary and urgent matters and rank as laws. Decree Laws 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 Laws must be ratified by the Congress, convoked for that purpose if it was not gathered, within a period of 30 days.

·                Legislative Decree (Decreto legislativo). Legislative decrees are dispositions of the Government containing delegated legislation (article 85 SC) and also rank as laws. This legislative delegation must be granted by a Basic Law (Ley de Bases) when its objective is the formation of articled texts or by an ordinary law when is a matter of arranging several legal texts in to a single one (article 82.2 SC). This delegation must be granted to the Government in an express form, for a concrete matter and establishing a period of time for its exercise (article 82.3 SC)

·                Regulation (Reglamento). Regulations are legislation of a lower status. The term Regulation refers to any general rule dictated generally by the Government. 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 function. For instance: Congress and Senate (article 72.1 SC), General Council of the Judiciary (article 2.2 LOTC) or Constitutional Court. Regulations may regulate matters without legislative coverage or develop an existent law. They also may create or modify rights and duties of the citizens, or just organize administration activities affecting only the citizen who has a special relationship with the administration.

                  Types of regulations:

–        Decree (Decreto) from the Council of Ministers

–        Order (Orden) from the Ministers or Delegate Commissions.

–       Instruction (Instrucción) and Orders of Regulation (Circulares) from inferior authorities and members of public administration

·                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 Law (article 93 SC).

If the treaty concerns certain matters of a political or military nature, 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 law, 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. 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:

·                The ABC of Community law. Available in all EU languages

·                Key players in 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 exercises the legislative power on behalf of a bill (Proyecto de Ley).  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 the antecedents (article 88 SC).  Once a bill has been approved by the Congress, it will be delivered to the Senate that may, through a message explaining the reasons, veto (by an absolute majority) or introduce amendments into it (article 90.2 SC).  Congress may or may not accept the amendments.  If not, Congress must ratify the initial text by an absolute majority or by simply majority once two months have passed since the presentation of the text.  Congress may also accept or not the amendments, expressing whether or not it accepts them by a simple majority (article 90.2 SC)

·                Congress and Senate.  They exercise the legislative power on behalf of a proposal of law (Proposición de Ley). Proposals of law are regulated in the Regulations of the Chambers. The ones taken under consideration by the Senate shall be sent to the Congress (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 law (article 87.2 SC)

·                Popular initiative. This initiative shall require at least 500,000 signatures and is not applicable to Organic Laws, taxation, international affairs and the prerogative of pardon. Requirements for its exercise are regulated by Organic Law 3/1984, March 26, Reguladora de la Iniciativa Legislativa Popular (LORIP)

Ordinary legislative process is regulated by SC (articles 88 to 91 SC) and completed by Regulations of the Chambers.

·                The bills proposed by Government or the proposals of law issued by the Senate are discussed at Congress in a Plenary Session in order to be accepted, table vetoed or have table amendments. Proposals of law from the Congress and from popular initiative pass directly to the next step.

·                The bill or the proposal of law passes to the study of a Commission. The Commission designates a “Ponencia” who will prepare a brief about the text (Dictamen) which will be discussed and voted in Plenary Session. Groups can maintain amendments not accepted by the Commission. The Commission studies the text section by section and debates the amendments tabled.

·                Once the text is approved by the Congress the bill or proposal of law is submitted by the President to the Senate.

·                As in Congress work take place in Plenary Sessions and in Commissions. The Senate may accept, table a veto or table amendments.

–       If Senate rejects the text (by an absolute majority) the text goes back to Congress which can:

–       Approve the bill or proposal of law 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 the text is ready to be sanctioned by the King.

The King shall sanction the laws 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.

Spanish Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado). Free access since 1995.

Decisions of special importance may be submitted for a consultative referendum of all the citizens convoked by the King at proposal of the President of the Government authorized by the Congress (article92 SC). Referendum is regulated by Organic Law 2/1980 [21], January 18 (modified by Organic Law 12/1980)

Table of Contents


As said above, Autonomous Communities issue their own legal provisions, in order to organize their institutions and regulate the domains attributed to them by SC. These legal provisions are only applicable in the own Autonomous Community.

Autonomous Communities’ laws are limited in the way of the matter of the regulation. Autonomous Communities’ laws can only regulate those matters that are a domain of the Autonomous Community.

They are produced by the Legislative Assembly according to the method established. They have the same rank and character as the laws produced by the State’s Parliament. They are published by the Autonomous Community Official Gazette and by State’s Official Gazette.

Autonomous Communities don’t issue Organic Laws and Decree Laws, but they issue Legislative Decrees and Regulations.

Autonomous Communities’ Official Gazettes:

·                Boletín Oficial de la Junta de Andalucía

·                Boletín Oficial de Aragón

·                Boletín Oficial del Principado de Asturias

·               Butlletí Oficial de la Comunitat Autònoma de les Illes Balears [22]

·                Boletín Oficial de Canarias

·                Boletín Oficial de Cantabria

·                Boletín Oficial de Castilla y León

·                Diario Oficial de Castilla-La Mancha

·                Diari Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya

·                Diari Oficial de la Generalitat Valenciana [23]

·                Diario Oficial de la Junta de Extremadura

·                Diario Oficial de Galicia [24]

·                Boletín Oficial de La Rioja

·                Boletín Oficial de la Comunidad de Madrid

·                Boletín Oficial de la Región de Murcia

·                Boletín Oficial de Navarra

·                Boletín Oficial del País Vasco [25]

·                Boletín Oficial de Ceuta

·                Boletín Oficial de la Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla

Autonomous Communities legislation. Depending on the Centro de Información Administrativa.

Table of Contents


The practice of any legal profession in Spain requires obtaining a law degree at a law school (Facultad de Derecho).

After obtaining the law degree, one can choose to complete a Doctorate program. The Doctorate in Law provides specialization of knowledge in a certain area through lectures and seminars and the presentation of a thesis on a legal topic.

Some major Universities:

·                Universitat de Barcelona

·                Universitat de Barcelona Law School

·                Universitat Autònoma de Bellaterra

·                Universitat Autònoma de Bellaterra. Law School

·                Universitat Pompeu Fabra

·                Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Law School

·                Esade

·                Universidad Complutense de Madrid

·                Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Law School

·                Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo

·                Universitat de València

·                Universidad de València. Law School

·                Universitat de Girona

·                Universitat de Girona. Law School

·                UNED. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

·                UNED. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Law School

·                UOC. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya [26]

·                UOC. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Law School [27]

·               Universidad de Alicante. Facultad de Derecho Universidades y planes de estudio. Links to Spanish Universities, Law Schools and study programs.

The main legal professions in Spain are:

·               Lawyer (Abogado). Lawyers carry on the advice and defense of public and private interests through the application of legal science and legal techniques. The rules and organization of the profession of lawyers are stated at the “Estatuto General de la abogacía española”, RD 658/2001, June 22nd.   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’s necessary to be incorporated 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.

Main Bar Associations:

Barcelona Bar Association

Madrid Bar Association

Consell dels Il.lustres Col.legis d’Advocats de Catalunya

·               Procurador. Unlike lawyers, who give 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, 5th.  As a side note, this figure does not exist in all E.C. legal systems.

·               Notary. Notaries perform a public service conferring authenticity to documents. To develop their function they have a delegated power from the State. In this sense, they depend from the Ministry of Justice and they join the profession after passing an official examination. As the precedent legal professions they are incorporated to the “Colegio de Notarios” presided by “Consejo General del Notariado”. [28]. The profession is regulated by Law May 28, 1862, and by Decree June 2, 1944.

·               Judges and Magistrates.

·               Public prosecutor.

·               Professors and “Catedráticos” at University. A Doctorate in Law is required after obtaining the Law degree.

Table of Contents


·               ROMAN LAW

Historia del Derecho Romano

Joan Miquel


Derecho Privado Romano

Joan Miquel

Ed. Marcial Pons

Derecho Romano. Historia e Instituciones

Juan Iglesias

Ed. Ariel

·               HISTORY OF LAW

La Creación del Derecho. Una historia del derecho español. 2 volumes

Ed. Gráficas signo

Manual de derecho español

Francisco Tomás y Valiente

Ed. Tecnos

·               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

Ed. Cedecs


Derecho Internacional Privado

José Carlos Fernández Rozas y Sixto Sánchez Lorenzo

Ed. Civitas

Derecho Internacional Privado. 2 Volumes

Ed. Comares

Derecho Internacional Privado. Parte Especial

Julio D. González Campos, José Carlos Fernández Rozas, Alfonso-Luis Calvo Caravaca, Miguel Virgós Soriano, Miguel Ángel Amores Conradi, Pilar Domínguez Lozano

Ed. Eurolex

Introducción al Derecho Internacional Privado

Alfonso-Luis Calvo Caravaca y Javier Carrascosa González

Ed. Comares

Guía práctica de los convenios de la Haya de los que España es parte

Secretaría General Técnica. Centro de Publicaciones

Ministerio de Justicia


Curso de derecho internacional público

Julio D. González Campos, Luis I. Sánchez Rodríguez, Paz Andrés de Santa María

Ed. Civitas

Instituciones de Derecho Internacional Público

Manuel Díez de Velasco

Ed. Tecnos

Lecciones de Derecho Internacional Público

Alejandro J. Rodríguez Carrión

Ed. Tecnos

·               EUROPEAN UNION

Manual de Derecho de la Unión Europea

Fernando Díez Moreno

Ed. Civitas

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             

Ed. Ariel

·               ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Curso de Derecho Administrativo. 2 volumes

Eduardo García de Enterría y Tomás-Ramón Fernández

Ed. Civitas

Derecho Administrativo. 3 vol

Ramón Parada

Ed. Marcial Pons

·               CIVIL PROCEDURE

Derecho Procesal Civil. Ley 1/2000. 2 volumes

José María Asencio Mellado

Ed. Tirant lo Blanch

·               CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

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

·               CRIMINAL LAW

Derecho Penal. Parte General

Santiago Mir Puig

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

Ed. Cedecs

Curso de Derecho Penal Español. Parte Especial

Directed by Manuel Cobo del Rosal

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

Manuel Albaladejo

José Mª Bosch Editor

Fundamentos del Derecho Civil Patrimonial

Luis Díez-Picazo

Ed. Civitas

Elementos de Derecho Civil

José Luis Lacruz Berdejo

José Mª Bosch Editor

·               COMMERCIAL LAW

Derecho Mercantil

Rodrigo Uría

Ed. Marcial Pons

Curso de Derecho Mercantil

Rodrigo Uría y Aurelio Menéndez

Ed. Civitas

Introducción al derecho Mercantil

Francisco Vicent Chulià

Ed. Tirant lo Blanch

Compendio Crítico de Derecho Mercantil

Francisco Vicent Chulià

José Mª Bosch Editor

Comentario al Régimen Legal de las Sociedades Mercantiles

Directed by Rodrigo Uría, Aurelio Menéndez, Manuel Olivencia

Ed. Civitas

·               LABOR LAW

Introducción al Derecho del Trabajo

Manuel Alonso Olea

Ed. Civitas

Derecho del Trabajo

Manuel Alonso Olea, Mª Emilia Casas Bahamonde

Ed. Civitas

Manual de Derecho del Trabajo

Manuel García Fernández

Ed. Ariel

Derecho del Trabajo

Manuel Carlos Palomeque López, Manuel Álvarez de la Rosa

Ed. Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces

Derecho Sindical

Tomás Sala Franco, Ignacio

Ed. Tirant lo Blanch

Instituciones de la Seguridad Social

Manuel Alonso Olea, José Luis Torturero Plaza

Ed. Civitas

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

Ed. Tecnos

·               TAX LAW

Curso de derecho Financiero y Tributario

Juan Marín Queralt, Carmelo Lozano Serrano, Gabriel Casado Ollero, José M. Tejerizo López

Ed. Tecnos

Sistema Tributario Español y Comparado

César Albiñana

Ed. Tecnos

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)

Table of Contents

6.         RESOURCES

6.1       On-Line Resources


·               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.[29]

·                Boletín Oficial del Senado, Official Gazette of the Senate.

·                Boletín Oficial del Congreso (Publications) Official Gazette of the Congress.

·               Iberlex. Based on the Official Gazette. Links to the Spanish Official Gazette, Official Journal of the European Union, Official Gazettes of other members of the European Union, Autonomous Communities Gazettes and Provincial Gazettes. Basic legislation (SC; State, Autonomous Communities and European legislation; Statutes of Autonomy; European Treaties and Collective Bargains) Legislation and case law databases. Links to Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, the Council of State, Congress and Senate.

·               Autonomous Communities legislation. Depending on the Centro de Información Administrativa.

·               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 Actualidad. 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 Impuestos.

·               Centro de Información Administrativa. Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas. Depending on Public Administrations Ministry. General information and citizen attention about Public Administrations issues: public job, 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…

·               Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas. Boletines Oficiales. Depending on the Public Administrations Ministry. Links to the Spanish Official Gazette, Official Journal of the European Union, Official Gazettes of other members of the European Union, Autonomous Communities Gazettes, Provincial Gazettes, Official Gazette of Senate and Official Gazettes of Autonomous Communities Parliaments.

·               Ministerio de Administraciones Públicas. Legislación del Estado y otras disposiciones. Spanish and European legislation by topic. Legislation database. Links to legislation web pages.

·               Administración General del Estado. Also available in Catalan, Basque, Galician and Valencian. The page includes an international portal in Spanish, English, French and German, which includes relevant information for foreigners about Spanish institutions and administration.

·               Administración General del Estado. Legislación. Spanish and European legislation searcher by topic.

·               Projecte Norma Civil. Spanish and Catalan civil legislation. The site is ruled by the University of Girona.

·               Supreme Court Case Law (Jurisprudencia)

·                Constitutional Court Case Law

·                Invest in Spain

·                Bank of Spain

·                Agencia Española de Protección de datos

Legal Portals

·                Noticias jurídicas

·                Jurisweb

·                Iustel

·                Vlex

·                Pàgina jurídica. Spanish legal page. Index of web pages about Spanish law.


·                Todo el derecho


EU Institutions

·                European Parliament. Available in all EU languages.

·               European Council. Available in all EU languages. The Council is the main decision-making body of the European Union.

·                European Commission

For further information about the EU:

·                The ABC of Community law. Available in all EU languages.

·                Key players in EU legislation. Available in all EU languages.

·                The European Union at a glance. Available in all EU languages.

·                Europe. 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.

·               Official Journal. Available in all EU languages.

·               Celex. European Union Law. By subscription. Celex is the official legal database of the European Union. Available in all EU languages.

·                Curia. The Court of Justice of the European Communities. Available in all EU languages.

·                European Parliament. The legislative observatory.

·               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.

·                European Union information sources and contacts

·                European Central Bank

·                European Investment Bank

·                European Union. Committee of the Regions

·                European Union. Economic and Social Committee

·                European Court of Auditors

·                European Court of Human Rights. Available in English and French

·                Council of Europe

·               Centro de Documentación Europea. Managed 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…

·               Centro de Documentación Europea. Legislación y Jurisprudencia. Search of EU legislation by document reference and links to EU legislation and case law web pages.

·                Centro de Documentación Europea. Managed by Universidat de València.

6.2       Legal Publishers:

·                Aranzadi


·                Westlaw

·                Editorial Colex

·                Editorial Colex-Data

·                La Ley


·                Civitas

·                Lex Nova

·                Librería Jurídica Editorial Bosch

·                Editorial Bosch

·                Marcial Pons

·                Tirant lo Blanch

·                Dijusa

·                Difusión Jurídica

·                El Derecho

6.3       Miscellaneous

Spanish language:

·                Real Academia de la Lengua Española

·                Instituto Cervantes



·                El País

·                El Mundo

·                La Vanguardia

·                El Periódico


·                Cinco Días

·                La Gaceta de los Negocios

·                Expansión



·                Televisión Española

·                Antena 3 Televisión

·                Telecinco

·                Canal Plus

·                Televisió de Catalunya

·                Televisión de Galicia

·                Telemadrid

·                Euskal Telebista


·                Radio Nacional de España

·                Onda Cero

·                Cadena Ser

·                Cadena Cope

·                Catalunya Ràdio

·                Catalunya Informació

·                Telenotícies online


·                BBVA

·                Santander Central Hispano

·                Banesto

·                Caja Madrid

·                Caixa Catalunya

·                La Caixa

Telephone directories:

·                Páginas amarillas

·                Páginas blancas

City Maps:

·                Barcelona

·                Bilbao

·                Madrid

·                Sevilla (Mapa del web / Callejero)

·                Valencia

·                Callejero Páginas amarillas

·                Callejero Lanetro

Postal service

·                Correos

National railway company

·                Renfe


·                Tourspain [30]


·                Dirección General de Tráfico

Table of Contents

[2]                 Spanish version

[3]                 Spanish version

[4]                 Spanish version

[5]                 At Congress is formed by the President, four vice-presidents and several secretaries

At Senate is formed by the President, two vice-presidents and several secretaries

[6]                Further information, general legislation and another dispositions can be found at (Junta Electoral Central)

[7]                Available in Spanish, English and French. Links to the Ministries, the Autonomous Communities, the Royal Household and the high-ranking state institutions.

[8]                Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial

[9]                 Ley Orgánica 8/2003

[10]               Ley 22/2003

[11]          The criminal regulation of second instance has been recently modified by Organic Law 19/2003, December 23th, “changing Law 6/1985, of July 1, 1985, by virtue of Judicial Authority”. According to its 2nd final disposition, in a period of one year, the Government will send to the Legislative Chamber the proposed bills (Proyectos de ley) in order to adapt the proceeding laws to the dispositions modified by this law.”

[12]               This is the most typical jury, though other juries can be constituted at other jurisdictional organs.

[13]               Articles 8 and 9 of “Ley de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa” have been recently modified by the 14th additional disposition of Organic Law 1972003

[14]               Catalan


[15]               Valencian


[19]               La Casa Real  (Spanish versión)

[20]              During XIX century  Constitution did not have a juridical consideration, law used to be understood as private law and the Civil Code was the main rule of private law

[21]               Ley Orgánica 2/1980

[23]               Spanish version

[24]               Spanish version

[28]               Consejo General del Notariado de España (Spanish version)

[29]               English


And all Autonomous Communities languages