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A Short Guide on Spanish Courts

A Short Guide on Spanish Courts

Updated on Monday 10th October 2016

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The legal system in Spain is organized in different sections that cover the main types of legal procedures: constitutional, administrative, civil, criminal, commercial, labour and tax. The principle of the unity of the judicial power in Spain is mentioned in the Constitution that came into force in 1978 and which stipulates the right of self-government for all the nationalities and the regions in Spain; our team of Spanish lawyers can provide more details on the functions of all courts in Spain

Structure of the Spanish courts

There are three legal aspects that are very important when we talk about the legal system in Spain: jurisdiction, territoriality and the number of judges in a trial. The country is divided into municipalities, districts, provinces and autonomous communities and, from a legal point of view, there are: peace courts, courts of first instance, administrative courts, labour tribunals, courts for prisoners and juvenile courts.
There are also provincial courts and autonomous communities courts and, at the national level, there are other entities such as: the National Criminal and Administrative Court, the Supreme Court, the central courts of preliminary investigations and the central administrative courts.
The majority of Spanish courts have a single judge who is present in trials and there are certain courts, such as the Supreme Court or the National Criminal and Administrative Court, where the trials are carried out with the participation of several judges. A bench of judges is also common in the autonomous communities’ high courts, as well as for the provincial courts.  
In Spain there are courts offices that are administrative entities which support the judicial work and help for a better efficiency of judicial procedures; our team of Spanish attorneys can offer more details on the above-mentioned courts.  
However, it is important to know that the courts office was established under the Organic Law on the Judiciary, which has the purpose of increasing the transparency of the proceedings. 


Types of courts in Spain

The Spanish judicial system is comprised of the following main types of courts: civil, criminal, administrative, labour and military.
In the civil courts, that are also known as ordinary courts, persons can address various regular disputes which are not assigned to another specific court. Criminal matters are handled through criminal courts and the administrative courts deal with documents issued by authorities; the labour courts are entitled to perform legal procedures related to claims regarding the rights and obligations stipulated under an employment contract.
It is important to know that the Spanish government is established under the following three main structures: 
legislative power;
executive power;
judicial power. 
Persons interested in knowing more details about the Spanish courts and to which court a case should be addressed to, may contact our law firm in Spain. Our Spanish attorneys will offer assistance on a wide area of legal matters and they will represent local or foreign individuals in front of any court in Spain.


  • Jose 2016-06-29

    The courts system in Spain is similar to the ones in the European Union, but there are also many differences referring to the internal structure or the handling of a case.

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