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The Constitutional Court ( es, Tribunal Constitucional) is the
supreme interpreter
supreme interpreter
of the
Spanish Constitution The Spanish Constitution (Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg ...
, with the power to determine the constitutionality of acts and statutes made by any public body, central, regional, or local in Spain. It is defined in Part IX (sections 159 through 165) of the Constitution of Spain, and further governed by Organic Laws 2/1979 (Law of the Constitutional Court of 3 October 1979), 8/1984, 4/1985, 6/1988, 7/1999 and 1/2000. The court is the "supreme interpreter" of the Constitution, but since the court is not a part of the
Spanish Judiciary The Judiciary of Spain consists of Court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of ju ...
, the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...
is the highest court for all judicial matters.


Powers

The Constitutional Court is authorized to rule on the
constitutionality Constitutionality is the condition of acting in accordance with an applicable constitution; the status of a law, a procedure, or an act's accordance with the laws or set forth in the applicable constitution. When laws, procedures, or acts dire ...
of laws, acts, or regulations set forth by the national or the regional parliaments. It also may rule on the constitutionality of
international treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...

international treaties
before they are ratified, if requested to do so by the Government, the
Congress of Deputies The Congress of Deputies ( es, link=no, Congreso de los Diputados) is the lower house of the Cortes Generales, Spain's legislative branch. The Congress meets in the Palacio de las Cortes, Madrid, Palace of the Parliament (') in Madrid. It has ...
, or the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
. The Constitution further declares that individual citizens may
appeal In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described ...
to the Constitutional Court for protection against governmental acts that violate their "fundamental rights or freedoms". Only individuals directly affected can make this appeal, called a ''recurso de amparo'', and they can do this only after exhausting judicial appeals. Public officials, specifically "the President of the Government, the Defender of the People, fifty Members of Congress, fifty Senators, the Executive body of an
Autonomous Community In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...

Autonomous Community
and, where applicable, its Assembly", may also request that the court determine the constitutionality of a law. The General Electoral Law of June 1985 additionally allows appeals to this court in cases where electoral boards exclude candidates from the ballot. In addition, this court has the power to preview the constitutionality of texts delineating statutes of autonomy and to settle conflicts of
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
between the central and the autonomous community governments, or between the governments of two or more autonomous communities. Because many of the constitutional provisions pertaining to autonomy questions are ambiguous and sometimes contradictory, this court could play a critical role in Spain's political and social development.The decisions of the Constitutional Court cannot be appealed by anyone.


Composition

This court consists of twelve magistrates (justices) who serve for nine-year terms. Four of these are nominated by the
Congress of Deputies The Congress of Deputies ( es, link=no, Congreso de los Diputados) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chamb ...

Congress of Deputies
, four by the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
, two by the executive branch of the government, and two by the
General Council of the Judiciary The General Council of the Judiciary (GCJ) ( es, Consejo General del Poder Judicial, (CGPJ) is the national council of the judiciary of Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España ...
; all are formally appointed by the
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...
. The Constitution sets a minimum standard of fifteen years of experience in fields related to jurisprudence, including "magistrates and prosecutors, university professors, public officials and lawyers," and must not contemporaneously hold a position that may detract from their independence, such as a post in a political party or a representative position. Amongst and by the magistrates of the court, a
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
is elected for a three-year term, who is assisted by a Vice President, who is also magistrate, and a secretary-general, that is the responsible for overseeing the staff of the court.


Current magistrates

The Constitutional Court consists of a president, currently
Juan José González Rivas Juan José González Rivas (born 10 May 1951) is a Spanish jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessarily with a formal qual ...
, the vice president, currently María Encarna Roca Trías and ten magistrates (whom can be judges or jurists with relevant experience).


Notable decisions

In 2005, the court ruled that the Spanish judicial system could handle cases concerning
crimes against humanity Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Art ...
, such as
genocide Genocide is the attempted destruction of a people, usually defined as an ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
, regardless of whether Spanish citizens were involved or directly affected. In this instance, it reversed the decision made by the Supreme Court in the same case, which held that such cases could be brought before Spanish courts only if a Spanish victim was involved. In 2005, a challenge before the Court was presented denouncing the Same-sex Marriage Act of 2005 arguing that the Constitution says that «men and women have the right to marry with full legal equality» and this didn't allow same-sex marriages. In 2012, after seven years of study, the Court rule that the Constitution allows
same-sex marriage Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spo ...
s because the social concept of marriage had evolved so the Constitution must to be interpreted according to the current cultural values. A controversial decision in 2010 declaring unconstitutional few articles of the
Statute of Autonomy of CataloniaA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrument which govern the state, country or any nation. it includes laws, rules and the reulation whichhas to be followed by each citizen in the county. A statute ...
has been a source of much controversy and conflict since then, with some arguing that the judgement was illegitimate due to the removal of a judge and three more judges having their terms expired. In 2017, the court ordered those responsible for the referendum on November 9, 2014 to pay 5 million euros. In addition, social agents from Spain have demanded that the distribution of public funds in the Catalan press should be audited.


See also

* Austrian System *
Judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
*
Rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

Rule of law
*
Rule according to higher law The rule according to a higher law is a statement which expresses that no law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain universal principles (written or unwritten) of fairness, morality, and justice. Thus, ''the rule accor ...


Notes


References


External links


Official website
{{DEFAULTSORT:Constitutional Court Of Spain Courts in Spain
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Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...