The Constitutional Court ( es, Tribunal Constitucional) is the supreme interpreter of the
Spanish Constitution The Spanish Constitution ( Spanish, Asturleonese, and gl, Constitución Española; eu, Espainiako Konstituzioa; ca, Constitució Espanyola; oc, Constitucion espanhòla) is the democratic law that is supreme in the Kingdom of Spain ...
, 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
Supreme Court The 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 ...
is the highest court for all judicial matters.


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 before they are ratified, if requested to do so by the Government, the Congress of Deputies, or the
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. The Constitution further declares that individual citizens may
appeal In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed by a higher authority, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying an ...
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 eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , map = , category = Autonomous administrative ...

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 ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue (its ). In f ...
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.


This court consists of twelve magistrates (justices) who serve for nine-year terms. Four of these are nominated by the Congress of Deputies, four by the
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, two by the executive branch of the government, and two by the General Council of the Judiciary; all are formally appointed by the Monarchy of Spain, King. 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 of the Constitutional Court (Spain), President 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, 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 Judiciary, Spanish judicial system could handle cases concerning crimes against humanity, such as genocide, Universal jurisdiction, 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 marriages 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 Catalonia 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 *Rule of law *Rule according to higher law




External links

Official website
{{DEFAULTSORT:Constitutional Court Of Spain Courts in Spain National supreme courts, Spain Constitutional courts, Spain