JURIST >> WORLD LAW >> Spain 

Constitution, Government & Legislation | Courts & Judgments | Legal Profession | Law Schools | Study Law in Spain | Correspondents' Reports
map courtesy CIA World Factbook; click for enlargement Constitution, Government & Legislation

Spain is a Parliamentary monarchy with an hereditary constitutional monarch as head of state. Under the 1978 Constitution, power is centered in a bicameral legislature--the Cortes (comprising a lower house, the Congress of Deputies, and an upper house, the Senate). Both houses are elected by universal suffrage every four years (unless parliament is dissolved earlier by head of state), but the 350-member Congress of Deputies uses proportional representation system, whereas the Senate contains 208 members elected directly as well as 49 regional representatives. The Congress of Deputies wields greater legislative power. The leader of the dominant political party in the Cortes is designated prime minister and serves as head of government. The prime minister, deputy prime minister, and cabinet ministers together make up Council of Ministers, the highest national executive institution with both policy-making and administrative functions.

Source: Library of Congress

Courts & Judgments

The Spanish Constitution establishes an independent judiciary. The Spanish judicial system is headed by the Supreme Court. It also includes territorial courts, regional courts, provincial courts, courts of first instance, and municipal courts. The Constitutional Court resolves constitutional questions. A twenty-member General Council of the Judiciary appoints judges and maintains ethical standards within the legal profession. The Constitution also provides for a public prosecutor and a public defender to protect both the rule of law and the rights of citizens.

Source: Library of Congress

Legal Profession

Law Schools

Study Law in Spain

Summer Study Abroad

Correspondents' Reports

JURIST's Spain Correspondent is Dr. Fernando Martin Diz, Assistant Professor of Procedural Law, Faculty of Law, University of Salamanca.

Dr. Fernando Martin Diz
Assistant Professor of Procedural Law, Faculty of Law, University of Salamanca