Í N D I C E
Fundamental Rights and Duties
Spaniards and Aliens
Rights and freedoms.
Principles governing Economic and Social Policy
Guarantee of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
Suspension of Rights and Freedoms
The Cortes Generales
Houses of Parliament
Drafting of Bills
Government and Administration
Relations between the Government and the Cortes
Economy and Finance
Territorial Organization of the State
The Constitutional Court
27 december 1978
Me, don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, announce to all those who
may have knowledge of this: that the Cortes have passed and the
Spanish people have ratified the following Constitution:
The Spanish Nation, desiring to establish justice, liberty, and
security, and to promote the well-being of all its members, in the
exercise of its sovereignty, proclaims its will to:
Guarantee democratic coexistence within the Constitution and the
laws, in accordance with a fair economic and social order.
Consolidate a State of Law which ensures the rule of law as the
expression of the popular will.
Protect all Spaniards and peoples of Spain in the exercise of
human rights, of their culture and traditions, languages and institutions.
Promote the progress of culture and of the economy to ensure a
dignified quality of life for all.
Establish an advanced democratic society, and
Cooperate in the strengthening of peaceful relations and effective
cooperation among all the peoples of the earth.
Therefore, the Cortes pass and the Spanish people ratifies the
1. Spain is hereby established as a social and democratic State,
subject to the rule of law, which advocates freedom, justice, equality
and political pluralism as highest values of its legal system .
2. National sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people, from whom
all state powers emanate.
3. The political form of the Spanish State is the Parliamentary
The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish
Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it
recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities
and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them
1. Castilian is the official Spanish language of the State. All
Spaniards have the duty to know it and the right to use it.
2. The other Spanish languages shall also be official in the respective
Self-governing Communities in accordance with their Statutes.
3. The richness of the different linguistic modalities of Spain
is a cultural heritage which shall be specially respected and protected.
1.The flag of Spain consists of three horizontal stripes:
red, yellow and red, the yellow strip being twice as wide as each
2.The Statutes may recognize flags and ensigns of the Self-governing
Communities. These shall be used together with the flag of Spain
on their public buildings and in their official ceremonies.
The capital of the State is the city of Madrid.
Political parties are the expression of political pluralism, they
contribute to the formation and expression of the will of the people
and are an essential instrument for political participation. Their
creation and the exercise of their activities are free in so far
as they respect the Constitution and the law. Their internal structure
and their functioning must be democratic.
Trade unions and employers associations contribute to the defence
and promotion of the economic and social interests which they represent.
Their creation and the exercise of their activities shall be free
in so far as they respect the Constitution and the law. Their internal
structure and their functioning must be democratic.
1. The mission of the Armed Forces, comprising the Army, the Navy
and the Air Force, is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence
of Spain and to defend its territorial integrity and the constitutional
2. The basic structure of military organization shall be regulated
by an Organic Act in accordance with the principles of the present
1. Citizens and public authorities are bound by the Constitution
and all other legal previsions.
2. It is the responsibility of the public authorities to promote
conditions ensuring that freedom and equality of individuals and
of the groups to which they belong are real and effective, to remove
the obstacles preventing or hindering their full enjoyment, and
to facilitate the participation of all citizens in political, economic,
cultural and social life.
3. The Constitution guarantees the principle of legality, the hierarchy
of legal provisions, the publicity of legal statutes, the non-retroactivity
of punitive provisions that are not favourable to or restrictive
of individual rights, the certainty that the rule of law shall prevail,
the accountability of public authorities, and the prohibition of
arbitrary action of public authorities.
PART I. Fundamental Rights and Duties
1. The dignity of the person, the inviolable rights which are inherent,
the free development of the personality, the respect for the law
and for the rights of others are the foundation of political order
and social peace.
2. Provisions relating to the fundamental rights and liberties recognized
by the Constitution shall be construed in conformity with the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties and agreements
thereon ratified by Spain.
CHAPTER 1. Spaniards and Aliens
1. Spanish nationality shall be acquired, retained and lost in accordance
with the provisions of the law.
2.No person of Spanish birth may be deprived of his or her nationality.
3.The State may negotiate dual nationality treaties with Latin-American
countries or with those which have had or which have special links
with Spain. In these countries Spaniards may become naturalized
without losing their nationality of origin, even if those countries
do not grant a reciprocal right to their own citizens.
Spaniards come legally of age at eighteen years.
1. Aliens in Spain shall enjoy the public freedoms guaranteed by
the present Part, under the terms to be laid down by treaties and
2. Only Spaniards shall have the rights recognized in section 23,
except in cases which may be established by treaty or by law concerning
the right to vote and the right to be elected in municipal elections,
and subject to the principle of reciprocity. (This text includes
the first constitutional reform adopted on 27/08/1992; it just added
the words "and the right to be elected" to the paragraph).
3. Extradition shall be granted only in compliance with a treaty
or with the law, on reciprocal basis. No extradition can be granted
for political crimes; but acts of terrorism shall not be regarded
4. The law shall lay down the terms under which citizens from other
countries and stateless persons may enjoy the right to asylum in
CHAPTER 2. Rights and freedoms
Spaniards are equal before the law and may not in any way be discriminated
against on account of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or any
other personal or social condition or circumstance.
Fundamental Rights and Public Freedoms
Everyone has the right to life and to physical and moral
integrity, and under no circumstances may be subjected to torture
or to inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. Death penalty
is hereby abolished, except as provided for by military criminal
law in times of war.
1. Freedom of ideology, religion and worship of individuals
and communities is guaranteed, with no other restriction on their
expression than may be necessary to maintain public order as protected
2. No one may be compelled to make statements regarding his or her
ideology, religion or beliefs.
3. No religion shall have a state character. The public authorities
shall take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society
and shall consequently maintain appropriate cooperation relations
with the Catholic Church and other confessions.
1. Every person has the right to freedom and security. No one may
be deprived of his or her freedom except in accordance with the
provisions of this section and in the cases and in the manner provided
for by the law.
2. Preventive arrest may last no longer than the time strictly necessary
in order to carry out the investigations aimed at establishing the
events; in any case the person arrested must be set free or handed
over to the judicial authorities within a maximum period of seventy-two
3. Every person arrested must be informed immediately, and in a
way understandable to him or her, of his or her rights and of the
grounds for his or her arrest, and may not be compelled to make
a statement. The arrested person shall be guaranteed the assistance
of a lawyer during police and judicial proceedings, under the terms
to be laid down by the law.
4. An habeas corpus procedure shall be provided for by law in order
to ensure the immediate handing over to the judicial authorities
of any person illegally arrested. Likewise, the maximum period of
provisional imprisonment shall be determined by law.
1. The right to honour, to personal and family privacy
and to the own image is guaranteed.
2. The home is inviolable. No entry or search may be made without
the consent of the householder or a legal warrant, except in cases
of flagrante delicto.
3. Secrecy of communications is guaranteed, particularly regarding
postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, except in the
event of a court order.
4. The law shall restrict the use of data processing in order to
guarantee the honour and personal and family privacy of citizens
and the full exercise of their rights.
Spaniards have the right to freely choose their place of residence,
and to freely move about within the national territory. Likewise,
they have the right to freely enter and leave Spain subject to the
conditions to be laid down by the law. This right may not be restricted
for political or ideological reasons.
1. The following rights are recognized and protected:
a) The right to freely express and spread thoughts, ideas and opinions
through words, in writing or by any other means of reproduction.
b) The right to literary, artistic, scientific and technical production
c) The right to academic freedom.
d)The right to freely communicate or receive truthful information
by any means of dissemination whatsoever. The law shall regulate
the right to the clause of conscience and professional secrecy in
the exercise of these freedoms.
2. The exercise of these rights may not be restricted by any form
of prior censorship.
3. The law shall regulate the organization and parliamentary control
of the masscommunication means under the control of the State or
any public agency and shall guarantee access to such means by the
significant social and political groups, respecting the pluralism
of society and of the various languages of Spain.
4. These freedoms are limited by respect for the rights recognized
in this Part, by the legal provisions implementing it, and especially
by the right to honour, to privacy, to the own image and to the
protection of youth and childhood.
5. The seizure of publications, recordings and other means of information
may only be carried out by means of a court order.
1. The right to peaceful unarmed assembly is granted. The
exercise of this right shall not require prior authorization.
2. In the case of meetings in public places and of demonstrations,
prior notification shall be given to the authorities, who can only
forbid them when there are well founded grounds to expect a breach
of public order, involving danger to persons or property.
1. The right of association is granted.
2. Associations which pursue ends or use means legally defined as
criminal offences are illegal.
3. Associations set up on the basis of this section must be entered
in a register for the sole purpose of public knowledge.
4. Associations may only be dissolved or have their activities suspended
by virtue of a court order stating the reasons for it.
5. Secret and paramilitary associations are prohibited.
1. Citizens have the right to participate in public affairs,
directly or through representatives freely elected in periodic elections
by universal suffrage.
2. They also have the right to accede under conditions of equality
to public functions and positions, in accordance with the requirements
laid down by the law.
1. All persons have the right to obtain effective protection
from the judges and the courts in the exercise of their rights and
legitimate interests, and in no case may there be a lack of defense.
2. Likewise, all have the right to the ordinary judge predetermined
by law; to defense and assistance by a lawyer; to be informed of
the charges brought against them; to a public trial without undue
delays and with full guarantees; to the use of evidence appropriate
to their defense; not to make self-incriminating statements; not
to plead themselves guilty; and to be presumed innocent.
3. The law shall specify the cases in which, for reasons of family
relationship or professional secrecy, it shall not be compulsory
to make statements regarding allegedly criminal offences.
1. No one may be convicted or sentenced for actions or
omissions which when committed did not constitute a criminal offence,
misdemeanour or administrative offence under the law then in force.
2. Punishments entailing imprisonment and security measures shall
be aimed at reeducation and social rehabilitation and may not involve
forced labour. The person sentenced to prison shall enjoy, during
the imprisonment, the fundamental rights contained in this Chapter
except those expressly restricted by the content of the sentence,
the purpose of the punishment and the penitentiary law. In any case,
he or she shall be entitled to paid work and to the appropriate
Social Security benefits, as well as to access to cultural opportunities
and the overall development of his or her personality.
3. The Civil Administration may not impose penalties which directly
of indirectly imply deprivation of freedom.
Courts of Honour are prohibited within the framework of
the Civil Administration and of professional organizations.
1. Everyone has the right to education. Freedom of teaching
2. Education shall aim at the full development of human personality
with due respect for the democratic principles of coexistence and
for basic rights and freedoms.
3. The public authorities guarantee the right of parents to ensure
that their children receive religious and moral instruction in accordance
with their own convictions.
4. Elementary education is compulsory and free.
5. The public authorities guarantee the right of all to education,
through general education programming, with the effective participation
of all sectors concerned and the setting-up of educational centres.
6. The right of individuals and legal entities to set up educational
centres is recognized, provided they respect constitutional principles.
7. Teachers, parents and, when appropriate, pupils shall participate
in the control and management of all centres supported by the Administration
out of public funds, under the terms established by the law.
8. The public authorities shall inspect and standardize the educational
system in order to ensure compliance with the laws.
9. The public authorities shall help the educational centres which
meet the requirements established by the law.
10 . The autonomy of Universities is recognized, under the terms
established by the law.
1. All have the right to freely join a trade union. The
law may restrict or except the exercise of this right in the Armed
Forces or Institutes or other bodies subject to military discipline,
and shall lay down the special conditions of its exercise by civil
servants. Trade union freedom includes the right to set up trade
unions and to join the union of one's choice, as well as the right
of trade unions to form confederations and to found international
trade union organizations, or to become members thereof. No one
may be compelled to join a trade union.
2. The right of workers to strike in defence of their interests
is recognized. The law governing the exercise of this right shall
establish the safeguards necessary to ensure the maintenance of
essential public services.
1. All Spaniards shall have the right to individual and
collective petition, in writing, in the manner and subject to the
consequences to be laid down by law.
2. Members of the Armed Forces or Institutes or bodies subject to
military discipline may only exercise this right individually and
in accordance with statutory provisions relating to them.
Rights and Duties of Citizens
1. Citizens have the right and the duty to defend Spain.
2. The law shall determine the military obligations of Spaniards
and shall regulate, with all due guarantees, conscientious objection
as well as other grounds for exemption from compulsory military
service; it may also, when appropriate, impose a community service
in place of military service.
3. A civilian service may be established with a view to accomplishing
objectives of general interest.
4. The duties of citizens in the event of serious risk, catastrophe
or public calamity may be regulated by law.
1. Everyone shall contribute to sustain public expenditure
according to their economic capacity, through a fair tax system
based on the principles of equality and progressive taxation, which
in no case shall be of a confiscatory scope.
2. Public expenditure shall make an equitable allocation of public
resources, and its programming and execution shall comply with criteria
of efficiency and economy.
3. Personal or property contributions for public purposes may only
be imposed in accordance with the law.
1. Man and woman have the right to marry with full legal
2. The law shall make provision for the forms of marriage, the age
and capacity for concluding it, the rights and duties of the spouses,
the grounds for separation and dissolution, and their effects.
1. The right to private property and inheritance is recognized.
2. The social function of these rights shall determine the limits
of their content in accordance with the law.
3. No one may be deprived of his or her property and rights, except
on justified grounds of public utility or social interest and with
a proper compensation in accordance with the law.
1. The right to set up foundations for purposes of general
interest is recognized in accordance with the law.
2. The provisions of subsections 2 and 4 of section 22 shall also
be applicable to foundations.
1. All Spaniards have the duty to work and the right to
work, to the free choice of profession or trade, to advancement
through work, and to a sufficient remuneration for the satisfaction
of their needs and those of their families. Under no circumstances
may they be discriminated on account of their sex.
2. The law shall regulate a Workers' Statute.
The law shall regulate the pecularities of the legal status
of Professional Associations and the exercise of degree professions.
The internal structure and the functioning of Associations must
1. The law shall guarantee the right to collective labour
bargaining between workers and employers' representatives, as well
as the binding force of the agreements.
2. The right of workers and employers to adopt collective labour
dispute measures is hereby recognized. The law regulating the exercise
of this right shall, without prejudice to the restrictions which
it may impose, include the guarantees necessary to ensure the functioning
of essential public services.
Free enterprise is recognized within the framework of a market economy.
The public authorities guarantee and protect its exercise and the
safeguarding of productivity in accordance with the demands of the
general economy and, as the case may be, of economic planning.
Principles governing Economic and Social Policy
1. The public authorities ensure social, economic and legal
protection of the family.
2. The public authorities likewise ensure full protection of children,
who are equal before the law, regardless of their parentage, and
of mothers, whatever their marital status. The law shall provide
for the possibility of the investigation of paternity.
3. Parents must provide their children, whether born within or outside
wedlock, with assistance of every kind while they are still under
age and in other circumstances in which the law so establishes.
4. Children shall enjoy the protection provided for in the international
agreements safeguarding their rights.
1. The public authorities shall promote favourable conditions
for social and economic progress and for a more equitable distribution
of regional and personal income within the framework of a policy
of economic stability. They shall in particular carry out a policy
aimed at full employment.
2. Likewise, the public authorities shall promote a policy guaranteeing
professional training and retraining; they shall ensure labour safety
and hygiene and shall provide for the need of rest by limiting the
duration of working day, by periodic paid holidays, and by promoting
The public authorities shall maintain a public Social Security
system for all citizens guaranteeing adequate social assistance
and benefits in situations of hardship, especially in case of unemployment.
Supplementary assistance and benefits shall be optional.
The State shall be especially concerned with safeguarding
the economic and social rights of Spanish workers abroad, and shall
direct its policy towards their return.
1. The right to health protection is recognized.
It is incumbent upon the public authorities to organize and watch
over public health by means of preventive measures and the necessary
benefits and services. The law shall establish the rights and duties
of all in this respect.
2. The public authorities shall foster health education, physical
education and sports. Likewise, they shall encourage the proper
use of leisure time.
1. The public authorities shall promote and watch over
access to culture, to which all are entitled.
2. The public authorities shall promote science and scientific and
technical research for the benefit of the general interest.
1. Everyone has the right to enjoy an environment suitable
for the development of the person, as well as the duty to preserve
2. The public authorities shall watch over a rational use of all
natural resources with a view to protecting and improving the quality
of life and preserving and restoring the environment, by relying
on an indispensable collective solidarity.
3. For those who break the provisions contained in the foregoing
paragraph, criminal or, where applicable, administrative sanctions
shall be imposed, under the terms established by the law, and they
shall be obliged to repair the damage caused.
The public authorities shall guarantee the preservation
and promote the enrichment of the historical, cultural and artistic
heritage of the peoples of Spain and of the property of which it
consists, regardless of their legal status and their ownership.
The criminal law shall punish any offences against this heritage.
All Spaniards have the right to enjoy decent and adequate
housing. The public authorities shall promote the necessary conditions
and establish appropriate standards in order to make this right
effective, regulating land use in accordance with the general interest
in order to prevent speculation. The community shall have a share
in the benefits accruing from the town-planning policies of public
The public authorities shall promote conditions for the
free and effective participation of young people in political, social,
economic and cultural development.
The public authorities shall carry out a policy of preventive
care, treatment, rehabilitation and integration of the physically,
sensorially and mentally handicapped by giving them the specialized
care they require, and affording them special protection for the
enjoyment of the rights granted by this Part to all citizens.
The public authorities shall guarantee, through adequate
and periodically updated pensions, a sufficient income for citizens
in old age. Likewise, and without prejudice to the obligations of
the families, they shall promote their welfare through a system
of social services that provides for their specific problems of
health, housing, culture and leisure.
1. The public authorities shall guarantee the protection
of consumers and users and shall, by means of effective measures,
safeguard their safety, health and legitimate economic interests.
2. The public authorities shall promote the information and education
of consumers and users, foster their organizations, and hear them
on those matters affecting their members, under the terms established
3. Within the framework of the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs,
the law shall regulate domestic trade and the system of licensing
The law shall regulate the professional organizations which
contribute to the defence of their own economic interests. Their
internal structure and their functioning must be democratic.
Guarantee of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
1. The rights and freedoms recognized in Chapter 2 of the
present Part are binding on all public authorities. Only by an act
which in any case must respect their essential content, could the
exercise of such rights and freedoms be regulated, which shall be
protected in accordance with the provisions of section 161(1) a).
2. Any citizen may assert a claim to protect the freedoms and rights
recognized in section 14 and in division 1 of Chapter 2, by means
of a preferential and summary procedure before the ordinary courts
and, when appropriate, by lodging an individual appeal for protection
(recurso de amparo) to the Constitutional Court. This latter procedure
shall be applicable to conscientious objection as recognized in
3. Recognition, respect and protection of the principles recognized
in Chapter 3 shall guide legislation, judicial practice and actions
by the public authorities. They may only be invoked before the ordinary
courts in accordance with the legal provisions implementing them.
An organic act shall regulate the institution of the Defender
of the People (Defensor del Pueblo) as high commissioner of the
Cortes Generales, appointed by them to defend the rights contained
in this Part; for this purpose he or she may supervise the activity
of the Administration and report thereon to the Cortes Generales.
(Senate Standing Orders, section 183).
Suspension of Rights and Freedoms
1. The rights recognized in sections 17 and 18, subsections
2 and 3, sections 19 and 20, subsection 1, paragraphs a) and d),
and subsection 5; sections 21 and 28, subsection 2, and section
37, subsection 2, may be suspended when a state of emergency or
siege (martial law) is declared under the terms provided in the
Constitution. Subsection 3 of section 17 is excepted from the foregoing
provisions in the event of the declaration of a state of emergency.
2. An organic act may determine the manner and the circumstances
in which, on an individual basis and with the necessary participation
of the courts and proper parliamentary control, the rights recognized
in section 17, subsection 2, and 18, subsections 2 and 3, may be
suspended for specific persons in connection with investigations
of the activities of armed bands or terrorist groups.
Unwarranted or abusive use of the powers recognized in the foregoing
organic act shall give rise to criminal liability as a violation
of the rights and freedoms recognized by the laws.
PART II. The Crown
1. The King is the Head of State, the symbol of its unity
and permanence. He arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning
of the institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish
State in international relations, especially with the nations of
its historical community, and exercises the functions expressly
conferred on him by the Constitution and the laws.
2. His title is that of King of Spain, and he may use the other
titles appertaining to the Crown.
3. The person of the King is inviolable and shall not be held accountable.
His acts shall always be countersigned in the manner established
in section 64. Without such countersignature they shall not be valid,
except as provided under section 65(2).
1. The Crown of Spain shall be inherited by the successors
of H. M. Juan Carlos I de Borbón, the legitimate heir of
the historic dynasty. Succession to the throne shall follow the
regular order of primogeniture and representation, the first line
always having preference over subsequent lines; within the same
line, the closer grade over the more remote; within the same grade,
the male over the female, and in the same sex, the elder over the
2. The Crown Prince, from his birth or from the time he acquires
the claim, shall hold the title of Prince of Asturias and the other
titles traditionally held by the heir to the Crown of Spain.
3. Should all the lines designated by law become extinct, the Cortes
Generales shall provide for succession to the Crown in the manner
most suitable to the interests of Spain.
4. Those persons with a right of succession to the throne who marry
against the express prohibition of the King and the Cortes Generales,
shall be excluded from succession to the Crown, as shall their descendants.
5. Abdications and renunciations and any doubt in fact or in law
that may arise in connection with the succession to the Crown shall
be settled by an organic act.
The Queen consort, or the consort of the Queen, may not
assume any constitutional functions, except in accordance with the
provisions for the Regency.
1. In the event of the King being under age, the King's
father or mother or, in default thereof, the oldest relative of
legal age who is nearest in succession to the Crown, according to
the order established in the Constitution, shall immediately assume
the office of Regent, which shall exercise during the King's minority.
2. If the King becomes unfit for the exercise of his authority,
and this incapacity is recognized by the Cortes Generales, the Crown
Prince shall immediately assume the Regency, if he is of age. If
he is not, the procedure outlined in the foregoing paragraph shall
apply until the coming of age of the Crown Prince.
3. If there is no person entitled to assume the Regency, it shall
be appointed by the Cortes Generales and shall be composed of one,
three or five persons.
4. In order to exercise the Regency, it is necessary to be Spaniard
and legally of age.
5. The Regency shall be exercised by constitutional mandate, and
always on behalf of the King.
1. The guardian of the King during his minority shall be
the person appointed in the will of the deceased King, provided
that he or she is of age and Spaniard by birth. If a guardian has
not been appointed, the father or the mother shall be guardian,
as long as they remain widowed. In default thereof, the guardian
shall be appointed by the Cortes Generales, but the offices of Regent
and Guardian may not be held by the same person, except by the father,
mother or direct ancestors of the King.
2. Exercise of the guardianship is also incompatible with the holding
of any office or political representation.
1. The King, on being proclaimed before the Cortes Generales,
will swear to faithfully carry out his duties, to obey the Constitution
and the laws and ensure that they are obeyed, and to respect the
rights of citizens and the Self-governing Communities.
2. The Crown Prince, on coming of age, and the Regent or Regents,
on assuming office, will swear the same oath as well as that of
loyalty to the King.
It is incumbent upon the King:
a) To sanction and promulgate the laws.
b) To summon and dissolve the Cortes Generales and to call for
elections under the terms provided for in the Constitution.
c) To call for a referendum in the cases provided for in the Constitution.
d) To propose a candidate for President of the Government and,
as the case may be, appoint him or her or remove him or her from
office, as provided in the Constitution.
e) To appoint and dismiss members of the Government on the President
of the Government's proposal.
f) To issue the decrees approved in the Council of Ministers, to
confer civil and military positions and award honours and distinctions
in conformity with the law.
g) To be informed of the affairs of State and, for this purpose,
to preside over the meetings of the Council of Ministers whenever,
he sees fit, at the President of the Government's request.
h) To exercise supreme command of the Armed Forces.
i) To exercise the right of clemency in accordance with the law,
which may not authorize general pardons.
j) To exercise the High Patronage of the Royal Academies.
1. The King accredits ambassadors and other diplomatic
representatives. Foreign representatives in Spain are accredited
2. It is incumbent upon the King to express the State's assent to
international commitments through treaties, in conformity with the
Constitution and the laws.
3. It is incumbent upon the King, following authorization by the
Cortes Generales, to declare war and to make peace.
1. The King's acts shall be countersigned by the President
of the Government and, when appropriate, by the competent ministers.
The nomination and appointment of the President of the Government
and the dissolution provided for under section 99, shall be countersigned
by the Speaker of the Congress.
2. The persons countersigning the King's acts shall be liable for
The King receives an overall amount from the State Budget
for the maintenance of his Family and Household and distributes
The King freely appoints and dismisses civil and military members
of his Household.
PART III. The Cortes Generales
CHAPTER 1. Houses of Parliament
1. The Cortes Generales represent the Spanish people and
shall consist of the Congress and the Senate.
2. The Cortes Generales exercise the legislative power of the State
and adopt its Budget, control the action of the Government and have
the other competences assigned by the Constitution.
3. The Cortes Generales are inviolable.
1. No one may be a member of both Houses simultaneously,
or be a representative in the Assembly of a Self-governing Community
and a Member of Congress at the same time.
2. Members of the Cortes Generales shall not be bound by any compulsory
3. Meetings of members of Parliament which are held without having
been called in the statutory manner, shall not be binding on the
Houses, and members may not exercise their functions nor enjoy their
1. The Congress shall consist of a minimum of three hundred
and a maximum of four hundred Members, elected by universal, free,
equal, direct and secret suffrage, under the terms to be laid down
by the law.
2. The electoral constituency is the province. The cities of Ceuta
and Melilla shall be represented by one Member each. The total number
of Members shall be distributed in accordance with the law, each
constituency being allotted a minimum initial representation and
the remainder being distributed in proportion to the population.
3. The election in each constituency shall be conducted on the basis
of proportional representation.
4. The Congress is elected for four years. The term of office of
Members thereof ends four years after their election or on the day
on which the Congress is dissolved.
5. All Spaniards entitled to the full exercise of their political
rights shall be electors and may be elected.
The law shall recognize and the State shall facilitate the exercise
of the right of vote by Spaniards who are outside Spanish territory.
6. Elections shall take place between thirty and sixty days after
the end of the previous term of office. The Congress so elected
must be convened within twenty-five days following the holding of
1. The Senate is the House of territorial representation.
2. In each province, four Senators shall be elected by the voters
thereof by universal, free, equal, direct and secret suffrage, under
the terms to be laid down by an organic act.
3. In the insular provinces, each island or group of islands with
a Cabildo or insular Council shall be a constituency for the purpose
of electing Senators; there shall be three Senators for each of
the major islands --Gran Canaria, Mallorca and Tenerife-- and one
for each of the following islands or groups of islands: Ibiza-Formentera,
Menorca, Fuerteventura, Gomera, Hierro, Lanzarote and La Palma.
4. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla shall elect two Senators each.
The Self-governing Communities shall, in addition, appoint one Senator
and a further Senator for every million inhabitants in their respective
5. The appointment shall be incumbent upon the Legislative Assembly
or, in default thereof, upon the Self-governing Community's highest
corporate body as provided for by its Statute which shall, in any
case, guarantee adequate proportional representation.
6. The Senate is elected for four years. The Senators' term of office
shall end four years after their election or on the day on which
the House is dissolved.
1. The Electoral Act shall establish grounds for ineligibility
and incompatibility for Members of Congress and Senators, which
shall in any case include those who are:
a)Members of the Constitutional Court.
b)High officers of the State Administration as laid down by law,
with the exception of the members of the Government.
c)The Defender of the People.
d)Magistrates, Judges and Public Prosecutors when in office.
e)Professional soldiers and members of the Security and Police Forces
and Corps in active service.
f)Members of the Electoral Commissions.
2. The validity of the certificates of election and credentials
of members of each House shall be subject to judicial control, under
the terms to be laid down in the Electoral Act.
1. Members of Congress and Senators shall enjoy freedom
of speech for opinions expressed in the exercise of their functions.
2. During their term of office, Members of Congress and Senators
shall likewise enjoy freedom from arrest and may be arrested only
in the event of flagrante delicto. They may be neither indicted
nor tried without prior authorization of their respective House.
3. In criminal proceedings brought against Members of Congress and
Senators, the competent court shall be the Criminal Section of the
4. Members of Congress and Senators shall receive a salary to be
determined by the respective House.
1. The Houses lay down their own Standing Orders, adopt
their budgets autonomously and, by common agreement, regulate the
Personnel Statute of the Cortes Generales. The Standing Orders and
their reform shall be subject to a final vote over the whole text,
which shall require the overall majority.
2. The Houses elect their respective Speakers and the other members
of their Bureaus. Joint sittings shall be presided over by the Speaker
of the Congress and shall be governed by the Standing Orders of
the Cortes Generales approved by the overall majority of members
of each House.
3. The Speakers of the Houses shall exercise on their behalf all
administrative powers and disciplinary functions within its premises.
1. The Houses shall meet annually for two ordinary periods
of sessions: the first from September to December, and the second
from February to June.
2. The Houses may meet in extraordinary sessions at the request
of the Government, of the Permanent Deputation or of the overall
majority of members of either of the two Houses. Extraordinary sessions
must be convened with a specific agenda and shall be adjourned once
this has been dealt with.
1. The Houses shall meet in joint session in order to exercise
the non-legislative powers expressly conferred upon the Cortes Generales
by Part II.
2. The decisions of the Cortes Generales specified in sections
94(1), 145(2) and 158(2) shall be taken by a majority vote of each
of the Houses. In the first case, the procedure shall be initiated
by the Congress, and in the remaining two by the Senate. In any
case, if an agreement is not reached between the Senate and the
Congress, an attempt to reach agreement shall be made by a Mixed
Committee consisting of an equal number of Members of Congress and
Senators. The Committee shall submit a text which shall be voted
on by both Houses. If this is not approved in the established manner,
the Congress shall decide by overall majority.
1. The Houses shall convene in Plenary sittings and in
2. The Houses may delegate to Standing Legislative Committees the
approval of Government or non-governmental bills. However, the Plenary
sitting may at any time demand that any Government or non-governmental
bill that has been so delegated be debated and voted upon by the
3. Excluded from the provisions of the foregoing paragraph are constitutional
reform, international affairs, organic and basic acts and the Budget.
1. The Congress and the Senate and, when appropriate, both
Houses jointly, may appoint enquiry committees on any matter of
public interest. Their conclusions shall not be binding on the Courts,
nor shall they affect judicial decisions, but the results of investigations
may be referred to the Public Prosecutor for the exercise of appropriate
action whenever necessary.
2. It shall be compulsory to appear when summoned by the Houses.
The law shall regulate penalties to be imposed for failure to comply
with this obligation.
1. The Houses may receive individual and collective petitions,
always in writing; direct submission by citizens' demonstrations
2. The Houses may refer such petitions to the Government. The Government
shall provide an explanation regarding their content, when required
to do so by the Houses.
1. In each House there shall be a Permanent Deputation
(Diputación Permanente) consisting of a minimum of twenty-one
members who shall represent the parliamentary groups in proportion
to their numerical importance.
2. The Permanent Deputation shall be presided over by the Speaker
of the respective House and their functions shall be that provided
in section 73, that of assuming the powers of the Houses in accordance
with sections 86 and 116 in case that the latter have been dissolved
or their terms have expired, and that of safeguarding the powers
of the Houses when they are not in session.
3. On the expiration of the term or in case of dissolution, the
Permanent Deputations shall continue to exercise their functions
until the constitution of the new Cortes Generales.
4. When the House concerned meets, the Permanent Deputation shall
report on the matters dealt with and on its decisions.
1. In order to adopt agreements, the Houses must meet in
statutory manner, with the majority of their members present.
2. In order to be valid, such agreements must be approved by the
majority of the members present, without prejudice to the special
majorities that may be required by the Constitution or the organic
acts and those which are provided for by the Standing Orders of
the Houses for the election of persons.
3. The vote of Senators and Members of Congress shall be personal
and may not be delegated.
Plenary meetings of the Houses shall be public, except
when otherwise decided by each House by overall majority, or in
accordance with the Standing Orders.
CHAPTER 2. Drafting of Bills
1. Organic acts are those relating to the implementation
of fundamental rights and public freedoms, those approving the Statutes
of Autonomy and the general electoral system and other laws provided
for in the Constitution.
2. The approval, amendment or repeal of organic acts shall require
the overall majority of the Members of Congress in a final vote
on the bill as a whole.
1. The Cortes Generales may delegate to the Government
the power to issue rules with the force of an act of the Parliament
on specific matters not included in the foregoing section.
2. Legislative delegation must be granted by means of act of basic
principles when its purpose is to draw up texts in sections, or
by an ordinary act when it is a matter of consolidating several
legal statutes into one.
3. Legislative delegation must be expressly granted to the Government
for a concrete matter and with a fixed time limit for its exercise.
The delegation shall expire when the Government has made use of
it through the publication of the corresponding regulation. It may
not be construed as having been granted implicitly or for an indeterminate
period. Nor shall sub-delegation to authorities other than the Government
itself be authorized.
4. Acts of basic principles shall define precisely the purpose and
scope of legislative delegation, as well as the principles and criteria
to be followed in its exercise.
5. Authorization for consolidating legal texts shall determine the
legislative scope implicit in the delegation, specifying if it is
restricted to the mere drafting of a single text or whether it includes
regulating, clarifying and harmonizing the legal statutes to be
6. The acts of delegation may provide for additional control devices
in each case, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Courts.
The acts of basic principles may in no case:
a) Authorize the modification of the act itself.
b) Grant power to enact retroactive regulations.
In the event that a non-governmental bill or an amendment
is contrary to a currently valid legislative delegation, the Government
may oppose its processing. In this case, a non-governmental bill
may be submitted for the total or partial repeal of the delegation
Government provisions containing delegated legislation
shall bear the title of "Legislative Decrees".
1. In case of extraordinary and urgent need, the Government
may issue temporary legislative provisions which shall take the
form of decree-laws and which may not affect the legal system of
the basic State institutions, the rights, duties and freedoms of
the citizens contained in Part 1, the system of Self-governing Communities,
or the general electoral law.
2. Decree-laws must be inmediately submitted for debate and voting
by the entire Congress, which must be summoned for this purpose
if not already in session, within thirty days of their promulgation.
The Congress shall adopt an specific decision on their ratification
or repeal in the said period, for which purpose the Standing Orders
shall contemplate a special summary procedure.
3. During the period referred to in the foregoing subsection, the
Cortes may process them as Government bills by means of the urgency
1. Legislative initiative belongs to the Government, the
Congress and the Senate, in accordance with the Constitution and
the Standing Orders of the Houses.
2. The Assemblies of Self-governing Communities may request the
Government to adopt a bill or may refer a non-governmental bill
to the Bureau of Congress and delegate a maximum of three Assembly
members to defend it.
3. An organic act shall lay down the manner and the requirements
of the popular initiative for submission of non-governmental bills.
In any case, no less than 500.000 authenticated signatures shall
be required. This initiative shall not be allowed on matters concerning
organic acts, taxation, international affairs or the prerogative
Government bills shall be approved by the Council of Ministers
which shall refer them to the Congress, attaching a statement setting
forth the necessary grounds and facts to reach a decision thereon.
1. The reading of non-governmental bills shall be regulated
by the Standing Orders of the Houses in such a way that the priority
attached to Government bills shall not prevent the exercise of the
right to propose legislation under the terms laid down in section
2. Non-governmental bills which, in accordance with section 87,
are taken under consideration in the Senate, shall be referred to
the Congress for reading.
1. An organic act shall lay down the terms and procedures
for the different kinds of referendum provided for in this Constitution.
2. Within two months after receiving the text, the Senate may, by
a message stating the reasons for it, adopt a veto or approve amendments
thereto. The veto must be adopted by overall majority. The bill
may not be submitted to the King for assent unless, in the event
of veto, the Congress has ratified the initial text by overall majority
or by single majority if two months have elapsed since its introduction,
or has reached a decision as to the amendments, accepting them or
not by single majority.
3. The period of two months allowed to the Senate for vetoing or
amending a bill shall be reduced to twenty calendar days for bills
declared by the Government or by the Congress to be urgent.
The King shall, within a period of fifteen days, give his
assent to bills drafted by the Cortes Generales, and shall promulgate
them and order their publication forthwith.
1. Political decisions of special importance may be submitted
to all citizens in a consultative referendum.
2. The referendum shall be called by the King on the President of
the Government's proposal after previous authorization by the Congress.
3. An organic act shall lay down the terms and procedures for the
different kinds of referendum provided for in this Constitution.
CHAPTER 3. International Treaties
Authorization may be granted by an organic act for concluding
treaties by which powers derived from the Constitution shall be
transferred to an international organization or institution. It
is incumbent on the Cortes Generales or the Government, as the case
may be, to ensure compliance with these treaties and with resolutions
originating in the international and supranational organizations
to which such powers have been so transferred.
1. The giving of the consent of the State to enter any
commitment by means of treaty or agreement, shall require prior
authorization of the Cortes Generales in the following cases:
a) Treaties of a political nature.
b) Treaties or agreements of a military nature.
c) Treaties or agreements affecting the territorial integrity of
the State or the fundamental rights and duties established under
d) Treaties or agreements which imply financial liabilities for
the Public Treasury.
e) Treaties or agreements which involve amendment or repeal of some
law or require legislative measures for their execution.
2. The Congress and the Senate shall be informed forthwith of the
conclusion of any other treaties or agreements.
1. The conclusion of an international treaty containing
stipulations contrary to the Constitution shall require prior constitutional
2. The Government or either House may request the Constitutional
Court to declare whether or not such a contradiction exists
1. Validly concluded international treaties, once officially
published in Spain, shall be part of the internal legal system.
Their provisions may only be repealed, amended or suspended in the
manner provided for in the treaties themselves or in accordance
with the general rules of international law.
2. The procedure provided for in section 94 for entering into international
treaties and agreements shall be used for denouncing them.
PART IV. Government and Administration
The Government shall conduct domestic and foreign policy,
civil and military administration and the defence of the State.
It exercises executive authority and the power of statutory regulations
in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
1. The Government shall consist of the President, Vice-Presidents,
when appropiate, Ministers and other members as may be created by
2. The President shall direct the Governments' action and coordinate
the functions of the other members thereof, without prejudice to
the competence and direct responsability of the latter in the discharge
of their duties.
3. Members of the Government may not perform representative functions
other than those derived from their parliamentary mandate, nor any
other public function not deriving from their office, nor engage
in any professional or commercial activity whatsoever.
4. The status and incompatibilities of members of the Government
shall be laid down by law.
1. After each renewal of the Congress and in the other
cases provided for under the Constitution, the King shall, after
consultation with the representatives appointed by the political
groups with parliamentary representation, and through the Speaker
of the Congress, nominate a candidate for the Presidency of the
2. The candidate nominated in accordance with the provisions of
the foregoing subsection shall submit to the Congress the political
programme of the Government he or she intends to form and shall
seek the confidence of the House.
3. If the Congress, by vote of the overall majority of its members,
grants to said candidate its confidence, the King shall appoint
him or her President. If overall majority is not obtained, the same
proposal shall be submitted for a fresh vote forty-eight hours after
the previous vote, and confidence shall be deemed to have been secured
if granted by single majority.
4. If, after this vote, confidence for the investiture has not been
obtained, successive proposals shall be voted upon in the manner
provided for in the foregoing paragraphs.
5. If within two months of the first vote for investiture no candidate
has obtained the confidence of the Congress, the King shall dissolve
both Houses and call for new elections, with the countersignature
of the Speaker of the Congress.
The other members of the Government shall be appointed
and dismissed by the King at the President's proposal.
1.The Government shall resign after the holding of general
elections, in the event of loss of parliamentary confidence as provided
in the Constitution, or on the resignation or death of the President.
2. The outgoing Government shall continue as acting body until the
new Government takes office.
1. The President and other members of the Government shall
be held criminally liable, should the occasion arise, before the
Criminal Section of the Supreme Court.
2. If the charge were treason or any offence against the security
of the State committed in the discharge of office, it may only be
brought against them on the initiative of one quarter of Members
of Congress and with the approval of the overall majority thereof.
3. The Royal prerogative of pardon shall not apply any of the cases
provided for under the present section.
1. The Public Administration shall serve the general interest
in a spirit of objectivity and shall act in accordance with the
principles of efficiency, hierarchy, decentralization, deconcentration
and coordination, and in full subordination to the law.
2. The organs of State Administration are set up, directed and coordinated
in accordance with the law.
3. The law shall lay down the status of civil servants, the entry
into the civil service in accordance with the principles of merit
and ability, the special features of the exercise of their right
to union membership, the system of incompatibilities and the guarantees
regarding impartiality in the discharge of their duties.
1. The Security Forces and Corps serving under the Government
shall have the duty to protect the free exercise of rights and freedoms
and to guarantee the safety of citizens.
2. An organic act shall specify the duties, basic principles of
action and statutes of the Security Forces and Corps.
The law shall make provision for:
a) The hearing of citizens, directly, or through the organizations
and associations recognized by the law, in the process of drawing
up the administrative provisions which affect them.
b) The access of citizens to administrative files and records,
except to the extent that they may concern the security and defence
of the State, the investigation of crimes and the privacy of persons.
c) The procedures for the taking of administrative action, with
due safeguards for the hearing of interested parties when appropriate.
1. The Courts shall check the power to issue regulations
and ensure that the rule of law prevails in administrative action,
and that the latter is subordinated to the ends which justify it.
2. Private individuals shall, under the terms laid down by law,
be entitled to compensation for any harm they may suffer in any
of their property and rights, except in cases of force majeure,
whenever such harm is the result of the operation of public services.
The Council of State is the supreme consultative body of
the Government. An organic act shall make provision for its membership
and its terms of reference.
PART V. Relations between the Government and
the Cortes Generales
The Government is jointly accountable before the Congress
for its conduct of political business.
The Houses and their Committees may, through their respective
Speaker, request any kind of information and help they may need
from the Government and Government Departments and from any authorities
of the State and Self-governing Communities.
1. The Houses and their Committees may summon members of
2. Members of the Government are entitled to attend meetings of
the Houses and their Committees and to be heard in them and may
request that officials from their Departments are allowed to report
1. The Government and each of its members are subject to interpellations
and questions put to them in the Houses. The Standing Orders shall
set aside a minimum weekly time for this type of debate.
2. Any interpellation may give rise to a motion in which the House
states its position.
The President of the Government, after deliberation by
the Council of Ministers, may ask the Congress for a vote of confidence
in favour of his or her programme or of a general policy statement.
Confidence shall be deemed to have been obtained when a single majority
of the Members of Congress vote in favour.
1. The Congress may require political responsibility from
the Government by adopting a motion of censure by overall majority
of its Members.
2. The motion of censure must be proposed by at least one tenth
of the Members of Congress and shall include a candidate for the
office of the Presidency of the Government.
3. The motion of censure may not be voted until five days after
it has been submitted. During the first two days of this period,
alternative motions may be submitted.
4. If the motion of censure is not adopted by the Congress, its
signatories may not submit another during the same period of sessions.
1. If the Congress withholds its confidence from the Government,
the latter shall submit its resignation to the King, whereafter
the President of the Government shall be nominated in accordance
with the provisions of section 99.
2. If the Congress adopts a motion of censure, the Government shall
submit its resignation to the King, and the candidate proposed in
the motion of censure shall be deemed to have the confidence of
the House for the purposes provided in section 99. The King shall
appoint him or her President of the Government.
1. The President of the Government, after deliberation
by the Council of Ministers, and under his or her sole responsibility,
may propose the dissolution of the Congress, the Senate or the Cortes
Generales, which shall be proclaimed by the King. The decree of
dissolution shall set a date for the elections.
2. The proposal for dissolution may not be submitted while a motion
of censure is pending.
3. There shall be no further dissolution until a year has elapsed
since the previous one, except as provided for in section 99, subsection
1. An organic act shall make provision for the states of
alarm, emergency and siege (martial law) and the powers and restrictions
attached to each of them.
2. A state of alarm shall be proclaimed by the Government, by means
of a decree agreed in Council of Ministers, for a maximum period
of fifteen days. The Congress shall be informed and must meet immediately,
and without its authorization the said period may not be extended.
The decree shall specify the territory to which the effects of the
3. A state of emergency shall be proclaimed by the Government by
decree agreed in Council of Ministers, after prior authorization
by the Congress. The authorization for and proclamation of a state
of emergency must specifically state the effects thereof, the territory
to which it is to apply and its duration, which may not exceed thirty
days, subject to extension for a further thirty-day period, with
the same requirements.
4. A state of siege (martial law) shall be proclaimed by overall
majority of Congress solely on the Government's proposal. Congress
shall determine its territorial extension, duration and terms.
5. The Congress may not be dissolved while any of the states referred
to in the present section remains in force, and if the Houses are
not in session, they shall be automatically convened. Their functioning,
as well as that of the other constitutional State authorities, may
not be interrupted while any of these states is in force.
If, in the event that the Congress has been dissolved or its term
has expired, a situation giving rise to any of these states should
occur, the powers of the Congress shall be assumed by its Permanent
6. Proclamation of states of alarm, emergency and siege shall not
affect the principle of liability of the Government or its agents
as recognized in the Constitution and the laws.
PART VI. Judicial Power
1. Justice emanates from the people and is administered
on behalf of the King by judges and magistrates members of the Judicial
Power who shall be independent, shall have fixity of tenure, shall
be accountable for their acts and subject only to the rule of law.
2. Judges and magistrates may only be dismissed, suspended, transferred
or retired on the grounds and subject to the safeguards provided
for by the law.
3. The exercise of judicial authority in any kind of action, both
in ruling and having judgments executed, is vested exclusively in
the courts and tribunals laid down by the law, in accordance with
the rules of jurisdiction and procedure which may be established
4. Judges and courts shall not exercise any powers other than those
indicated in the foregoing subsection and those which are expressly
allocated to them by law as a guarantee of any right.
5. The principle of jurisdictional unity is the basis of the organization
and operation of the courts. The law shall make provision for the
exercise of military jurisdiction strictly within military framework
and in cases of state of siege (martial law), in accordance with
the principles of the Constitution.
6. Courts of exception are prohibited.
It is compulsory to comply with sentences and other final
resolutions of judges and courts, as well as to pay them such assistance
as they may require in the course of trials and for the execution
Justice shall be free when thus provided for by law, and shall in
any case be so in respect of those who have insufficient means to
sue in court.
1. Judicial proceedings shall be public, with the exceptions
contemplated in the laws on procedure.
2. Proceedings shall be predominantly oral, especially in criminal
3. Judgments shall always specify the grounds therefore, and they
shall be delivered in a public hearing.
Damages caused by judicial error as well as those arising
from irregularities in the administration of justice shall give
rise to a right to compensation by the State, in accordance with
1. The Organic Act of the Judicial Power shall make 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, who shall form a single body, and of the staff
serving in the administration of justice.
2. The General Council of the Judicial Power is its governing body.
An organic act shall lay down its status and the system of incompatibilities
applicable to its members and their functions, especially in connection
with appointments, promotions, inspection and the disciplinary system.
3. The General Council of the Judicial Power shall consist of the
President of the Supreme Court, who shall preside it, and of twenty
members appointed by the King for a five-year period, of which twelve
shall be judges and magistrates of all judicial categories, under
the terms provided for by the organic act; four nominated by the
Congress and four by the Senate, elected in both cases by three-fifths
of their members amongst lawyers and other jurists of acknowledged
competence with more than fifteen years of professional practice.
1. The Supreme Court, with jurisdiction
over the whole of Spain, is the highest judicial body in all branches
of justice, except with regard to provisions concerning constitutional
2. The President of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the
King, on the General Council of the Judicial Power proposal in the
manner to be laid down by the law.
1. The Office of Public Prosecutor, without prejudice to
functions entrusted to other bodies, has the task of promoting the
operation of justice in the defence of the rule of law, of citizens'
rights and of the public interest as safeguarded by the law, whether
ex officio or at the request of interested parties, as well as that
of protecting the independence of the courts and securing before
them the satisfaction of social interest.
2. The Office of Public Prosecutor shall discharge its duties through
its own bodies in accordance with the principles of unity of operation
and hierarchical subordination, subject in all cases to the principles
of the rule of law and of impartiality.
3. The organic statute of the Office of the Public Prosecutor shall
be laid down by law.
4. The State's Public Prosecutor shall be appointed by the King
on the Government's proposal after consultation with the General
Council of the Judicial Power.
Citizens may engage in popular action and take part in
the administration of justice through the institution of the jury,
in the manner and with respect to those criminal trials as may be
determined by law, as well as in customary and traditional courts.
The judicial police shall report to the judges, the courts
and the Public Prosecutor when discharging their duties of crime
investigation and the discovery and arrest of offenders, under the
terms to be laid down by the law.
1. Judges and magistrates as well as public prosecutors,
whilst actively in office, may not hold other public office nor
belong to political parties or unions. The law shall make provision
for the system and methods of professional association for judges,
magistrates and prosecutors.
2. The law shall make provision for the system of incompatibilities
for members of the Judicial Power, which must ensure their total
PART VII. Economy and Finance
1. The entire wealth of the country in its different forms,
irrespective of ownership, shall be subordinated to the general
2. Public initiative in economic activity is recognized. Essential
resources or services may be reserved by law to the public sector
especially in the case of monopolies. Likewise, State intervention
in companies may be imposed when the public interest so demands.
1. The law shall establish the forms of participation of
the persons concerned in Social Security and in the activities of
those public bodies whose operation directly affects quality of
life or general welfare.
2. The public authorities shall efficiently promote the various
forms of participation in the enterprise and shall encourage cooperative
societies by means of appropriate legislation. They shall also establish
means to facilitate access by workers to ownership of the means
1. The public authorities shall promote the modernization
and development of all economic sectors and, in particular, of agriculture,
livestock raising, fishing and handicrafts, in order to bring the
standard of living of all Spaniards up to the same level.
2. For the same purpose, special treatment shall be given to mountain
1. The State shall be empowered to plan general economic
activity by an act in order to meet collective needs, to balance
and harmonize regional and sectorial development and to stimulate
the growth of income and wealth and their more equitable distribution.
2. The Government shall draft planning projects in accordance with
forecasts supplied by Self-governing Communities and with the advice
and cooperation of unions and other professional, employers' and
financial organizations. A council shall be set up for this purpose,
whose membership and duties shall be laid down by the law.
1. The law shall lay down the rules governing public and communal
property, on the basis that it shall be inalienable, exempt from
prescription and cannot be attached under any circumstances, and
it shall also provide for the case of disaffectation from public
2. The goods of the State's public property shall be that established
by law and shall, in any case, include the foreshore beaches, territorial
waters and the natural resources of the exclusive economic zone
and the continental shelf.
3. The State's Domain and the National Heritage, as well as their
administration, protection and preservation, shall be regulated
1. The primary power to raise taxes is vested exclusively
in the State by means of law.
2. Self-governing Communities and local Corporations may impose
and levy taxes, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
3. Any fiscal benefit affecting State taxes must be established
by virtue of law.
4. Public Administrations may only contract financial liabilities
and incur expenditures in accordance with the law.
1. It is incumbent upon the Government to draft the State Budget
and upon the Cortes Generales to examine, amend and adopt it.
2. The State Budget shall be drafted annually and shall include
the entire expenditure and income of the State public sector and
a specific mention shall be made of the amount of the fiscal benefits
affecting State taxes.
3. The Government must submit the draft State Budget to the Congress
at least three months before the expiration of that of the previous
4. If the Budget Bill is not passed before the first day of the
corresponding financial year, the Budget of the previous financial
year shall be automatically extended until the new one is approved.
5. Once the Budget Bill has been adopted, the Government may submit
bills involving increases in public expenditure or decreases in
the revenue corresponding to the same financial year.
6. Any non-governmental bill or amendment which involves an increase
in appropriations or a decrease in budget revenue shall require
previous approval by the Government before its passage.
7. The Budget Act may not establish new taxes. It may modify them,
wherever a tax law of a substantive nature so provides.
1. The Government must be authorized by law in order to
issue Public Debt bonds or to contract loans.
2. Loans to meet payment on the interest and capital of the State's
Public Debt shall always be deemed to be included in budget expenditure
and may not be subject to amendment or modification as long as they
conform to the terms of issue.
1. The Auditing Court is the supreme body charged with
auditing the State's accounts and financial management, as well
as those of the public sector.
It shall be directly accountable to the Cortes Generales and shall
discharge its duties by delegation of the same when examining and
verifying the General State Accounts.
2. The State Accounts and those of the State's public sector shall
be submitted to the Auditing Court and shall be audited by the latter.
The Auditing Court, without prejudice to its own jurisdiction, shall
send an annual report to the Cortes Generales informing them, where
applicable, of any infringements that may, in its opinion, have
been committed, or any liabilities that may have been incurred.
3. Members of the Auditing Court shall enjoy the same independence
and fixity of tenure and shall be subject to the same incompatibilities
4. An organic act shall make provision for membership, organization
and duties of the Auditing Court.
PART VIII. Territorial Organization of the State
CHAPTER 1. General Principles
The State is organized territorially into municipalities,
provinces and the Self-governing Communities that may be constituted.
All these bodies shall enjoy self-government for the management
of their respective interests.
1. The State guarantees the effective implementation of the principle
of solidarity proclaimed in section 2 of the Constitution, by endeavouring
to establish a fair and adequate economic balance between the different
areas of the Spanish territory and taking into special consideration
the circumstances pertaining to those which are islands.
2. Differences between Statutes of the different Self-governing
Communities may in no case imply economic or social privileges.
1. All Spaniards have the same rights and obligations in any part
of the State territory.
2. No authority may adopt measures which directly or indirectly
hinder freedom of movement and settlement of persons and free movement
of goods throughout the Spanish territory.
CHAPTER 2. Local Government
The Constitution guarantees the autonomy of municipalities. These
shall enjoy full legal personality. Their government and administration
shall be vested in their Town Councils, consisting of Mayors and
councillors. Councillors shall be elected by residents of the municipality
by universal, equal, free, direct and secret suffrage, in the manner
provided for by the law. The Mayors shall be elected by the councillors
or by the residents. The law shall lay down the terms under which
an open council of all residents may proceed.
1. The province is a local entity, with its own legal personality,
arising from the grouping of municipalities, and a territorial division
designed to carry out the activities of the State. Any alteration
of provincial boundaries must be approved by the Cortes Generales
in an organic act.
2. The government and autonomous administration of the provinces
shall be entrusted to Provincial Councils (Diputaciones) or other
Corporations that must be representative in character.
3. Groups of municipalities other than provinces may be formed.
4. In the archipelagos, each island shall also have its own administration
in the form of Cabildo or Insular Council.
Local treasuries must have sufficient funds available in order to
perform the tasks assigned by law to the respective Corporations,
and shall mainly be financed by their own taxation as well as by
their share of State taxes and those of Self-governing Communities.
CHAPTER 3. Self-governing Communities
1. In the exercise of the right to self-government recognized in
section 2 of the Constitution, bordering provinces with common historic,
cultural and economic characteristics, insular territories and provinces
with a historic regional status may accede to self-government and
form Self-governing Communities (Comunidades Autónomas) in
conformity with the provisions contained in this Part and in the
2. The right to initiate the process towards self-government lies
with all the Provincial Councils concerned or with the corresponding
inter-island body and with two thirds of the municipalities whose
population represents at least the majority of the electorate of
each province or island. These requirements must be met within six
months from the initial agreement reached to this aim by any of
the local Corporations concerned.
3. If this initiative is not successful, it may be repeated only
after five years have elapsed.
The Cortes Generales may, in the national interest, and
by an organic act:
a) Authorize the setting-up of a Self-governing Community, where
its territory does not exceed that of a province and does not possess
the characteristics outlined in section 143, paragraph 1.
b) Authorize or grant, as the case may be, a Statute of Autonomy
to territories which are not integrated into the provincial organization.
c) Take over the initiative of the local Corporations referred to
in section 143, paragraph 2.
1. Under no circumstances shall a federation of Self-governing
Communities be allowed.
2. Statutes of Autonomy may provide for the circumstances, requirements
and terms under which Self-governing Communities may reach agreements
among themselves for the management and rendering of services in
matters pertaining to them, as well as for the nature and effects
of the corresponding notification to be sent to the Cortes Generales.
In all other cases, cooperation agreements among Self-governing
Communities shall require authorization by the Cortes Generales.
The draft Statute of Autonomy shall be drawn up by an assembly
consisting of members of the Provincial Council or inter-island
body of the provinces concerned, and the respective Members of Congress
and Senators elected in them, and shall be sent to the Cortes Generales
for its drafting as an Act.
1. Within the terms of the present Constitution, Statutes
of Autonomy shall be the basic institutional rule of each Self-governing
Community and the State shall recognize and protect them as an integral
part of its legal system.
2. The Statutes of Autonomy must contain:
a) The name of the Community which best corresponds to its historic
b) Its territorial boundaries.
c) The name, organization and seat of its own autonomous institutions.
d) The powers assumed within the framework laid down by the Constitution
and the basic rules for the transfer of the corresponding services.
3. Amendment of Statutes of Autonomy shall conform to the procedure
established therein and shall in any case require approval of the
Cortes Generales through an organic act.
1. The Self-governing Communities may assume competences
over the following matters:
1.- Organization of their institutions of self-government.
2.- Changes in municipal boundaries within their territory and,
in general, functions appertaining to the State Administration regarding
local Corporations, whose transfer may be authorized by legislation
on local governement.
3.- Town and country planning and housing.
4.- Public works of interest to the Self-governing Community, within
its own territory.
5.- Railways and roads whose routes lie exclusively within the
territory of the Selfgoverning Community and transport by the above
means or by cable fulfilling the same conditions.
6.- Ports of haven, recreational ports and airports and, in general,
those which are not engaged in commercial activities.
7.- Agriculture and livestock raising, in accordance with general
8.- Woodlands and forestry.
9.- Management of environmental protection.
10.- Planning, construction and exploitation of hydraulic projects,
canals and irrigation of interest to the Self-governing Community;
mineral and thermal waters.
11.- Inland water fishing, shellfish industry and fishfarming,
hunting and river fishing.
12.- Local fairs.
13.- Promotion of economic development of the Self-governing Community
within the objectives set by national economic policy.
15.- Museums, libraries and music conservatories of interest to
the Self-governing Community.
16.- The Self-governing Community's monuments of interest.
17.- The promotion of culture and research and, where applicable,
the teaching of the Self-governing Community's language.
18.- The promotion and planning of tourism within its territorial
19.- The promotion of sports and the proper use of leisure.
20.- Social assistance.
21.- Health and hygiene.
22.- The supervision and protection of its buildings and installations.
Coordination and other powers relating to local police forces under
the terms to be laid down by an organic act.
2. After five years, the Self-governing Communities may, by amendment
of their Statutes of Autonomy, progressively enlarge their powers
within the framework laid down in section 149.
1. The State shall have exclusive competence over the following
1.- Regulation of basic conditions guaranteeing the equality of
all Spaniards in the exercise of their rights and in the fulfilment
of their constitutional duties.
2.- Nationality, immigration, emigration, status of aliens, and
right of asylum.
3.- International relations.
4.- Defence and the Armed Forces.
5.- Administration of Justice.
6.- Commercial, criminal and penitentiary legislation; procedural
legislation, without prejudice to the necessary specialities in
these fields arising from the peculiar features of the substantive
law of the Self-governing Communities.
7.- Labour legislation, without prejudice to its execution by bodies
of the Self-governing Communities.
8.- Civil legislation, without prejudice to the preservation, modification
and development by the Self-governing Communities of their civil
law, foral or special, whenever these exist, and traditional charts.
In any event rules for the application and effectiveness of legal
provisions, civil relations arising from the forms of marriage,
keeping of records and drawing up to public instruments, bases of
contractual liability, rules for resolving conflicts of law and
determination of the sources of law in conformity, in this last
case, with the rules of traditional charts or with those of foral
or special laws.
9.- Legislation on copyright and industrial property.
10.- Customs and tariff regulations; foreign trade.
11.- Monetary system: foreign currency, exchange and convertibility;
bases for the regulations concerning credit, banking and insurance.
12.- Legislation on weights and measures and determination of the
13.- Basic rules and coordination of general economic planning.
14.- General financial affairs and State Debt.
15.- Promotion and general coordination of scientific and technical
16.- External health measures; basic conditions and general coordination
of health matters; legislation on pharmaceutical products.
17.- Basic legislation and financial system of Social Security,
without prejudice to implementation of its services by the Self-governing
18.- Basic rules of the legal system of Public Administrations
and the status of their officials which shall, in any case, guarantee
that all persons under said administrations will receive equal treatment;
the common administrative procedure, without prejudice to the special
features of the Self-governing Communities' own organizations; legislation
on compulsory expropriation; basic legislation on contracts and
administrative concessions and the system of liability of all Public
19.- Sea fishing, without prejudice to the powers which, in regulations
governing this sector, may be vested to the Self-governing Communities.
20.- Merchant navy and registering of ships; lighting of coasts
and signals at sea; general-interest ports; general-interest airports;
control of the air space, air traffic and transport; meteorological
services and aircraft registration.
21.- Railways and land transport crossing through the territory
of more than one Self-governing Community; general system of communications;
motor vehicle traffic; Post Office services and telecommunications;
air and underwater cables and radiocommunications.
22.- Legislation, regulation and concession of hydraulic resources
and development where the water-streams flow through more than one
Self-governing Community, and authorization for hydro-electrical
power plants whenever their operation affects other Communities
or the lines of energy transportation are extended over other Communities.
23.- Basic legislation on environmental protection, without prejudice
to powers of the Self-governing Communities to take additional protective
measures; basic legislation on woodlands, forestry and cattle trails.
24.- Public works of general benefit or whose execution affects
more than one Self-governing Community.
25.- Basic regulation of mining and energy.
26.- Manufacturing, sale, possession and use of arms and explosives.
27.- Basic rules relating to organization of the press, radio and
television and, in general, all mass-communications media without
prejudice to powers vested in the Self-governing Communities for
their development and implementation.
28.- Protection of Spain's cultural and artistic heritage and national
monuments against exportation and spoliation; museums, libraries,
and archives belonging to the State, without prejudice to their
management by the Self-governing Communities.
29.- Public safety, without prejudice to the possibility of creation
of police forces by the Self-governing Communities, in the manner
to be provided for in their respective Statutes of Autonomy and
within the framework to be laid down by an organic act.
30.- Regulation of the requirements for obtention, issue and standardization
of academic degrees and professional qualifications and basic rules
for implementation of section 27 of the Constitution, in order to
guarantee the fulfilment of the duties of public authorities in
31.- Statistics for State purposes.
32.- Authorization of popular consultations through the holding
2. Without prejudice to the competences that may be assumed by
the Self-governing Communities, the State shall consider the promotion
of culture a duty and an essential function and shall facilitate
cultural communication among the Self-governing Communities, in
cooperation with them.
3. Matters not expressly assigned to the State by this Constitution
may fall under the jurisdiction of the Self-governing Communities
by virtue of their Statutes of Autonomy. Jurisdiction on matters
not claimed by Statutes of Autonomy shall fall with the State, whose
laws shall prevail, in case of conflict, over those of the Self-governing
Communities regarding all matters in which exclusive jurisdiction
has not been conferred upon the latter. State law shall in any case
be suppletory of that of the Self-governing Communities.
1. The Cortes Generales, in matters of State jurisdiction,
may confer upon all or any of the Self-governing Communities the
power to pass legislation for themselves within the framework of
the principles, bases and guidelines laid down by a State act. Without
prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Courts, each enabling act shall
make provision for the method of supervision by the Cortes Generales
over the Communities' legislation.
2. The State may transfer or delegate to the Self-governing Communities,
through an organic act, some of its powers which by their very nature
can be transferred or delegated. The law shall, in each case, provide
for the appropriate transfer of financial means, as well as specify
the forms of control to be retained by the State.
3. The State may enact laws laying down the necessary principles
for harmonizing the rule-making provisions of the Self-governing
Communities, even in the case of matters over which jurisdiction
has been vested to the latter, where this is necessary in the general
interest. It is incumbent upon the Cortes Generales, by overall
majority of the members of each House, to evaluate this necessity.
1. It shall not be necessary to wait for the five-year
period referred to in section 148, subsection 2, to elapse when
the initiative for the autonomy process is agreed upon within the
time limit specified in section 143, subsection 2, not only by the
corresponding Provincial Councils or inter-island bodies but also
by three-quarters of the municipalities of each province concerned,
representing at least the majority of the electorate of each one,
and said initiative is ratified in a referendum by the overall majority
of electors in each province, under the terms to be laid down by
an organic act.
2. In the case referred to in the foregoing paragraph, procedure
for drafting the Statute of Autonomy shall be as follows:
1.- The Government shall convene all Members of Congress and Senators
elected in the constituencies of the territory seeking self-government,
in order that they may set themselves up as an Assembly for the
sole purpose of drawing up a Statute of Autonomy, to be adopted
by the overall majority of its members.
2.- Once the draft Statute has been passed by the Parliamentarians'
Assembly, it is to be sent to the Constitutional Committee of the
Congress which shall examine it within two months with the cooperation
and assistance of a delegation from the Assembly which has proposed
it, in order to decide by common agreement upon its final form.
3.- If such agreement is reached, the resulting text shall be submitted
in a referendum to the electorate in the provinces within the territory
to be covered by the proposed Statute.
4.- If the draft Statute is approved in each province by the majority
of validly cast votes, it shall be referred to the Cortes Generales.
Each House, in plenary sitting, shall decide upon the text by means
of a vote of ratification. Once the Statute been passed, the King
shall give his assent and promulgate it as an act.
5.- If the agreement referred to in paragraph ii) of this subsection
is not reached, the legislative process for the draft Statute in
the Cortes Generales shall be the same as that for a bill. The text
passed by the latter shall be submitted to a referendum of the electorate
of the provinces within the territory to be covered by the draft
Statute. In the event that it is approved by the majority of validly
cast votes in each province, it shall be promulgated as provided
in the foregoing paragraph.
3. In the cases described in paragraphs iv) and v) of the foregoing
subsection, failure by one or several of the provinces to ratify
the draft Statute shall not prevent constitution of the remaining
provinces into a Self-governing Community in the manner to be provided
for by the organic act contemplated in subsection 1 of this section.
1. In the case of Statutes passed by means of the procedure
referred to in the foregoing section, the institutional self-government
organization shall be based on a Legislative Assembly elected by
universal suffrage under a system of proportional representation
which shall also assure the representation of the various areas
of the territory; an Executive Council with executive and administrative
functions and a President elected by the Assembly among its members
and appointed by the King. The President shall assume leadership
of the Executive Council, the supreme representation of the Community
and the State's ordinary representation in the latter. The President
and the members of the Executive Council shall be politically accountable
to the Assembly.
A High Court of Justice, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of
the Supreme Court, shall be the head of Judicial Power in the territory
of the Self-governing Community. The Statutes of Autonomy may make
provision for the circumstances and the manner in which the Community
is to take part in the setting-up of the judicial districts of the
territory. Provided that they must conform to the provisions of
the Organic Act on the Judicial Power and to the principles of unity
and independence of the judicial power.
Without prejudice to the provisions of section 123, successive proceedings,
if any, shall be held before judicial bodies located in the same
territory of the Self-governing Community in which the Court having
jurisdiction in the first instance is located.
2. Once the Statutes have received the Royal Assent and been promulgated,
they may be amended only by the procedure provided for therein and
a referendum of registered electors in the Self-governing Community.
3. By grouping bordering municipalities together, the Statutes may
set up their own territorial constituencies which shall enjoy full
Control over the bodies of the Self-governing Communities
shall be exercised by:
a) The Constitutional Court, in matters pertaining to the constitutionality
of their regulatory provisions having the force of law.
b) The Government, after the handing down by the Council of State
of its opinion, regarding the exercise of delegated functions referred
to in section 150, subsection 2.
c) Jurisdictional bodies of administrative litigation with regard
to autonomic administration and its regulations.
d) The Auditing Court, with regard to financial and budgetary matters.
A delegate appointed by the Government shall be responsible
for the State administration in the territory of each Self-governing
Community and shall coordinate it, when necessary, with the Community's
1. If a Self-governing Community does not fulfil the obligations
imposed upon it by the Constitution or other laws, or acts in a
way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain,
the Government, after having lodged a complaint with the President
of the Self-governing Community and failed to receive satisfaction
therefore, may, following approval granted by the overall majority
of the Senate, take all measures necessary to compel the Community
to meet said obligations, or to protect the above-mentioned general
2. With a view to implementing the measures provided for in the
foregoing paragraph, the Government may issue instructions to all
the authorities of the Self-governing Communities.
1. The Self-governing Communities shall enjoy financial
autonomy for the development and exercise of their powers, in conformity
with the principles of coordination with the State Treasury and
solidarity among all Spaniards.
2. The Self-governing Communities may act as delegates or agents
of the State for the collection, management and assessment of the
latter's tax resources, in conformity with the law and their Statutes.
1. The resources of the Self-governing Communities shall
a) Taxes wholly or partially made over to them by the State; surcharges
on State taxes and other shares in State revenue.
b) Their own taxes, rates and special levies.
c) Transfers from an inter-territorial compensation fund and other
allocations to be charged to the State Budget.
d) Revenues accruing from their property and private law income.
e) Interest from loan operations.
2. The Self-governing Communities may under no circumstances introduce
measures to raise taxes on property located outside their territory
or likely to hinder the free movement of goods or services.
3. Exercise of the financial powers set out in subsection 1 above,
rules for settling the conflicts which may arise, and possible forms
of financial cooperation between the Self-governing Communities
and the State may be laid down by an organic act.
1. An allocation may be made in the State Budget to the
Self-governing Communities in proportion to the amount of State
services and activities for which they have assumed responsibility
and to guarantee a minimum level of basic public services throughout
2. With the aim of redressing interterritorial economic imbalances
and implementing the principle of solidarity, a compensation fund
shall be set up for investment expenditure, the resources of which
shall be distributed by the Cortes Generales among the Self-governing
Communities and provinces, as the case may be.
PART IX. The Constitutional Court
1. The Constitutional Court shall consist of twelve members
appointed by the King. Of these, four shall be nominated by the
Congress by a majority of three-fifths of its members, four shall
be nominated by the Senate with the same majority, two shall be
nominated by the Government, and two by the General Council of the
2. Members of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed among
magistrates and prosecutors, university professors, public officials
and lawyers, all of whom must have a recognized standing with at
least fifteen years' practice in their profession.
3. Members of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed for a
period of nine years and shall be renewed by thirds every three
4. Membership of the Constitutional Court is incompatible with any
position of a representative nature, any political or administrative
office, a management position in a political party or a trade union
as well as any employment in their service, active service as a
judge or prosecutor and any professional or business activity whatsoever.
Incompatibilities for members of the Judicial Power shall also apply
to members of the Constitutional Court.
5. Members of the Constitutional Court shall be independent and
enjoy fixity of tenure during their term of office.
The President of the Constitutional Court shall be appointed
by the King among its members, on the proposal of the full Court
itself, for a term of three years.
1. The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction over the whole Spanish
territory and is entitled to hear:
a) Appeals against the alleged unconstitutionality of acts and statutes
having the force of an act. A declaration of unconstitutionality
of a legal provision having the force of an act and that has already
been applied by the Courts, shall also affect the case-law doctrine
built up by the latter, but the decisions handed down shall not
lose their status of res judicata.
b) Individual appeals for protection (recursos de amparo) against
violation of the rights and freedoms contained in section 53(2)
of the Constitution, in the circumstances and manner to be laid
down by law.
c) Conflicts of jurisdiction between the State and the Self-governing
Communities or between the Self-governing Communities themselves.
d) Other matters assigned to it by the Constitution or by organic
2. The Government may appeal to the Constitutional Court against
provisions and resolutions adopted by the bodies of the Self-governing
Communities, which shall bring about the suspension of the contested
provisions or resolutions, but the Court must either ratify or lift
the suspension, as the case may be, within a period of not more
than five months.
1. The following are entitled to:
a) Lodge an appeal of unconstitutionality: the President of the
Government, the Defender of the People, fifty Members of Congress,
fifty Senators, the Executive body of a Self-governing Community
and, where applicable, its Assembly.
b) Lodge an individual appeal for protection (recurso de amparo):
any individual or body corporate with a legitimate interest, as
well as the Defender of the People and the Public Prosecutor's Office.
2. In all other cases, the organic act shall determine which persons
and bodies shall have right of appeal to the Court.
If a judicial body considers, when hearing a case, that
a regulation having the force of an act which is applicable thereto
and upon the validity of which the judgment depends, might be contrary
to the Constitution, it may bring the matter before the Constitutional
Court in the circumstances, manner and subject to the consequences
to be laid down by law, which shall in no case have a suspensive
1. The judgments of the Constitutional Court shall be published
in the Official State Gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado),
with the dissenting opinions, if any. They have the force of res
judicata from the day following their publication, and no appeal
may be brought against them. Those declaring the unconstitutionality
of an act or of a statute with the force of an act and all those
which are not limited to the acknowledgment of an individual right,
shall be fully binding on all persons.
2. Unless the judgment rules otherwise, the part of the act not
affected by unconstitutionality shall remain in force.
An organic act shall make provision for the functioning
of the Constitutional Court, the status of its members, the procedure
to be followed before it, and the conditions governing actions brought
PART X. Constitutional Amendment
The right to propose a constitutional amendment shall be
exercised under the provisions of section 87, subsections 1 and
1. Bills on constitutional amendments must be approved
by a majority of three-fifths of members of each House. If there
is no agreement between the Houses, an effort to reach it shall
be made by setting up a Joint Committee of an equal number of Members
of Congress and Senators which shall submit a text to be voted on
by the Congress and the Senate.
2. If approval is not obtained by means of the procedure outlined
in the foregoing subsection, and provided that the text has been
passed by the overall majority of the members of the Senate, the
Congress may pass the amendment by a two-thirds vote in favour.
3. Once the amendment has been passed by the Cortes Generales, it
shall be submitted to ratification by referendum, if so requested
by one tenth of the members of either House within fifteen days
after its passage.
1. If a total revision of the Constitution is proposed,
or a partial revision thereof, affecting the Introductory Part,
Chapter II, Division 1 of Part I, or Part II, the principle of the
proposed reform shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of the
members of each House, and the Cortes Generales shall immediately
2. The Houses elected thereupon must ratify the decision and proceed
to examine the new constitutional text, which must be passed by
a two-thirds majority of the members of each House.
3. Once the amendment has been passed by the Cortes Generales, it
shall be submitted to ratification by referendum.
The process of constitutional amendment may not be initiated
in time of war or under any of the states contemplated in section
The Constitution protects and respects the historic rights of the
territories with traditional charts (fueros). The general updating
of historic rights shall be carried out, where appropriate, within
the framework of the Constitution and of the Statutes of Autonomy.
Two. The provision of section 12 of this Constitution
regarding the coming of age, shall not be prejudicial to cases in
which traditional charts are applicable within the sphere of private
Three. Any change in the financial and tax system
of the Canary Islands shall require a previous report from the Self-governing
Community or, as the case may be, from the provisional self-government
Four. In Self-governing Communities where more
than one Court of Appeal (Audiencia Territorial) holds jurisdiction,
the Statutes of Autonomy may maintain the existing Courts and share
out jurisdiction among them, provided this is done in accordance
with the provisions of the Organic Act on the Judicial Power and
in conformity with the unity and independence of the latter.
In territories with a provisional self-government regime, their
higher corporate bodies may, by means of a resolution adopted by
the overall majority of their members, assume for themselves the
initiative for autonomy which section 143, subsection 2, confers
upon the Provincial Councils or corresponding inter-island bodies.
Two. The territories which in the past have, by
plebiscite, approved draft Statutes of Autonomy and which at the
time of the promulgation of this Constitution, have provisional
self-government regimes, may proceed immediately in the manner contemplated
in section 148, subsection 2, if agreement to do so is reached by
the overall majority of their pre self-government higher corporate
bodies, and the Government shall be duly informed. The draft Statutes
shall be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of section 151,
subsection 2, where so requested by the pre Self-government assembly.
Three. The right to initiate the process towards
self-government conferred on local authorities or their members,
provided in section 143, subsection 2, shall be postponed for all
purposes until the first local elections have taken place, once
the Constitution has come into force.
Four.In the case of Navarra, and for the purpose
of its integration into the General Basque Council or into the autonomous
Basque institutions which may replace it, the procedure contemplated
by section 143 of this Constitution shall not apply. The initiative
shall lie instead with the appropriate historic institution (órgano
foral), whose decision must be taken by the majority of its members.
The initiative shall further require for its validity the ratification
by a referendum expressly held to this end and approval by the majority
of votes validly cast.
If the initiative does not succeed, it may only be repeated during
a further term of office of the competent Foral body and, in any
case, after the minimum period laid down in section 143 has elapsed.
Five. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla may set
themselves up as Self-governing Communities if their respective
City Councils so decide in a resolution adopted by the overall majority
of their members and if the Cortes Generales so authorize them by
an organic act, under section 144.
Six. Where several draft Statutes are referred
to the Constitutional Committee of the Congress, they shall be considered
in the order in which they are received. The two month period referred
to in section 151 shall be counted from the moment in which the
Committee completes its study of the draft or of the drafts that
it has successively examined.
Seven. The provisional self-government bodies
shall be considered to be dissolved in the following cases:
a) Once the bodies provided for by the Statutes of Autonomy passed
in conformity with the Constitution have been set up.
b) In the event that the initiative for the obtention of autonomy
status should not be successful for non-compliance with the requirements
of section 143.
c) If the relevant body has not exercised the right recognized in
the First Transitional Provision within a period of three years.
1. Once the present Constitution has come into force, the Houses
that have adopted it shall assume the functions and powers set out
therein for the Congress and the Senate respectively. Provided that
under no circumstances shall their term of office continue beyond
June 15, 1981.
2. With regard to the provisions of section 99, the promulgation
of the Constitution shall be considered as creating the constitutional
basis for the subsequent application of those provisions. To this
end, there shall be a thirty day period, as from the date of the
promulgation, for implementing the provisions contained in said
During this period, the current President of the Government assuming
the functions and powers vested by the Constitution for this office,
may decide to use the authority conferred by section 115 or, through
resignation, leave the way open for application of section 99. In
the latter case, the situation as regards the President shall be
that provided in subsection 2 of section 101.
3. In the event of dissolution, in accordance with section 115,
and if the provisions contained in sections 68 and 69 have not been
enacted, the rules previously in force shall apply to the ensueing
elections, except for causes of ineligibility and incompatibilities,
to which section 70, subsection 1, paragraph b), of this Constitution
shall be directly applicable, as well as its provisions concerning
voting age and those of ection 69, subsection 3.
Nine. Three years after the election of the members
of the Constitutional Court of the first tie, lots shall be drawn
to choose a group of four members of the same electoral origin who
are to resign and be replaced. The two members appointed following
proposal by the Government and the two appointed following proposal
by the General Council of the Judicial Power shall be considered
as members of the same electoral origin exclusively for this purpose.
After three years have elapsed, the same procedure shall be carried
out with regard to the two groups not affected by the aforementioned
drawing of lots. Thereafter, the provisions contained in subsection
3 of section 159 shall apply.
Act 1/1977, of January 4, for Political Reform, is hereby repealed,
as well as the following, in so far as they were not already repealed
by the above-mentioned Act: the Act of the Fundamental Principles
of National Movement of May 17, 1958; the Chart of the Spanish People
(Fuero de los Españoles) of July 17, 1945; the Labour Chart
of March 9, 1938; the Act of Constitution of the Cortes of July
17, 1942; the Act of Succession to the Head of State of July 26,
1947, all of them as amended by the Organic Act of the State of
January 10, 1967. The last mentioned Act and that of the National
Referendum of October 22, 1945, are likewise repealed.
To the extent that it may still retain some validity, the Act of
October 25, 1839 shall be definitively repealed in so far as it
applies to the provinces of Alava, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya.
Subject to the same terms, the Act of July 21, 1876 shall be deemed
to be definitively repealed.
Likewise, any provisions contrary to those contained in the Constitution
are hereby repealed.
This Constitution shall come into force on the day of publication
of its official text in the Official State Gazette (Boletín
Oficial del Estado). It shall also be published in the other languages
Wherefore, we order all Spaniards, whether individuals or authorities,
to abide by this Constitution and ensure that it is observed as
a Fundamental Law of the State. Palacio de las Cortes, the twenty-seventh
of December of nineteen hundred and seventy-eight.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE CORTES
Antonio Hernández Gil
THE SPEAKER OF THE CONGRESS
Fernando Alvarez de Miranda y Torres
THE SPEAKER OF THE SENATE
Antonio Fontán Pérez