Spain’s Justice System Tries to Avoid the Collapse of the Courts and Creates an ‘Express Law’

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The Ministry of Justice intends to promote the use of new technologies and implement the new law before the summer.  

THE Ministry of Justice is seriously considering the approval of an urgent new law to mitigate the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the courts of justice. This new rule, which intends to be ready before the summer, would adapt the Administration of Justice to new technologies in order to streamline procedures and help unclog stagnant judicial activity, which has been suspended for a month. This law will be fundamental in assuring the fluidity of the courts once the state of alarm is lifted.

The government has been working on this plan to streamline the Administration of Justice for months in order to prepare for the knock-on effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and to avoid, if possible, the collapse of the courts.

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All non-urgent judicial activity has been suspended under the State of Alarm, which has forced the courts to postpone procedures and thousands of hearings which were scheduled for these past weeks.

In addition to the build-up of hearings, there is also the barrage of issues which are due to arise from the labour sector concerning corporate issues such as EREs, ERTES, and appeals against sanctions which have been imposed for breaking the rules of confinement.


The Minister, Secretary of State and the General Secretary for Innovation and Quality of the Public Service all met yesterday with four judicial associations to establish how they would address the post-pandemic justice system. They agreed that reforms were necessary in the short, medium and long term.

“We must do everything possible so that the institutions involved join forces so that the Administration of Justice comes out of the crisis as quickly as possible,” says the Secretary of State, who considers that this unforeseen crisis may end up becoming an “opportunity” to jointly address issues that have been pending for years.”


For a bulk of the measures, the Ministry of Justice is considering streamlining processes and increase efficiency by trying to make the most of the use of new technologies. This is an area in which courts and tribunals are lagging far behind in comparison to the General State Administration. The Ministry has taken the Tax Agency as an ideal model and the objective is to have a kind of electronic procedural code to adapt most judicial processes to technology. For example, something as widespread in other areas as being able to make immediate notifications with messaging services.





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