The jurisdiction in Spain

The Spanish jurisdiction is divided in four fields: civil courts, criminal courts, courts for contentious administrative proceedings, and social courts.

  • The cornerstone of the civil courts is the Court of First Instance (Juzgado de Primera Instancia), which hears civil disputes at first instance and proceedings not expressly assigned to another court. The civil division includes the Family Courts (Juzgados de Familia), which are Courts of First Instance.  Where criminal proceedings are brought against one of the parties in a Court dealing with Violence Against Women (Juzgado de Violencia sobre la Mujer), that court will also have jurisdiction over these civil proceedings. The civil division also includes the specialised Commercial Courts (Juzgados de lo Mercantil) and EU Trade Mark Courts (Juzgados de Marca Comunitaria).
  • The criminal courts (Juzgados de lo Penal) are responsible for hearing any type of offences from misdemeanors to felonies.
  • The contentious administrative courts (Juzgados de lo Contencioso-Administrativo) oversee the legality of actions taken by public authorities and hear the claims filed against them.
  • The Social Courts (Juzgados de lo Social) are responsible for hearing cases dealing with employment law and national security.