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The Spanish Constitution

December 29, 1978

The Constitutional Court of Spain

The declaration of unconstitutionality | Fundamental rights of citizens


The Constitutional Court


The Constitutional Court is the supreme body for the interpretation of the Constitution. It guarantees its primacy and judges conformity or non-conformity with the laws, provisions and acts challenged.

The declaration of unconstitutionality can be promoted through the appeal of unconstitutionality – which can only be presented by the President of the Government of Spain, the Ombudsman, fifty deputies or fifty members of parliament – or through the question of unconstitutionality, which is raised by judges and courts.

The Constitutional Court also resolves conflicts of competence that arise between the Spanish State and the Autonomous Communities, or between the Autonomous Communities themselves, and it hears conflicts in defence of local autonomy.

It is also competent to safeguard the fundamental rights of citizens by means of the appeal for protection, which makes it possible to defend an alleged violation of these rights once the ordinary judicial instances have been exhausted. Citizens, the Ombudsman and the Public Prosecution Service are entitled to lodge a complaint.

The Constitutional Court of Spain

The Constitutional Court of Spain


The Constitution


The Constitution is a consensual text, the final outcome of debate and agreement between the parliamentary forces democratically elected in the elections of 15 June 1977.

The Lower House of Parliament appointed seven deputies, representing all parliamentary groups, to draft an initial proposal. Subsequently, during its processing, it was amended and completed and, on 31 October 1978, the General Courts approved the final text.

Spanish citizens were called to a referendum to vote on the Constitution on 6 December 1978. Following ratification, it entered into force on 29 December of the same year.

The 1978 Constitution, approved by the Spanish people in a referendum on 6 December, came into force on 29 December of the same year. It was drafted on the basis of negotiations and agreements between the different political parties represented in parliament and has been described as the consensus constitution.

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is the core of the Spanish political and legal systems. It is the basis for other rules, fundamental rights and public freedoms, the principles of action of the public authorities and the institutional and territorial organisation of the Spanish State.

The higher values of Spain, as a social and democratic state governed by the rule of law, are freedom, justice, equality and political pluralism. The political form is parliamentary monarchy.

The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation and recognises the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions integrated into it, as well as solidarity among them all.

Spanish is the official language of the State. The other Spanish languages may also be official in the Autonomous Communities, in accordance with their respective Statutes. This is a constitutional provision that has been assumed in the Statute of the Basque Country, with respect to Basque; in Catalonia, with respect to Catalan and Aranese; in Galicia, with respect to Galician; in the Valencian Community, with respect to Valencian; in Navarra, with respect to Basque in the geographical area delimited in the corresponding law; and in the Balearic Islands, with respect to Catalan.

Source: – Ministerio de la Presidencia (CIF S-2811001-C). Complejo de la Moncloa 28071 Madrid – 06/12/2023

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