President of the Constitutional Court (Spain)
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President of the Constitutional Court Spain
President of the
Constitutional Court
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Coat of Arms of Spain
Juan José González Rivas en Sevilla en 2017 (1).jpg
Juan José González Rivas

since March 23, 2017
Member ofConstitutional Court
SeatConstitutional Court Headquarters, Madrid,
NominatorPlenary Court
Term length3 years, 2 terms limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of 1978
First holderManuel García Pelayo [1]
DeputyVice President of the Constitutional Court
SalaryEUR152,735 annually[2]

The president of the Constitutional Court (Spanish: Presidente del Tribunal Constitucional) of Spain is the head of the Constitutional Court, the highest body with the power to determine the constitutionality of acts of the Spanish central and regional governments. It is defined in Part IX (i.e. section 160) of the Constitution of Spain, and further governed by Organic Laws 2/1979 (a.k.a. Law of the Constitutional Court of October 3, 1979).[3] The court is the "supreme interpreter"[4] of the Constitution, but since the court is not a part of the Spanish Judiciary,[4] the Supreme Court is the highest court for all judicial matters.[5]

The president, as the highest authority of the Court, exercises its representation and he or she presides over the Plenary, as well as presides over the First Chamber. He or she is appointed by the Monarch at the proposal of the rest of the Court's magistrates, who elect him or her by majority and for a three-year term with the possibility of a single reelection. In cases of vacancy, absence or other legal reason, he is substituted by the vice president, who presides over the Second Chamber.[6]

The Presidency of the Constitutional Court, created by the 1978 Constitution and effective since 1980, has as its direct predecessor the Presidency of the Constitutional Guarantees Court, a body similar to the Constitutional Court and which had Álvaro de Albornoz as president between 1933[7] and 1934, Fernando Gasset between 1934[8] and 1936 and Pedro Vargas Guerendiain as acting president from 1936 until the end of the Spanish Civil War.

The current and 10th president of Court is Juan José González Rivas since March 23, 2017.[9]


The President of the Constitutional Court, in accordance with the Constitutional Court Act of 1979:[6]

  • It exercises the representation of the Court.
  • Summons and chairs the Plenary Court and convenes the court's chambers
  • Chairs the First Chamber
  • It adopts the necessary measures for the functioning of the Court, Chambers and Sections.
  • It communicates the vacancies of the courts justices to the Cortes, the Government or to the General Council of the Judiciary.
  • Appoints the counsels, clerks, calls the competitive examinations and contests to cover the positions of civil servants and positions hired staff.
  • It exercises administrative powers over the staff of the Court.


The Plenary of the Court elects from its members, by secret ballot, its President for a period of three years and proposes its appointment to the King.[6]

For its election is required to reach in the first ballot the absolute majority; if this majority is not reached, it will be elected in the second ballot that obtains the greatest number of votes; In the event of a tie, a final vote shall be taken and if it is repeated, the senior magistrate shall be proposed for the office of President and, in the case of equal seniority, the oldest candidate bye age.[6]

If the three-year term for which he was appointed did not coincide with the renewal of the Constitutional Court, that term of office shall be extended to end at the time the renewal occurs and the new judges take office.[6]


The President and other Judges of the Constitutional Court shall, upon assuming office before the King, give the following oath or promise:[6]

«I swear (or promise) to faithfully obey and enforce at all times the Spanish Constitution, with loyalty to the Crown and to fulfill my duties as Constitutional Magistrate.»

Spanish: «Juro (o prometo) guardar y hacer guardar fielmente y en todo tiempo la Constitución española, con lealtad a la Corona y cumplir mis deberes como Magistrado Constitucional.»

List of presidents of the Court

Since its creation, 10 people have served as president of the Constitutional Court. The first president was Manuel García Pelayo who served from 1980 to 1986. The shortest presidency was that of Pascual Sala who served 2 years and 140 days from 2011 to 2013, while the longest was that of María Emilia Casas who served 6 years and 208 days from 2004 to 2011. She was also the first and only woman to hold the office.

President[10] Tenure Tenure length Nominated by Monarch
1 Manuel García Pelayo
July 7, 1980 -

February 22, 1986

5 years, 230 days Senate Juan Carlos I
2 Francisco Tomás y Valiente
March 6, 1986 -

July 6, 1992

6 years, 122 days Congress of Deputies
3 Miguel Rodríguez-Piñero y Bravo-Ferrer
July 17, 1992 -

April 8, 1995

2 years, 265 days Government
4 Álvaro Rodríguez Bereijo
April 24, 1995 -

December 17, 1998

3 years, 237 days Senate
5 Pedro Cruz Villalón
December 22, 1998 -

November 7, 2001

2 years, 320 days Congress of Deputies
6 Manuel Jiménez de Parga
November 14, 2001 -

June 9, 2004

2 years, 208 days Government
7 María Emilia Casas
June 16, 2004 -

January 10, 2011

6 years, 208 days Senate
8 Pascual Sala
January 24, 2011 -

June 13, 2013

2 years, 140 days General Council of the Judiciary
9 Francisco Pérez de los Cobos
June 20, 2013 -

March 11, 2017

3 years, 264 days Senate
10 Juan José González Rivas
March 23, 2017 -


3 years, 254 days Congress of Deputies
Felipe VI


  1. ^ Real Decreto 1322/1980, de 4 de julio, por el que se nombra Presidente del Tribunal Constitucional a don Manuel García-Pelayo y Alonso
  2. ^ EFE (2019-01-14). "Pedro Sánchez percibirá un salario de 82.978 euros". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Newton, Michael T.; Peter J. Donaghy (1997). Institutions of modern Spain : a political and economic guide. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57348-3.
  4. ^ a b Olga Cabrero. "A Guide to the Spanish Legal System". Law Library Resource Xchange, LLC. Archived from the original on 2006-12-14. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ § 123, clause 1, Spanish Constitution of 1978
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ley Orgánica 2/1979, de 3 de octubre, del Tribunal Constitucional.
  7. ^ Office of the Prime Minister (22 July 1933). "Decreto nombrando Presidente del Tribunal de Garantías Constitucionales a don Álvaro de Albornoz y Liminiana" (PDF). Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Office of the Prime Minister (28 December 1934). "Decreto nombrando Presidente del Tribunal de Garantías Constitucionales a don Fernando Gasset Lacasaña" (PDF). Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Rincón, Reyes (2017-03-22). "El conservador González Rivas presidirá el Constitucional". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved .
  10. ^ * Díaz Sampedro, Braulio. La politización de la justicia: El Tribunal Supremo (1836-1881), memoria para optar al grado de doctor. Madrid: Universidad Complutense, 2004. PP.296-297. ISBN 84-669-2484-1.

See also

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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