𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗧𝗢 𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗜𝗚𝗔𝗡𝗧𝗦 𝗕𝗘𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗘 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗦𝗣𝗔𝗡𝗜𝗦𝗛 𝗖𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗧𝗦 – 𝟰𝘁𝗵 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁 𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗿𝗸’𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗸𝗲.
At the end of January 2023, the three leading associations of the Spanish court clerks (LAJs) called for a strike, dramatically affecting the Spanish courts by all reports. According to the estimates, after 14 days, there have been around 125,000 adjournments of court hearings in Spain so far, with no end date foreseen while entering its fourth week.
Beyond the percentages of participants (unexpectedly high), this strike has even dragged LAJs of the Supreme Court or the Central High Court (‘Audiencia Nacional’) to adjourn the hearings. In the rest of the courts, court clerks suspend all types of hearings and proceedings, paralysing the processing of thousands of cases to severe damage to all the parties involved.
Most worrying, the LAJS are not warning lawyers and parties of their intention to adjourn hearings, causing them to appear in court just to be notified on the spot that there will be no hearing. In some cases, even if they had to travel from other parts of the country or abroad to appear in court, causing considerable inconvenience and expenses.
Furthermore, in addition to the well-known slowness in the enforcement of judgments in Spain, €432 million are still awaiting payment due to the strike, a task also assigned to court clerks.
Apart from the economic demands of the LAJs, the underlying problem is that Spain has been forced to face a profound remodelling of its public service court model, aggravating the situation of its chronic collapse, an undesired consequence of a significant increase in population and above all based a system that has not changed the fundamentals of the civil service.
I am sharing a brief guide we have prepared for our international clients with dispute cases before the Spanish courts. I hope it’s helpful to you.