Constitutional Court: Composition and Appointments

The Spanish Constitutional Court, having repealed in 2010 substantive parts of the Catalan Autonomy Statute that had become law in 2006, has played the leading role blocking any possibility of carrying out a consultation on independence, even a non-binding one. It has also blocked most progressive legislation adopted by the Catalan parliament in recent years.


The Spanish Constitutional Court is composed of 12 magistrates.

  • Four are chosen by congress with a ⅗ majority. In practice appointments are made by means of a deal between the Partido Popular (PP) which appoints 2 and the Socialist Party (PSOE) which appoints 2, as between both parties a ⅗ majority can always be ensured.
  • Four are chosen by the senate with a ⅗ majority. Appointments again follow the same logic as for those appointed by the congress.
  • Two are appointed by the Spanish Council of the Judiciary, which again is made up of members which require a ⅗ support in both houses of parliament.
  • Two more are appointed by the Government. At present, this is, directly by the PP.

Constitutional Court rulings require a simple majority. In the case of a draw the president (currently a PP appointee) has the decisive vote.

At present 6 of the 12 magistrates were appointed at the proposal of the PP, 4 at the suggestion of the Socialist party and the other 2 are also indirectly chosen by these two parties through the Council of the Judiciary. So, on the whole: 7 Popular Party appointees and 5 Socialist Party appointees.

 

Members of the Constitutional Court

These are the current magistrates by proposing, body, party and year of appointment.

 

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