THE rule of law is the foundation of Spain, the UK, the US, France and countries the world over.

But law in every county runs by different rules.

For example, there’s no word in English that describes the role of a Spanish ‘procurador’.

In this article we’ll explore the history of the procurador, what they do, and how much they cost.

A history of the procurador – Procurador en Cortes

Up until the Spanish constitution of 1812, a procurador referred to the political representatives of cities and towns in the Spanish kingdom.

Regions typically had one procurador to represent ecclesiastical, noble and ‘common’ populations.

These procurador de cortes disappeared in the 19th century Spanish constitution to become ‘diputados’.

A diputado is the current term for a member of the Spanish parliament, the Congreso de los Diputados.

However, the term procurador was reinstated during Franco’s regime as a symbol of breaking with liberal traditions.

The term disappeared again in politics with the 1978 Spanish constitution – except for in Castilla y Leon and in Alava, where it remains a word for councillor.

Hunters Race Mybhn8kaaec Unsplash
Photo: Hunters Race/Unsplash

What does a procurador do in Spain?

In Spain, a legal procurador is a professional with a law degree specialised in judicial procedures.

In Spain this field is known as derecho procesal or ‘procedural law’.

In many Spanish court proceedings a client will need both an abogado and a procurador.

While both words could be translated as ‘lawyer’ the procurador does not defend a client in court.

Neither can a procurador perform the services of a solicitor (for drafting contracts or making a will).

Instead, a client is said to be ‘represented’ by a procurador to speed up the court process, presenting appeals or managing court costs, processing orders and publishing announcements in official bulletins.

In Spanish law, a client is said to be ‘defended’ by a lawyer and in many cases the client will not have contact with the procurador (the client’s ‘representation’).

According to Mariscal Abogados, a procurador is compulsory in criminal and civil procedures except where a claim is below €2,000.

According to Rebecca Jowers, the best translation for procurador in English would be a ‘party agent’ as they represent parties at court.

There are approximately 11,000 procuradores in Spain, divided into several bars.

In 2016 the European Commission opened an investigation (called Europilot) that investigated their role.

Specifically, the EU examined whether procuradores caused ‘excessive and unjustified obstacles to the provision of services’.

However, in 2018, the European Commission approved the profession in return for an amendment to Spain’s professional societies law.

How much does a procurador cost?

While lawyers can determine the cost of their own services, the cost of a procurador is regulated by law.

The Real Decreto 1373/2003 established a general table of tariffs depending on the quantity of a legal claim.

At the lowest end of the scale, for a claim of €60 the price of a procurador is €9.64.

At the highest end of the scale, for a claim of €600,000 the price of a procurador is €1,540.

A full table can be seen in the Decreto.

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