Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol 1, No 9 (2011)

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Collaborators at domestic jurisdiction: the case of the Basque Government in the setting up of the new Judicial Office in the Basque Country

Izaskun Iriarte Irureta


The Administration of Justice in Spain is going through a deep modernisation process aiming both at procedural and organisational reforms. The setting up of the new Judicial Office is precisely the major change of the organisation of the Administration of Justice in the last century. In this context, there is a shift in the role played by the regional governments with responsibilities in the field of Justice, as far as these regional governments are not only collaborators of the Judiciary at domestic jurisdiction, but they also become “actors” as they have decision making powers to create, to design and to organise the common procedural services of the Judicial Office and, hence, to set up the Judicial Office in each judicial district in their territory.

This text presents the context and the reasons behind the setting up of the Judicial Office as a new way of organisation of the Spanish Administration of Justice; the Judiciary in Spain and the responsibilities of the regional governments in the Administration of Justice; the meaning of the Judicial Office and its guiding principles; the role of the Basque Government in setting up the Judicial Office in the Basque Country, paying special attention to its activity in the field of standardization of processes, the quality system, and of information, communication and coordination; the results of the first Judicial Offices. Finally the paper questions whether the regional or national governments are just “collaborators” or real “actors” of the Administration of Justice at domestic jurisdiction.

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