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Settling a dispute by litigation in Spain normally takes place in court. The country’s judicial system is comprised of courts of different levels, such as: municipal courts, district courts, commercial courts, administrative courts, appellate courts & the High Court

Those considering resolving civil, criminal & labor disputes in Spain should keep in mind that that process consists of oral & written stages. They should bear in mind the fact that proceedings related to administrative matters are primarily carried out in writing.

Pre-Trial Stage

Resolving a dispute through litigation in the Kingdom of Spain is only possible after parties have provided the court with duly verified evidence. It is then the court’s job to look into the evidence & suggest that parties attend a preliminary hearing where it will attempt to resolve a dispute through reaching an agreement in the Kingdom of Spain. If no agreement is reached between parties at this stage, the court begins preparations for preliminary hearings. During preliminary hearings, the court looks into procedure-related objections, reviews evidence & fixes a date for a trial.


Only participants to a claim can instigate civil proceedings in the Kingdom of Spain and take part in resolving commercial disputes in this jurisdiction. 

Oral Hearings

Meant to settle business disputes in the Kingdom of Spain, oral proceedings are instigated through filing complaints with courts. There should be a response in writing to the complaints following which a hearing may be held at the behest of either party. 

Spain: Monitory Proceedings

Envisaged to expedite repayment of financial debts, monitory proceedings enable parties to have decisions enforced ASAP. If a debtor doesn’t raise an objection & fails to pay the amount they sue for, the court may order a terminatiation of the summary procedure & allow a creditor to file a claim for an amount they’re owed. Should a debtor fail to raise an objection, proceedings will go on as usual (the only exception is cases where the amount doesn’t exceed six thousand euros). 

Filing an Appeal

While settling disputes in Spain, parties can appeal:

  • judges’ interim decisions;
  • decisions on terminating proceedings or procedural obstacles;
  • final decisions made by courts in provinces;
  • violations relating to courts’ jurisdiction;
  • procedural rules violations;
  • violation relating to procedural guarantees;
  • violation of Spain’s Constitution;

Prosecutors, ombudsmen & government agencies can file extraordinary appeals regarding interpreting procedural rules with Spain’s Supreme Court. In their turn, parties can: 

  • appeal decisions denying an appellate remedy; 
  • appeal procedural irregularities; 
  • file cassation complaints.

Representative Action

Properly authorized legal entities, associations of consumers & other groups whose interests have been affected can file representative actions in Spain. To ensure protection of private interests, several requirements for publicity of representative actions must be met. There’s no waiver procedures for consumers seeking to initiate legal proceedings in the Kingdom of Spain on their own.

Assisting Courts Overseas

Spain is a signatory to a number of international treaties which can be applied for the settlement of international disputes through litigation in the Kingdom of Spain. If no treaties or conventions are applicable, assisting courts overseas can be rendered on the basis of international laws on cooperation in civil & legal matters. 


Seeking to resolve a dispute by litigation in the Kingdom of Spain? Need legal advice on the Spanish judicial system? Why not contact IQ Decision UK? Our team of legal experts will be delighted to lend you a helping hand with whatever legal issues you’re facing in this regard.