Spain's dreadful judicial system

On January 2008 a little girl went missing in Huelva, a southern town of Spain. Last month (March), after her body had been found, Spain was shocked with the news that the suspect killer (in custody) had been convicted of sexual harassment to his own daughter years ago, but he never went to prison. Had he been in prison, everyone says, the latest death in Huelva would not have occurred.

An investigation was launched, and then we learned that the judge who did not send the killer to jail had been fined in the past for failing to implement the jail sentence of another criminal.

Although the death of this poor girl is the fault of the killer, the blatant failures and fiasco of the Spanish judicial system have also angered many. It’s the last drop on a slow but continuous flow of inefficient, poor inner-working of our courts, aided by no less defective laws.

Yet, after this latest offense by the judicial system to the Spanish people, no one has stepped forward and resigned, not any of the involved judges, public workers, nor the Minister of Justice. In any civilized country, a case like this would have driven any half-responsible person to resign, at the very least, and the consequences would have been severe for those at fault.

In Spain, however, no one resigns, and it seems the likely guilty judge may get away simply with losing his job. That’s not enough. If he is indeed found to be guilty, jail time should be part of the punishment.

The Spanish judicial system is a joke since the beginning of the democratic period (last 30 years), and none of the governments thus far have done anything to fix it. It is time for drastic measures. Let’s see if the newly elected government (just a month ago) will do something about this serious problem in Spain.


1 thought on “Spain's dreadful judicial system

  1. Marcelo

    Absolutely. It seems to be not just a case of poor judicial system, but a partial consequence of an illness that affects the whole society: the reluctancy to demand proper functioning of whatever services one interacts with. Obviously, in cases like the one at hand the consequences of indifference are much more critical, but there is a general state of “this is life”, of resignation, of excessive tolerance to sheer innefficiency that blocks the natural correction of things.

    Will this government do something about it? I’m afraid politics in this country is limited to a flame war between parties and no real work is done for the ultimate needs that the country has. Perhaps they’ll conduct some minor changes, but will these really affect how things turn out in the end? There is much work to be done not only at the higher levels of politics, but also in the streets, in the small offices, in the end-users of laws, where a mentality change is needed. And this is much more complex to achieve.


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