Spain

ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

4 October 1979

Number of implemented cases*

85

Examples

Unfair trial leads to reforms to protect justice

César Igual Coll was cleared of failing to pay family maintenance, because he was unemployed and had no money. However, his case went to appeal. The appeal court held no public hearing and no evidence was taken from him. Nevertheless, César was convicted and sentenced to jail. The European court ruled that he had been denied a fair hearing. Changes were made to protect fair trials in Spain.

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Senator put in prison for criticising the government

Senator Miguel Castells wrote an article claiming that the government was failing to investigate a series of murders. He was convicted of insulting the government and sentenced to a year in prison. The European court ruled that his right to free speech had been violated. The Spanish Constitutional Court then developed its case law to provide greater protection to free speech in Spain.

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Case of a mother separated from her child

When María Iglesias Gil had a son by her ex-husband, she was given custody of the child. However, her ex-husband took the child away to the United States. When Mrs Iglesias Gil went to the Spanish courts, they refused to issue an international arrest warrant and closed the case. The Strasbourg court ruled that this decision had breached Ms Iglesias Gil’s right to family life.

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* This figure includes implemented judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and implemented friendly settlements in litigation before the court. The statistics will be updated annually, at the beginning of each calendar year. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.