The high court of Catalonia is the maximum expression of the judiciary in the autonomous community. It was established 23 May 1989 as an integrative organ of the judicial framework. The high courts are the product of the plan envisaged in article 26 of substantive law of the judiciary.
It consists of three courts:
Civil and Criminal Court
Contentious Administrative Court
Civil and Criminal Court of the High Court of Catalonia
In civil matters it has jurisdictional authority for hearing appeals in cassation and review against the judgments of the courts of Catalonia pertaining to Catalan civil law. It settles, in a single proceeding, civil actions against political and judicial authorities considered privileged persons.
In criminal matters The Chamber of Civil and Penal Matters of the Catalonia Superior Court of Justice is aware of the lawsuits and proceedings against people considered privileged owing to their position, such as high ranking representatives of the Catalonia Autonomous Community, as well as the instruction and ruling of open lawsuits and proceedings against judges, magistrates and prosecutors, for crimes or offences committed in the course of their duties, providing this responsibility is not attributed to the Supreme Court.
Moreover, it hears appeals against jury decisions pronounced by the jury court of Catalonia and deals with questions of competence among criminal courts in the region that do not have another high common court.
The Civil and Criminal Court is presided over by the president of the High Court of Catalonia. 5 magistrates serve on the court.
Labour Court of the High Court of Catalonia
The employment tribunal of the high court of Catalonia is responsible for proceedings affecting the interests of employees and employers of a higher sphere than employment tribunals. It also has competence for appeals against rulings pronounced by employment tribunals and commercial courts in labour matters or incidents pertaining to bankruptcy proceedings that affect workers, as well as questions of jurisdictional authority among regional employments tribunals.
The labour court of the High Court of Catalonia consists of a president and 24 magistrates.
Contentious Administrative Court of the High Court of Catalonia
The Chamber of Contentious Administrative Matters is the supervising organ of public administrations in the Catalonia region. La contentious administrative court hears, in a single proceeding, contentious appeals against actions of the administration which the law does not attribute to any other organ of this jurisdiction. It is aware of the appeals relating to the actions of local and autonomic entities, the appeals lodged against the resolutions of the courts of contentious matters, and the questions of jurisdiction amongst those courts.
It consists of a president and 25 magistrates in active service, divided into 5 sections.
The government court is the internal government organ of the courts and tribunals of the region. Its main objective is organization of the daily operation of the courts and tribunals of the autonomous community.
The government court consists of 15 members and is representative in character, as half of its members are elected democratically by judges and magistrates of the autonomous community.
The president of the government court is the president of the High Court of Catalonia. In addition to the president, the president of the contentious administrative court and labour court, the presidents of the provincial courts and the government court clerk are ex officio members. The chief judge of Barcelona is also a member.
The government court has broad jurisdictional authority for organizing the operation of the courts and tribunals for which it is responsible. Its duties include:
To verify that the posts of judges assigned to the said courts are adequately filled.
Analyzing the complaints lodged by citizens regarding the administration of justice.
Reviewing the sanctions imposed by judges on participants in judicial proceedings.
Proposing inspection visits to the presidents.
Maintaining institutional relations with other public administrations with the aim of improving the functioning of the administration of justice.
Preparing studies and proposals directed at the General Council of the Judiciary.
To exercise disciplinary faculties over magistrates and judges.