The National Criminal Court was founded as per Royal Decree 1/1977 (Government Gazette of the 5th of January 1977 – the same year in which the first democratic elections after the dictatorship were held. Democracy and the National Criminal Court have grown together. In this Court, the men and women who have worked here throughout the last three decades, have rendered a relevant service to strengthen our social and democratic Legal State, and particularly in fighting the blight of terrorism. The strength of democracy and the Legal System, and especially of human rights, are the weapons with which we will defeat this brutal form of criminality. The strength of our defence of freedom and pluralism is the daily tribute we render to the victims.
In that time, the National Criminal Court has achieved a deserved auctoritas, it has exercised especially relevant legal responsibilities with efficiency, and it has achieved an important social repercussion through every one of its comprising orders.
Occasionally, in the light of the attention provoked by criminal questions, there is a tendency to forget that the National Criminal Court consists not only of the Criminal Chamber, but also of two other Chambers and Courts dedicated to social orders and contentious and administrative matters, which carry out essential functions for the economic and social life of this country.
The Magistrates of the different Chambers and Courts of the National Criminal Court are certainly responsible, by constitutional imperative, for trying and ensuring the fulfilment of the sentences, and the chairmanship for promoting and guaranteeing, within the established legal framework, on the one hand its independence, without which true legal power would not exist, and on the other demanding the appropriate responsibilities, since both concepts – independence and responsibility – are indissolubly united.
The National Criminal Court is a key element within the legal structure – hence its doctrinal and social coincidence – as a result of its special responsibilities.
This relevant area of responsibilities belonging to the National Criminal Court may convert it, vis-à-vis the public opinion, into the most present symbol of the Legal System functioning in our country.
The complex, and very often global character of the threats against the freedom and the security endured by our societies in the 21st century, requires highly qualified and specialised judicial organs to preserve the vigour of the Rule of Law in the new circumstances of the globalised world. This is the case of the National Criminal Court.