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Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Annali dell’Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento

Jahrbuch des italienisch-deutschen historischen Instituts in Trient

Contributi/Beiträge 31
I lettori che desiderano informarsi
sui libri e sull’insieme delle attività
della Società editrice il Mulino
possono consultare il sito Internet:
Popular Justice in Times of Transition
(19th and 20th Century Europe)

edited by
Émilie Delivré / Emmanuel Berger / Martin Löhnig

Società editrice il Mulino Duncker & Humblot

Bologna Berlin
FBK - Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico

justice in times of transition : (19th and 20th century Europe) / edited by Émilie Delivré,
Emmanuel Berger, Martin Löhnig. - Bologna : Il mulino ; Berlin : Duncker & Humblot, 2017. - 219
p. : ill. ; 24 cm. - (Annali dell’Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento. Contributi ; 31 = Jahrbuch
des italienisch-deutschen historischen Instituts in Trient. Beiträge ; 31)
Scritti di vari. - Nell’occh. : Fondazione Bruno Kessler
ISBN 978-88-15-27172-3 - ISBN 978-3-428-15189-9
1. Giustizia - Amministrazione - Partecipazione popolare - Europa - Sec.XIX-XX 2. Giudici
popolari - Europa - Sec.XIX-XX 3. Giudice di pace - Europa - Sec.XIX-XX I. Delivré, Émilie II.
Berger, Emmanuel III. Löhing, Martin

347.4016 (DDC 22.ed.) Cataloging in Publication record: FBK - Biblioteca

Composition: FBK - Editoria

Translations by Johanna Firsching, Kim Friedlander, John Lee, Davis Lovric, and
Claudia Schweigele

This book is published with the financial support of the Autonomous Province of Trento

ISBN 978-88-15-27172-3
ISBN 978-3-428-15189-9
Copyright © 2017 by Società editrice il Mulino, Bologna. In Kommission bei Duncker & Humblot,
Berlin. Tutti i diritti sono riservati. Nessuna parte di questa pubblicazione può essere fotocopiata,
riprodotta, archiviata, memorizzata o trasmessa in qualsiasi forma o mezzo – elettronico, meccanico,
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Introduction, by Emmanuel Berger, Émilie Delivré, and

Martin Löhnig p. 7

French Grand Juries in Times of Transition, 1791-1799, by

Emmanuel Berger 25
Popular Justice in Times of Revolution, by José Antonio Pérez
Juan 45
«Justice Serving the Poor». The Colleges of Wise Men in
Italy (19th-20th Centuries), by Carlotta Latini 69
Interpretive Moments: Popular Justice Practice in England
and Wales, c. 1800-1980, by Stephen Banks 85
Popular Justice during the People’s Spring. Jury, Charivari,
and Other Curiosities in 1848, by Émilie Delivré 109
Bavarian Drumhead Courts-Martial and People’s Courts, by
Mareike Preisner 127
«Volk» and «Justice» under the Third Reich, by Johann
Chapoutot 149
Mob Justice and Violence in France during Liberation
(Summer 1944), by François Rouquet and Fabrice Virgili 155
Popular Justice and Iconoclasm in Post-War East Germany.
Premodern Rites of Violence in the (De)Legitimation of
Modern States, by Alexey Tikhomirov 173
«Volksgerichte» in Austria (1945-1955), by Martin Löhnig 191

Nazi Crimes in the Judgment of the People. The Bavarian
Jury Court in the Post-war Period, by Arnd Koch p. 203

Index 215

Authors 217

Popular Justice in Times of Revolution

by José Antonio Pérez Juan

1. Introduction

The 19th century is known to have been a tumultuous period in the

political history of Spain. The ideological fight between progressive
and moderate liberals would not only condition our constitutional
history, but it would also have numerous consequences for both the
territorial organization of the state and the functioning of justice itself.
It should not surprise anybody that the jury originated as a vindication of
the most progressive political trends. The liberal dream that the people
should dispense justice would become one of the maxims defended by
the most fervent sectors, but at the same time it would also become the
subject of condemnation by the conservatives1. It is difficult to know
the line of thought that inspired the Spanish case. For Rafael Gibert,
the ideological origins of popular justice in Spain are a real enigma2.
Juan Antonio Alejandre, for his part, points out the possibility that it
could have been introduced by word of mouth3.
In Spain, popular intervention in the administration of justice is reg-
ulated for the first time in the 1808 Bayonne Statute. In Article 106,

This work belongs to the research project «The Council of State in the ‘Trienio Lib-
eral’», Ref. DER 2014-58874-P.
The 19th century jurist, Joaquin Escriché, on referring to the jury said «Es la
reunión o junta de cierto número de ciudadanos que, sin tener carácter público de
magistrados, son elegidos por sorteo y llamados ante el tribunal o juez para declarar
según su conciencia si un hecho está o no justificado, a fin de que aquél pronuncie
su sentencia de absolución o condenación y aplique en este caso la pena con arreglo
a las leyes», J. ESCRICHÉ, entry Jurado, vol. 2, p. 740, 1838-1845.
R. GIBERT, El juicio por Jurados en España, in «Revista de la Facultad de Derecho
de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid», 15, 1971, p. 560.
J.A. ALEJANDRE, La Justicia popular en España. Análisis de una experiencia histórica:
los Tribunales de Jurados, Madrid 1981, p. 85.

public criminal procedure is proclaimed, contemplating the possibility
that jury trials could be established in the future4. Years later, political
and social circumstances permitting, the 1812 Spanish Constitution
authorized the Cortes to distinguish between lay judges and professional
judges5. The constitutional articles indicate little more than this. This
vagueness leads to many doubts arising about the reasons for delaying
the decision and the very nature of the institution6.
Parliamentary debates threw little light on this issue. The reading of
this provision about the jury hardly arose in the sessions at the Cortes.
The only aspect to be questioned was how it was drafted, considering
it to be more «advice than a precept»7. What is more interesting for
our aim is the preliminary discourse of the Cadiz fundamental text.
Many of the flaws of the administration of justice are condemned in
it. The existence of immunity privileges, the shortcomings in criminal
legislation or the perpetual nature of judges were only some of the
ills that our country lamented at the start of the 19th century. Among
the solutions proposed, apart from the unequivocal division between
judicial and executive power, was the introduction of the jury. The
distinction between lay judges and professional judges, the separation
of the functions they exercised on ruling on the fact and the law at
the same time was not only «healthy» but convenient. Nevertheless, the
political predicaments and agitations at the time meant its immediate
implementation was unadvisable8.

R. GÓMEZ RIVERO - J.A. PÉREZ JUAN (eds), El jurado en la historia de España: El
crimen de Cuenca, in A. ORTEGA GIMÉNEZ - P. CREMADES GARCÍA (eds), Cine y derecho
en 13 películas, Alicante 2008, p. 13.
«Si con el tiempo creyeren las Cortes que conviene haya distinción entre jueces de
hecho y del derecho, la establecerán en la forma que juzguen conducente», Art. 307,
Spanish Constitution of 1812, in J. DE ESTEBAN, Las Constituciones de España, Madrid
1998, p. 144.
See B. CLAVERO, Happy Constitution. Cultura y lengua constitucionales, Madrid 1997,
p. 95 and F. MARTÍNEZ PÉREZ, Visión histórica y constitucional del Jurado, in Juicio por
Jurados: experiencia y revisión, Madrid 2007, pp. 19-45.
The proposed text was: «Las Cortes sucesivas establecerán en tiempo oportuno la
diferencia que deba haber entre los jueces de hecho y de derecho», Diario de Sesiones
de Cortes, no. 437, December 13, 1811.
«… se ha abstenido de introducir una alteración sustancial en el modo de administrar
justicia, convencida de que las reformas de esta trascendencia han de ser el fruto de

There was no time for anything else. In 1814, with Fernando VII’s return
to Spanish territory, absolutism was reestablished. Although brief, the
first constitutional experience had made it clear that justice between
equals was expedient for the consolidation of the liberal regime in
Spain. Our politicians knew of its importance and, therefore, they did
not waste the first opportunity they had to introduce, the institution
in our country9.
It was during the period of the Liberal Triennium (1820-1823) that
the jury was established in Spain. The press law of October 20, 1820,
contemplated justice in Articles 36 to 38 of Title VI. On this occasion,
it would be implemented experimentally and exclusively for offenses
committed through the press. The procedure was started with the pre-
sentation of a written allegation. Straight after this, sortition of jurors was
initiated, who would then decide if there was a cause for prosecution
or not. If there was, the judge would immediately adopt a series of
preventive measures, and meanwhile the lay judges would be selected
to form the jury. The arrival of the hundred thousand sons of Saint
Louis in 1823 would bring an end to popular justice in our country10.
When the King died in 1833, and during the time his daughter Isabel
was a minor, his wife María Cristina assumed regency of the throne. It
would be in this historical context that justice among equals would be
reestablished. The conflict of the succession arising from that moment
onwards would result in the first Carlist war, which would condition
the political development of this period. The liberals supported Isabel’s
cause, aware that it was «the only flag possible against the claims of
Fernando VII’s brother». It was not, therefore, a coincidence that from

la meditación, del examen más prolijo y detenido, único medio de preparar la opinión
pública para que reciba sin violencia las grandes innovaciones», A. ARGÜELLES, Discurso
preliminar a la Constitución de 1812, Madrid 1989, p. 97.
During these years the urgency and need for the jury was supported by greater
familiarity with the institution within and outside the Cortes, F. MARTÍNEZ PÉREZ, Entre
confianza y responsabilidad. La Justicia del primer constitucionalismo español (1810-1823),
Madrid 1999, p. 519 fn.
We have had the opportunity to study the functions of the Jury in recent years in
J.A. PEREZ JUAN, Legal Framework for the Jury in the First Spanish Constitutionalism,
in A. SÁNCHEZ ARANDA - I. CZEGUHN (eds), Vom Diener des Fürsten zum Diener des
Rechts: zur Stellung des Richters im 19. Jahrhundert = Del servicio al Rey al servicio de
la Justicia: el cargo de juez en el siglo decimonónico, Regensburg 2011, pp. 115-137.

the start the regent would be concerned about regulating the admin-
istration and transforming the political system11.
On April 10, 1834, the Royal Statute was published12. Despite the
reforms undertaken, the most progressive sector appeared satisfied
with the changes introduced, and even demanded more far-reaching
modifications. Popular discontent broke out in August 183613. At María
Cristina’s summer residence, the military contingent guarding her revolted
and forced her to swear to the 1812 Constitution14. From that moment,
Spain recuperated the majority of the freedoms it had lost during the
six years of absolutism, and once again implemented the regulations
approved during the Liberal Triennium in matters of popular justice15.
On July 18, 1837, we witness the proclamation of a new constitution16.
This fundamental document was established as a work of consensus,
where there was an effort to approach both moderates and progressives.
Drawn up on the basis of the 1812 Carta Magna, it includes ideological
postulates of both tendencies, observing a reduction in «radical
liberalism» which is particularly appreciated in the recognition of the
principle of national sovereignty and the division of powers17. Without

In matters of public administration, the main measures adopted were the creation
of the sub-delegates of development and the provincial division. An extensive study of
these reforms can be found in A. NIETO, Los primeros pasos del Estado constitucional,
Barcelona 1996, pp. 247 ff.
J. TOMÁS VILLARROYA, El Estatuto Real de 1834 y la Constitución de 1837, Madrid
1985, pp. 17-19.
A. BAHAMONDE - J.A. MARTÍNEZ, Historia de España. Siglo XIX, Madrid 1998, p. 207.
Decree of August 13, 1836, through which the regent reestablished the 1812 Con-
stitution «ínterin que reunida la nación en Cortes manifieste expresamente su voluntad
o dé otra Constitución conforme a las necesidades de la misma». A detailed account
of what happened that night at La Granja in C. CAMBRONERO, La reina gobernadora.
Crónicas políticas de 1833 a 1840, in «La España Moderna», 1914, 307, pp. 8-11.
R. GOMEZ RIVERO, El Tribunal del Jurado en Albacete (1888-1936), Albacete 1999,
p. 5.
Together with the Royal Statute of 1834, this fundamental text has been studied
by J. TOMÁS VILLARROYA, El Estatuto real de 1834 y la Constitución de 1837, Madrid
1985. See also J. VARELA SUANZES-CARPEGNA, La Constitución de 1837: una Constitución
transaccional, in «Revista de Derecho Político», 1983-1984, 20, pp. 95-106.
J.F. MERINO MERCHÁN, Regímenes históricos españoles, Madrid 1995, p. 80.

going into detail, it should be noted that its main contribution lies in
the ordered and systematic recognition of individual rights18.
This catalogue recognizes, among many others, a principle of publicness
in criminal procedure, although it did not dare to proclaim popular
justice generally and for all types of offenses. Instead, it opted for
delaying its implementation affirming that «the laws will determine
the time and way it has to establish trial by juries for all types of
offenses»19. For Alejandre, it was a «vague promise for the future» which
recalled how cautiously the Cadiz Constitution had approached this
same problem years earlier20. We should not forget that in those times
Spain was immersed in a civil war, so neither did it seem advisable to
establish the jury for all types of offenses in 1837. The military conflict
and «the lack of customs» had brought the commission for drawing
up the constitutional text to dismiss the idea21. Nevertheless, the final
articles of the 1837 Constitution would partially recognize the jury for
press offenses. In Article 2, it attributes the jury as having absolute
competence for knowing about these types of offenses22.
Once again, the press would be the laboratory used for experimenting
with the jury in Spain. From the beginnings of Spanish constitution-
alism, the regulation of the press had concerned Spanish legislators23.
L. SÁNCHEZ AGESTA, Historia del Constitucionalismo español, Madrid 1955, p. 233.
Art. 1, addition, Spanish Constitution of June 18, 1837, in J. DE ESTEBAN, Las
Constituciones de España, Madrid 1998, p. 174.
J.A. ALEJANDRE, La Justicia popular en España, p. 103.
«La comisión tiene tantos deseos de establecer el Jurado como los que acaba de
manifestar el Sr. Vila y si las circunstancias de la Nación no fueran tan críticas, no
hubiera la comisión vacilado en establecerlo desde luego; pero habiendo considerado
las gravísimas dificultades que presentan las provincias, se ha abstenido de resolver la
cuestión en este momento», Diario de Sesiones de Cortes, no. 182, April 27, 1837.
«Todos los españoles pueden imprimir y publicar libremos sus ideas sin previa
censura, con sujeción a las leyes. La calificación de los delitos de imprenta corresponde
exclusivamente a los jurados», Art. 2, Spanish Constitution of June 18, 1837, in J. DE
ESTEBAN, Las Constituciones de España, p. 166.
I have had the opportunity to dedicate time to the first laws that regulated the
press in Spain in the paper J.A. PÉREZ JUAN, The Freedom of the Press in the Cortes
of Cadiz, in I. CZEGUHN - F. PUÉRTOLAS (eds), Die spanische Verfassung von 1812. Der
Beginn des europäischen Konstitutionalismus, Regensburg 2014, pp. 103-116. To find
out about the legal framework of the press in the early liberal stages, see E. LA PARRA

However, the regulations had been incapable of resolving the abuses
of the press24. The technical deficiencies as well as the difficulties in
undertaking these processes had prevented punishment of those charged
with being responsible for these writings, generating a climate, which,
far from helping to consolidate the liberal regime, had harmed and
weakened it25. During María Cristina’s regency, there was an attempt
to put an end to these atrocities. In a scenario of war and a weak
government, it became necessary to adopt strong measures to suppress
public disorder26. On March 15, 1837, press legislation was modified.
On this occasion, the 1820 and 1822 decrees in force were not abol-
ished, but complementary measures were adopted to toughen up the
government faculties of control and repression of the press27. The law
was in force for scarcely six months. Halfway through October of the
same year, the Cortes approved a new legislation, which regulated the
freedom of the press and the jury court in detail. Once again, we have
the opportunity to refer to this new legal framework28. The cited reg-
ulation maintained justice between equals in the terms established up
to that time, although it introduced important modifications in both its
composition and its functions. Financial requirements were instituted
for anyone who wanted to be a judge. From this time, besides being

LÓPEZ, La libertad de imprenta en las Cortes de Cádiz, Valencia 1984 and J. ÁLVAREZ
JUNCO - G.  DE LA FUENTE MONGE, El nacimiento del periodismo político. La libertad
de imprenta en las Cortes de Cádiz (1810-1814), Madrid 2009. Also, and for a more
extensive period, see A. FIESTAS LOZA, La libertad de imprenta en las dos primeras
etapas de liberalismo español, in «Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español», 1989,
59, pp.  351-490.
To find out about how press abuses were tried in the Cadiz period, consult J.A. PÉREZ
JUAN, Los procesos de imprenta en las Cortes de Cádiz, in Cortes y Constitución de Cádiz.
200 años, Madrid 2011, vol. 2, pp. 230-246.
I. VILLAVERDE, Historia de una paradoja: los orígenes de la libertad de expresión, in
«Giornale di Storia Costituzionale», 2003, 6, p. 183.
J.A. PÉREZ JUAN, La aplicación de la ley de imprenta de 15 de marzo de 1837, in
«Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español», 76, 2006, pp. 667-703, here p. 674.
I have been able to analyze this legal framework and the problems arising from its
application in J.A. PÉREZ JUAN, La aplicación de la ley de imprenta.
This is the law of October 17, 1837, regarding freedom of the press. A detailed
study of this regulation can be consulted in J.A. PÉREZ JUAN, The Jury in Spain 1833-
1843, in Rezeption des Französichen Rechts in der Europäischen Justizgeschichte des
19.  Jahrhunderts, Regensburg 2015, pp. 35-56.

Spanish and not being legally incompetent, it would be necessary to
contribute to the state coffers with large amounts of money, which
varied according to the part of city a candidate resided in29. This was
undoubtedly the main novelty that the new legislation introduced. For
the first time in the history of the jury in Spain, the financial element
was established as a requirement for participation in popular justice.
Another important change affected how lay judges gave their vote.
Under the new legislation, the jurors’ opinion would be secret30. The
writers of the new law justified the decision understanding that this
confidentiality guaranteed equity in lay judges’ actions, without any
type of inspection and/or responsibility mechanism being necessary31.
Besides the reforms outlined, from 1837 there would be changes in the
system established for drawing up the lists of lay judges. The lists of
candidates were made in the councils and included all the neighbors
who reached the level of income indicated in the legislation. All their
names were deposited in an urn and the names of those who would be
on the grand jury or the petit jury were picked out at random. For the
latter, seventy candidates were chosen by sortition, giving the parties
the faculties to disqualify up to thirty. The remaining twelve would
make up the grand jury32.
After the transition Cabinet of González Bravo, on May 4, 1844, general
Narváez came to power, bringing with him the ideological and political
postulates of moderantism, specifically: «strengthening of royal power,
the defense of property … public order, etc.»33. This was an ideology

«El Jurado se compondrá en Madrid de todos los contribuyentes por contribuciones
directas en la cantidad de 500 rs.; en Barcelona, Cádiz, La Coruña, Granada, Valencia
y Zaragoza de los contribuyentes de 400 rs.; y 100 en las demás ciudades y pueblos
de la Península, debiendo acreditar que esta corriente en el pago de la contribución»,
Art. 3, law of October 17, 1837, libertad de imprenta.
Art. 8, law of October 17, 1837, libertad de imprenta.
«La comisión, sin motivo suficiente, jamás desconfiará de un ciudadano que paga
una contribución respetable y tiene una posición social y fortuna debida á su trabajo»,
in Diario de sesiones del Congreso, no. 310, session of September 15, 1837.
The previous in Arts 5-7, law of October 17, 1837, libertad de imprenta.
F. CANOVAS SÁNCHEZ, El partido moderado, Madrid 1982, p. 297. The ideological
postulates of the moderate party have been studied, among others, by L. DIEZ DEL
CORRAL, El liberalismo doctrinario, in L. DIEZ DEL CORRAL, Obras completas, Madrid
1998; A. GARRONERA MORALES, El Ateneo de Madrid y la teoría de la Monarquía Liberal

which years later would be reflected in the proclamation of the 1845
Spanish Constitution, affecting territorial organization as well as the
reform of the administration of justice, among other issues. From this
moment, the jury was condemned to ostracism. The fundamental mod-
erate text did not contemplate any reference to popular justice in its
article. What is more, the conservative government launched a campaign
of defamation and disrepute about these courts and lay judges. This
trend, after a brief interval in 1854, was the result of the progressive
triumph and would continue until the 1868 revolution34.

2. The «Glorious Revolution» and the reestablishment of popular justice

in Spain

We begin the study of one of the most important chapters of contem-

porary history of Spain. In the words of Antoni Jutglar, it constitutes
«the last attempt to accomplish the bourgeois revolution»35. The
Glorious Revolution was not a spontaneous action. From mid-1865,
the so-called Night of Saint Daniel and later revolutionary attempts,
the first by General Prim in January 1866 and the second occurring
months later in San Gil military barracks, led to the formation of the
so-called Oostende Pact, and with it the start of a political and military
period directed at overthrowing the moderate party and the Bourbon
dynasty36. The causes of the revolutionary outbreak in September 1868
are varied. However, according to Montero Díaz, they can be narrowed
down to two: one is financial, caused by the serious financial, industrial
and agricultural crisis that Spain suffered from 1866; and the other is
political, being a consequence of the weakening of the moderate model
after the death of its political leaders and the inability of the party

(1836-1847), Madrid 1974 and J.L. COMELLAS, La teoría del régimen liberal español,
Madrid 1962.
J.A. ALEJANDRE, La Justicia popular en España, p. 106.
A. JUTGLAR BERNAUS, La Revolución de Septiembre, el Gobierno provisional y el
reinado de Amadeo I, in R. MENÉNDEZ PIDAL, La era isabelina y el sexenio democrático
(1834-1874), (Historia de España, 34) Madrid 1996, p. 645.
The terms under which the agreement between progressives and democrats was
signed in the Belgian city of Oostende on August 16, 1866, has been studied in detail
by A. ERIAS ROEL, El partido demócrata español, 1849-1868, Madrid 1961, pp. 328-330.

itself to solve the country’s problems37. Besides, the manipulation of the
parliamentary system and the following discreditation of the institutions
led the opposition to distance itself more and more from the political
game and to consider that its only access to power would be to resort
to an uprising38.
On September 17, the revolution broke out in the Bay of Cadiz39.
In the following days the rebellion ignited in Andalusia and later in
other Spanish cities Santander, Béjar, Coruña, Zaragoza, Cartagena,
and Santoña40. Once again, we are witness to a scenario of a Spanish
model of uprising of the 19th century. With the start of the revolt and
the established power challenged, the people assumed sovereignty and
the popular juntas were constituted41. Days later, on September 29, the

J. MONTERO DÍAZ, La crisis del moderantismo y la experiencia del sexenio democrático,
in J. PAREDES, Historia contemporánea de España (1808-1939), Barcelona 1997, p. 292.
«Hasta ese momento (se refiere a la firma del Pacto de Ostende) los partidos en la
oposición se atenían a las reglas del juego parlamentario. A partir de ahora se apartan
de este juego legal que contribuía a deshacerles en disensiones ineficaces. Abandonan
la vía legal y se sitúan en la oposición activa, clandestina, violenta, no ya como partidos
políticos concretos, sino como representantes del pueblo descontento», V. BOZAL, Juntas
revolucionarias, manifiestos y proclamas de 1868, Madrid 1968, p. 14.
It is known that the objectives of this uprising can be found in the manifesto
published in Cadiz on September 19, known by the name España con honra. It stated:
«Nuestra heroica Marina, que siempre ha permanecido extraña a nuestras diferencias
interiores, al lanzar la primera el grito de protesta, bien claramente demuestra que no
es un partido el que se queja, sino que los clamores salen de las entrañas mismas de
la Patria. No tratamos de deslindar los campos políticos. Nuestra empresa es más alta
y más sencilla. Peleamos por la existencia y el decoro. Queremos que una legalidad
común, por todos creada, tenga implícito y contante el deseo de todos. Queremos
que el encargado de observar y hacer observar la Constitución no sea un enemigo
irreconciliable. Queremos que las causas que influyen en las supremas resoluciones
las podamos decir en alta voz delante de nuestras madres, de nuestras esposas y de
nuestras hijas; queremos vivir la vida de la honra y de la libertad. Queremos que un
gobierno provisional que represente todas las fuerzas vivas del país asegure el orden,
en tanto que el sufragio universal echa los cimientos de nuestra regeneración social y
política», in V. BOZAL, Juntas revolucionarias, p. 75.
A. BAHAMONDE - J.A. MARTÍNEZ, Historia de España. Siglo XIX, p. 539.
We have had the opportunity to study this revolutionary process in the province of
Alicante. In this territory, on learning of Isabel II’s departure «se produjo un vacío de
poder por la huída de las primeras autoridades de la provincia. Es en este momento
cuando es necesario formar una Junta revolucionaria Provisional», J.A. PÉREZ JUAN,

revolution was triumphant, the rebel forces overcoming the national
troops of General Novaliches in the famous Battle of Alcolea. On this
same day, Isabel II abandoned the country42.
At the start of October, the military forces of General Serrano entered
Madrid. On October 8, the provisional government was constituted
and the revolutionary juntas were dissolved43. From this moment, fun-
damental reforms were carried out, among them were the recognition
of public freedoms, universal suffrage, the abolition of consumption
taxes, and among the changes affecting the administration of justice was
unavoidably the establishment of trial by juries in criminal matters44.
At this point, we should take into account that—although popular jus-
tice was not recognized by Spanish legislation, during the second half
of the 19th century—this did not prevent the institution from being
known in the legal doctrine of the time. During these years, foreign
works about lay judges circulated in Spain, and at the same time works
specializing in the jury also appeared45. Without going into too much
detail, we know of the publication by Sebastián González Nandín,
or the one by Fernando Gómez Salazar titled Defensa del juicio por
jurados. The former is a historical study of the jury in Europe. It is
very enlightening reading as it includes the origin of popular justice
in England and its introduction in France. This jurist was very critical
with the popular institution which he considered «susceptible to not
only causing tears, indignation, moral turmoil, judicial anarchy but
to also encouraging laughter and ridicule»46. The work by Gómez de

Centralismo y descentralización: Organización y modelos territoriales en Alicante 1812-

1874, Madrid 2004, p. 175.
R. OLIVAR BERTRAND, Así cayó Isabel II, Barcelona 1956, p. 204.
«Así, pronto, comenzó el conflicto entre el Gobierno y la línea de las Juntas, incluso
antes de que el primero decidiera la disolución de las segundas», A. JUTGLAR, De la
Revolucion de Septiembre a la Restauracion, Barcelona 1976, p. 652.
J.F. MERINO MERCHÁN, Regímenes históricos españoles, Madrid 1998, p. 119.
Alejandre confirms the dissemination of classical laudatory works about the jury
like those by C.F. OUDOT in France and W. FORSYTH in England, J.A. ALEJANDRE, La
Justicia popular en España, p. 107.
«Lo hemos dicho, esta institución, según sus sostenedores y con arreglo a su
naturaleza, decide por instinto, esto es, no juzga, ni puede hacerlo, por ser una de sus
condiciones constituyentes, que sus miembros carezcan de los elementos necesarios

Salazar is more favorable47. It is structured into three large sections and
starts with a presentation of the institution of the jury explaining how
it was established in England in those years. The second part looks
into the origin of these courts and breaks down important issues, like
the selection of lay judges, the flaws of the Administration of justice in
Spain, as well as the drawbacks of the professional judges in contrast
to the action of jurors based on their «conscience and good sense».
Undoubtedly, it is the most important section as it refutes the argu-
ments against popular justice presented by the jurisconsult Joaquin
Escriche in his well-known Diccionario razonado de legislación. The
book concludes with a strong criticism of criminal proceedings of the
time. Unfortunately, we cannot go into detail here. However, I would
like to highlight those issues that one way or another influenced the
legislation for popular justice that would later be published in Spain.
The permanence of the magistrates constitutes one of the points of
analysis of Gómez de Salazar. In his opinion, professional justice was
subject to the influence of the government, as resolutions tended towards
being tougher, so judges consolidated their positions48. This anomaly
was resolved by the sortition of lay judges. It is undoubtedly—in the
words of the author—the most suitable mechanism for guaranteeing the
independence and impartiality of justice49. Besides, continues  Gómez

para juzgar. – Siendo, pues, oficial su ignorancia en legislación, y notoria su absoluta

incompetencia, en cuestiones abstractas de derecho, todo acto, intencional o inocente,
que tienda á suponer ó á invocar su sabiduría legal, mientras más público y solemne
sea, mayor ridículo ha de producir», S. GONZÁLEZ NANDIN, El Jury ó Jurado en material
criminal, Barcelona 1863, pp. 32 and 33.
F. GÓMEZ DE SALAZAR, Defensa del Juicio por Jurado, Madrid 1868.
«Se temió que los Jurados, así como los jueces permanentes nombrados por el
Gobierno, estarían siempre sujetos por razón de su origen al influjo ministerial, y no
fallarían las causas sino según conviniese al interés de aquel: temióse igualmente que
tanto los unos como los otros, cualquiera que fuese su origen, si permanecían largo
tiempo en el ejercicio de su encargo, se volverían en fuerza del hábito indiferentes y aún
crueles con los acusados, creyendo ver en cada uno de ellos un culpable, y adquiriendo
cierta prevención para condenarlos más bien que para absolverlos», ibid., p. 35.
«Los temores, pues, arriba expresados, y más que todo la venalidad y corrupción
de los jueces permanentes, fue lo que dio origen a la felicísima idea del sorteo de los
ciudadanos para desempeñar el cargo de jurados en cada causa. Y efectivamente, vista
la necesidad que había de una reforma tan radical en el sistema judiciario, ¿qué otro
medio pudiera haberse arbitrado más a propósito para evitar las influencias así en pro
como en contra del acusado? ¿De qué otra manera se hubiera podido asegurar también la

de Salazar, the temporary or provisional character of lay judges put an
end to the vices or bad «habits» caused by the long and drawn out
judicial functions carried out by professional judges50.
With this background, it was foreseeable that as soon as a progressive
regime was established in the Government of Spain, the jury would be
vindicated as an indispensable democratic institution. And that was how
it was. The proclamation of the 1869 Spanish Constitution opened up a
new period in the history of the jury in Spain51. We should not forget
that this Carta Magna, from a legal point of view, articulates a new regime
on the basis of the principles of democracy and decentralization52. The
first of these characteristics is clearly appreciated in different aspects
of its articles. The constitutional recognition of universal suffrage, the
express proclamation of national sovereignty and even the proclamation
of new rights, such as those of reunion or association, constitute clear
examples of this53. In this line, we see the reestablishment of popular
justice. Article 93 of the fundamental text announced that «trial by
jurors will be established for all political and common crimes as deter-
mined by law. The law will also determine the necessary conditions to
implement the responsibility of jury». Again, as in the 1812 and 1837
Constitutions, the reference to jury in the fundamental text was limited to
a promise for the future. Some deputies were aware of this circumstance
and presented different amendments to the drafting of this precept54.

independencia y la imparcialidad de los que debían declarar la inocencia o la culpabilidad

de aquel? De ninguno absolutamente; puesto que hasta el momento de presentarse en
el tribunal ni los reos saben ni pueden saber quienes van a ser sus jueces, ni los mismos
ciudadanos saben si la suerte los designará para este cometido», ibid., pp. 41 and 42.
Ibid., p. 103.
The preparatory work of the constitution committee and later parliamentary debates
that led to the approval of the Constitution by the Cortes on June 1, 1869, have been
studied in J.M. DONEZAR DÍEZ DE ULZURRUM, La Constitución de 1869 y la revolución
burguesa, Madrid 1985. Previously, A. CARRO MARTINÉZ, La Constitución española de
1869, Madrid 1952.
J. SOLÉ TURA - E. AJA, Constituciones y períodos constituyentes en España (1808-
1936), Madrid 1990, p. 60.
J. TOMÁS VILLARROYA, Breve historia del constitucionalismo español, Madrid 1997,
pp. 85-86.
«Pocas enmiendas se presentaron a este título, bien fuera por la coincidencia de
opiniones, o por su aspecto técnico, o por la necesidad de redactar una Ley Orgánica

In general terms, all of them demanded that the constitution should
directly recognize the validity of the jury without the use of formulas or
dilatory styles for putting it into operation55. It would be accomplished.
In spite of everything, the article was approved as quoted. As mentioned
above, the new constitutional mandate did not seem to be any differ-
ent from the previous ones56. Scarcely a few months later, the Cortes
approved the provisional law about the organization of judicial power.
This regulation, published in the «Gaceta de Madrid» of September
15, 1879, ordered the structure and functions of justice in Spain with
integrating, homogenous, and systematic criteria57. The new provision
articulated mechanisms that guaranteed the independence of justice with
respect to executive power, by developing the maxims of irrevocability,
exclusivity, and responsibility of the members of the judiciary58. We
are before a new legal framework, which was eminently organic and
recognized popular justice with respect to all those offenses, which
may carry sentences that are more severe than imprisonment, besides
those of lèse majesté, rebellion, and sedition whatever the established
sentences may be for them59. In spite of the extension of the cited
law, with about thousand articles distributed over twenty-three titles,

del Poder Judicial, por todo lo cual, en dos sesiones fue aprobada por las Cortes con-
stituyentes», J.F. LASSO GAITE, Crónica de la Codificación española: Organización Judicial,
Madrid 1970, p. 100.
As an example, a fragment of the parliamentary intervention by Rodríguez Pinilla,
who said with respect to this: «… El artículo 93, tal y como lo ha redactado la comisión,
se reduce á decir que se establecerá el jurado para delitos políticos y para los comunes
que determine la ley. Primero habla de futuro: dice se establecerá; es decir, que no es
una cosa de inmediata ejecución», Diario de Sesiones de Cortes, May 22, 1869.
J.A. ALEJANDRE, La Justicia popular en España, p. 114.
A. CARRETERO PEREZ, La administración de Justicia de 1868 a 1898 (part 2), in
«Revista de Derecho Judicial», 1966, 26, p. 129.
The doctrine has been dealt with on several occasions in the provisional law of
the organization of judicial power. Without going into detail and in order to illustrate
the attention given to this regulation in historiography, you can consult the work by
F. RUIZ-JARABO Y BAQUERO, Homenaje a una Ley centenaria. La Ley Orgánica del Poder
Judicial de 15 de Setiembre de 1870, in «Revista General de legislación y Jurisprudencia»,
61, 1970, 4, pp. 359-438; M.J. SOLLA SASTRE, Finales como principios. Desmitificando la
LPOPJ de 1870, in «Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español», 2007, pp. 427-466.
Art. 276, Ley provisional de organización del Poder Judicial de 1870, in «Gaceta
de Madrid», September 15, 1870.

it did not focus on procedural matters so the implementation of the
jury required the issuance of another legal text60.
On December 22, 1872, the criminal procedure law was published
developing the bases for implementing popular justice. Undoubtedly,
this was the most important innovation that the new procedural legis-
lation would introduce and the government was aware of it. Hardly a
week after the proclamation of this legislation for the cited regulation,
the Ministry of Mercy and Justice circulated an order giving precise
instruction about how the jury should be constituted61. Below, we will
have the opportunity to take the time to study this legislation. Now, we
are only interested in mentioning in advance that unlike the previous
experience, it would be the first time that a single jury would be estab-
lished in Spain, whose jurisdiction—as already mentioned—would not
be limited to press offenses. This institution would begin to function in
a climate of political and social instability62. The abdication of Amadeo
de Saboya, the proclamation of the first republic, and the cantonal
revolution were not the most suitable scenario for the participation of
the people in the administration of justice63.
«… y a pesar de su carácter distintivo de organizadora de los Tribunales … ni se
organiza el Jurado, ni se determinan las condiciones de los individuos que debieran
componerle, ni se fija su número, i se le señala el círculo de su competencia, sino que
todo esto se deja a otra ley, que necesariamente tiene que ser también organizadora; y
dándose el singular ejemplo de dividir en partes lo que debía ser en todo homogéneo,
se siembra el germen de la confusión que ordinariamente producen la referencia y la
necesidad de consultar diversas leyes de una misma naturaleza para resolver un caso dado»,
A. GONZÁLEZ OCAMPO, El Tribunal del Jurado español en Camisa, Albacete 1874,  p.  6.
Aware that the detractors of popular justice had spread messages about the inca-
pacity of Spanish citizens to carry out such an important responsibility the Government
encouraged the people to participate in justice. Saying: «Infundado agravio irrogan con
ello á nuestro pueblo que, lejos de hallarse en peores condiciones que otros en que
dicha institución existe, conserva tradicionalmente costumbres favorables á este género
de funciones; porque en efecto, un pueblo en cuyos antiguos fueros tantas veces se
encuentra la idea cardinal del Jurado; que hasta nuestros días lo ha conservado en algunas
provincias», Order, December 28, 1872, in «Gaceta de Madrid», Monday) December
30, 1872.
In the same decree of December 22, 1872, which proclaimed the procedural reg-
ulation, it was established that the jury would begin being convened in Spain from
January 15 of the following year, «Gaceta de Madrid», Tuesday, December 24, 1872.
To find out about the difficulties that our country experienced in the implementation
of popular justice at this time, the work by the president of the Second Court of the

3. The jury and criminal procedure

The provisional law of criminal procedure dedicates Articles 658 to

785 in Title IV of its Book II to the institution of the jury. It would
consist of twelve jurors and three magistrates64. It corresponded to the
former to declare the guilt or innocence of the defendant, appreciating
the concurrence of mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances, and
specifying the degree of execution of the offense: it was incumbent on
the magistrates to apply the corresponding sentences, determining the
public liability that the defendant or third persons may have incurred65.
In order to be a juror, it was necessary to be Spanish, over thirty,
be in full possession of political and civil rights, be a neighbor in
the respective municipal district, and be included in the lists, which
were to be drawn up in each of the municipal districts, as head of
the family with a residence66. Jurors could also be those who without
meeting all the above-mentioned requirements were included in the
lists of capabilities67. Explicit causes of incapacity are regulated, which
include, for example, those who have been criminally prosecuted and
condemned68, and incompatibility69. Those who may have directly or
indirectly intervened in some way in the cause, interested parties, as
well as direct ascendants and descendants, were excluded. Exclusion
from the jury was possible for those over seventy, those who have to

Supreme Court is very illustrative, he analyzes his personal experience in charge of

the audience in Madrid in the introduction of one of his works about popular justice,
E. BRAVO, Ley del Jurado, Madrid 1888, pp. 20-45.
It is necessary to point out that the number of lay judges was copied from English
legislation not only by Spain but also by the majority of European countries. However,
we do observe differences with respect to the magistrates. In England at that time, we
find only one judge, while in France the same number of magistrates intervene although
they do not have as many faculties as in the Spanish case, T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El
jurado. Examen crítico de los títulos 4º y 5º del lib. 2º de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento
Criminal, comparado con las legislaciones de Inglaterra, Francia, Bélgica, Ginebra y la
Confederación Suiza e isla de Malta, Madrid 1873, p. 9.
Arts 658-660 Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal (LECrim) 1872.
Art. 664 LECrim 1872.
Art. 665 LECrim 1872.
Art. 666 LECrim 1872.
Art. 667 LECrim 1872.

do daily manual work to attend their livelihood and those who had
already exercised this position70. To a large extent, the requirements
established by the legislation coincide with the French legislation of
the time. However, the detractors of the institution questioned them,
considering that they did not guarantee that lay judges would possess
the «intelligence» and «morality» that was required of people who car-
ried out a position of importance. In their opinion, it was necessary to
introduce some financial scale linked to income since this would endorse
the education and preparation of the citizens in charge of administering
justice71. What is more remarkable is the criticism of the age required
to be a lay judge. For one sector of the doctrine, there was an evident
contradiction and it was difficult to justify that the 1870 provisional
law for the organization of the courts demanded a professional judge
to be twenty-five, but it was raised to thirty for lay judges72.
Undoubtedly, the system for selecting lay judges was of great concern
for the jurists of the time. In drawing up the lists, it was not enough to
fix rules that would ensure the intelligence, morality, or independence
of the jurors, but it was also necessary to find a mechanism that would
prevent governmental influences or other spurious reasons for their
appointment. In Spain, the selection of the members of the jury is
rather complex. There are three phases which both local bodies and
judicial authorities take part in. In the first stage, the municipal council,
integrated by the judge and the district attorney along with the mayor
and three municipal councilors drew up two general lists, one which
would include heads of family with an occupied residence in the town
and another for those who did not meet these requirements, who were
included in the list of capabilities mentioned above73. On concluding
this stage, the lists were taken to the pretrial judge to be screened
Arts 668 and 670 LECrim 1872.
Demanding minimal pay for jury duty was also the case in England, the United
States, and Belgium. The reason was evident: «La persecución y castigo de los criminales,
es cuestión de conservación del órden y de los intereses sociales, y nadie puede tener
racionalmente más interés en ello, que el que tiene también más intereses amenazados»,
T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El Jurado, pp. 22 and 23.
«La ley de enjuiciamiento exige más de treinta en el que haya de ser Jurado, y por
más que se discurra será difícil encontrar el motivo de la divergencia introducida por
esta con aquellas …», A. GONZÁLEZ OCAMPO, El Tribunal del Jurado español, p. 7.
Arts 673-681 LECrim 1872.

again and a tenth of the total number were selected74. Finally, the
documents were submitted to the judicial district, where from all the
lists received two hundred from the heads of family lists and a hundred
from the capabilities lists were selected, aiming for «those chosen to
correspond where possible to all the municipal areas of the district,
although greater participation was given to the capital». If the quota
of a hundred from the capabilities list was not reached, it was to be
completed with heads of family75. From this final list, the sortiton of
lay judges was made, who would then be called to constitute the jury
in the respective audience76.
During this time, it corresponded to the jury to not only know about
press offenses, but also about those committed against the constitution,
and election rebellion and sedition offenses, as well as more serious
common offenses punished by a sentence that was more severe than
imprisonment77. Wrongful acts committed by people with immunity
were submitted to the jurisdiction of the supreme court78. Despite the
apparent broad scope of competencies that the new legislation attributed
to the jury, in practice a sector of the doctrine criticized the measure.
In their opinion, on demanding the sentence of imprisonment they were
limiting their jurisdiction to less frequent offences79.
The popular court convened every three months80. This time schedule
was criticized by the doctrine of the time. Having the dates fixed a
priori for constituting the court could stall the resolution of a cause
for at least three months, «if, by chance, after the court’s agreement,
the jury has been informed about those they must know about for
the next three-month meeting». This criterion contradicted the system
established in England or Switzerland where these courts functioned as
Art. 689 LECrim 1872.
Art. 692 LECrim 1872.
Art. 696 LECrim 1872.
Art. 661 LECrim 1872
Art. 663 LECrim 1872.
«En Francia, todo delito que tenga señalada una pena mayor de cinco años de
prisión es del conocimiento del Jurado, mientras que en España sólo lo será cuando
lleve una mayor de doce años», T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El Jurado, p. 15.
Art. 698 LECrim 1872.

often as necessary to attend pending procedures81. Sections integrated
by three magistrates were created for each audience, and the judicial
districts for the corresponding causes submitted to popular justice were
distributed among them82. Once cases were assigned, the town ore
towns where they would meet were designated. The choice of town was
decided according to its geographical location, so that the lay judges
as well as the interested parties and witnesses could quickly and easily
reach the designated place83. Immediately after this, forty-eight names
were randomly picked out from the lists of jurors for each of the sec-
tions installed in the province84.
The trial was carried out orally and publicly. First, the accused were
required to confess. If there was a confession, sentence was passed. If
not, the cause was passed on to the jury 85. The president would open
the session by reading out the list of judges, calling them one by one
and asking whether they were affected by any of the causes of incom-
patibility set out in the legislation86. Following this, the sortition of the
jurors was made, and they would have to form the court, warning the
parties that they had the faculty to freely challenge those successfully
chosen «until no more names remained in the urn than those necessary
to make up the twelve unchallenged jurors»87. After this act was final-
ized, the constitution of the court took place and the popular judges
were sworn in88. The disqualification system presented followed the
French model and differed from other mechanisms used in neighbor-
ing countries where elimination or not was limited in number as in
the Anglo-Saxon case, or did not coincide temporally with sortition,
but the interested parties were granted a time limit to formulate their
objection, as occurred in Belgium at that time89.
T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El Jurado, p. 37.
Arts 699-700 LECrim 1872.
Art. 701 LECrim 1872.
Art. 703 LECrim 1872.
Art. 720 LECrim 1872.
Art. 725 LECrim 1872; art. 715 LECrim 1872.
Arts 726 and 727 LECrim 1872.
Art. 733 LECrim 1872.
T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El jurado, p. 51.

The public session started with the judicial procedures applied for by
the parties. At the conclusion of this phase, the prosecution authority
and the private accusation, if there was one, made their statements. In
their statements they were limited to appreciating the evidence collected
to legally qualify the facts that had been verified and to determining
the participation of the accused and—if appropriate—the concurrence
of aggravating, mitigating, or exculpatory circumstances. Afterwards the
defense addressed the court, subject to the same limits as the accusa-
tion. Once both parties had presented their conclusions, the accused
were asked if they had anything to manifest. The lay judges were also
consulted in case they thought it opportune to make a complementary
instruction90. The president immediately drew up the summary of the
evidence and reports. In his intervention, he presented the legal nature
of the accredited material circumstances: the legal doctrine in matters
of exculpatory, mitigating, and aggravating circumstances and «to sum
up criminal nature of the facts, if they were to have them, and the
participation of each of the accused in them»91. When the summary
was concluded, the president asked questions that the jury should
resolve. In our opinion, the regulation is very scrupulous in this point
regulating both the  form and content of the questions that the lay
judges should answer92.
Following this, the jury would withdraw to deliberate. This debate
was held in camera and in a single act, without breaching the required
isolation so as to guarantee the impartiality of the lay judges. On the
conclusion of the discussion, voting for each of the questions was carried
out. Suffrage was nominal and aloud, forming a verdict by a vote of
absolute majority93. Once the votes had been counted the corresponding

Arts 737-739 LECrim 1872.
Art. 740 LECrim 1872.
In this sense, and as an illustration, we should point out that the law demands that
a question should be asked «por cada eximente, atenuante o agravante» comprendida
en los escritos de conclusiones de las partes. Asimismo, si el reo fuere mayor de nueve
año pero menor de quince obligatoriamente habrá que inquerir al Jurado sobre «si
ha obrado ó no con discernimiento». With respect to the style of the questions, they
were formulated as follows: «¿M.N. es culpable del delito de …? (aquí la descripción
del hecho)», arts 742-753 LECrim 1872.
Art. 755 LECrim 1872.

act was issued, which did not indicate if the agreement had been by
absolute majority or unanimous94.
If the verdict was guilty, the president granted the parties the right to
express themselves in relation to the sentence that should be passed
on each of those declared guilty, as well as the public liability and its
amount. When these reports were completed, the magistrates dictated
Two types of appeal against the verdict were possible. One called
«amendment appeal», before the same jury, and the other «review of
the cause» by a different jury. The former could only be presented in
cases regulated in the law and mainly affected the form and the content
of the responses given by the lay judges to the questions formulated
by the magistrates96. The latter required a new jury to have knowledge
about the cause when the court was declared to have incurred a serious
and manifest error on pronouncing the verdict97. It is undoubtedly this
last mechanism, which caused most criticism among the detractors of
the institution. The fact that professional judges could invalidate the
jury’s decision and ask for the cause to be judged by a new jury led to
the opinion that the jury did not have its own autonomy or identity,
since it was at the mercy of the technical criteria98. This measure was
not new. Clearly, this appeal followed the model of French legislation.
However, we can find two major differences between this system and
the French system: on the one hand, in France the cause contested is
not only known by new lay judges, but also by some new magistrates;
and on the other hand, in that judicial procedure this appeal was only
possible for a guilty verdict99.

The act was drawn up in these terms: «Los Jurados han deliberado sobre las pre-
guntas que se han sometido á su resolución y bajo el juramento que prestaron, declaran
solemnemente lo siguiente: A la pregunta (aquí la pregunta copiada) Sí o No», Arts
756-761 LECrim 1872.
Arts 766 and 767 LECrim 1872.
Art. 779 LECrim 1872.
Art. 783 LECrim 1872.
T. GÓMEZ RODRÍGUEZ, El jurado, p. 2.
Ibid., p. 113.

The 1872 criminal procedure law established little more about the func-
tions of the jury. The truth is that implementing this legal framework
was not an easy task. As previously indicated the social and political
context was not ideal. The Carlist Wars, the Cantonal Revolutions and
the continued public disorder that characterized this period of Spanish
history did not allow for the suitable development of popular justice.
Added to this, there was a lack of adherence to the new institution by
the population and citizens’ reticence in participating in the administra-
tion of justice. On January 3, 1875, the Minister of Mercy and Justice
decreed the suspension of the jury100.

«Se suspende en la parte relativa al Jurado y al juicio oral y público ante los
Tribunales de derecho la observancia de la ley provisional de Enjuiciamiento Crimi-
nal …», A. GÓNZALEZ OCAMPO, Vicios y Defectos de la Ley provisional de Enjuiciamiento
Criminal publicada en 22 de diciembre de 1872, in «Revista General de Legislación y
Jurisprudencia», 66, 1875, p. 42.


1. Historical evolution of the jury in 19th-century Spain

1808-1812 War of Independence - Courts of Cádiz

Bayonne Statute of 1809, Art. 106: jury regulation
Constitution of 1812, Art. 307: jury regulation
1814-1820 Absolutist phase: revocation of the Constitution of 1812
1820-1823 Liberal phase
Printing decree of 1820: jury for press crimes
1823-1833 Absolutist phase: the jury disappears
1836-1840 Liberal phase - Regency of Maria Cristina
Constitution of 1837, Art. 2: jury regulation (recovery of the
jury for press crimes)
1845-1868 Conservative liberal stage - Queen Isabel II
Constitution of 1845: the jury disappears (exception 1854-1856)
1869-1876 Liberal progressive stage
Constitution of 1869, Art. 93: jury regulation
Legal development: criminal procedure law of 1872
1876-1923 King Alfonso XII
Constitution of 1876: the jury disappears
Jury act of 1888

2. Comparative table of legislation

Press decree of 1820 Press law of 1837 Criminal procedure law of 1872
Procedure Double jury Double jury Single jury
Composition Grand jury (9 lay judges); petit jury (12 lay judges) 12 lay judges + 3 magistrates
25 years old; full possession of political and civil Financial Spanish; 30 years old; full possession of political
rights, residency in the provincial capital and civil rights; literacy; neighbor head of family
with residence or capacity
Election mechanism List; municipal council; triple the total number Sortition among Complex threefold list system: First list: council /
of councilors; sortition for jury contributors municipal judge / all Second list: investigating judge
(1/10 of the total is selected)
Third list: district judge
100 capacidades and 200 heads of family
Sortition of 48 for the jury
Characteristics Mandatory; honorary Mandatory; honorary
Recusación Grand jury: no On constituting the jury; without justified cause; up
Petit jury: on constituting the Jury to a minimum of 12 judges
Up to 7
Without justified cause
Competencies Press offenses Press offenses Common offenses with imprisonment sentence;
offenses against the constitution and those of rebel-
lion and sedition; press offenses
Procedure Grand Jury: municipal council, in camera; petit Itinerant court; public and oral
Jury: court of first instance, public and oral
Verdict Grand jury: 2/3 verdict required (6 of 9)
Petit Jury: verdict Secret vote Absolute majority of
required 8 of 12 votes; tie resolved by
president’s vote
Appeal Appeal before the audience; possible verdict Against the verdict: appeal for amendment; appeal
suspension by judicial authority for review