Legal language
Draft Law on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance
Draft bill on removal of licences for small businesses

Legal language

A Ministry of Justice report on the modernisation of legal language was published in September 2011.

Recent surveys revealed that citizens consider existing language to be unduly complicated and difficult to understand.

The 2002 Bill of Citizen Rights lends clarity to the law regarding public policy. It acknowledges the right of citizens to understand:

  • notifications, citations and requirement sites, which must contain simple understandable terms and avoid using unnecessary, intimidating elements;
  • hearings and appearances, which must use language that, while maintaining necessary technical requirements, is understandable to lay people; and
  • judgments (other than judicial resolutions), which must be written in such a way that they are understandable to addressees, using simple syntax structures and avoiding technical jargon.

The report confirmed the existence of practices that hinder the understanding of common syntactic and grammatical inaccuracies in oral and written communications. This problem has also been identified in the administration of justice and legal texts.

Draft Law on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance

In March 2012 the government published for public consultation the draft Law on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance.

Officials will be subject to certain ethical principles and must observe, in exercising of their duties, the provisions of the Constitution and other legislation, and promote respect for fundamental rights and civil liberties.

Furthermore, they must commit to:

  • strive for transparency in the management of public affairs, according to the principles of efficiency and economy, in order to serve the public interest;
  • serve according to the principle of good faith and dedication to public service, and refrain from any conduct that is contrary to these principles;
  • respect the principle of impartiality, so as to maintain independent judgement and objectivity to all interest;
  • ensure equal treatment without discrimination of any kind in the exercise of their functions;
  • act in good faith and with due diligence in fulfilling their obligations and promoting quality in public services;
  • maintain dignified conduct and treat citizens with care; and
  • take responsibility for their own decisions and actions and behaving without prejudice to others.

Draft bill on removal of licences for small businesses

The government recently passed a bill which eliminates the need for a municipal licence in order to set up or operate a small business.

Spain is the ranked second in Europe on the list of countries that require the most steps to be filed in order to establish a company. The World Bank publication Doing Business 2012 states that Spain is ranked 133 in a list of 183 countries according to the number of procedures that need to be filed in order to open a business.

For further information on this topic please contact Marla Bojorge at Bojorge & Associates by telephone (+34 96 045 1676), fax (+34 96 112 5927) or email ([email protected]).