The Rules of Procedure of the Spanish Congress: Proposals for Reform Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2017

start page

  • 17

end page

  • 65

issue

  • 175

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0048-7694

abstract

  • This study argues in favor of an urgent need to reform the Spanish Congress of Deputies' Standing Orders, in order to strengthen the powers of Parliament and Spanish democracy. After thirty-four years without a deep reform of the Standing Orders, two types of problem have arisen that both demand a solution. On one hand, the practice of the parliamentary form of government in Spain has evolved towards a presidential system, with consequences regarding parliamentary proceedings, turning these into a mere formality in the hands of the majority. On the other hand, due to the absence - or difficulty - of reforms to the Standing Orders, the constitutional mandate contained in Article 72 of the Spanish Constitution is being ignored. Article 72 determines that the Congress of Deputies shall establish its own Standing Orders to regulate parliamentary matters. However, the regulations concerning these matters are currently often being found in either legal statutes or secondary parliamentary resolutions (such as resolutions of the Speaker or the Bureau), which entails a real flight away from the Standing Orders/Primary Parliamentary Regulations.

keywords

  • regulations of the congress of deputies; parliament; democracy; parliamentary procedures