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procedural fight against terrorism within what remains an overall model of accusatory criminal
proceedings - this will not be at all easy, as will be seen in the forthcoming pages.
Criminal procedural reforms since the reinstatement of democracy in Spain, the most
important anyway, have affected not on ly the summary stage of Spanish criminal procedure, but
also the regular process and the right to a defence, the area we are primarily concerned with here.
Many of these reforms have not been brought about by procedural laws in the strict sense of the
words, but rather through, for example, major reforms in the Criminal code. I will offer a fairly
full list as some knowledge of the major reforms helps better understand our particular situation
and allows for comparison at this time of such significant legislative reform in Rumania:
A. Changes which affect ordinary and special processes
a) Jurisdictional conflicts: The Organic Law (henceforth abbreviated to OL) 2/1987, from
18th May, annulled articles 48 to 50 of the LECRIM pending new legislation on the matter.
b) The creation in Spain of a National High Court. Almost two years prior to the Constitution a
trial court was created specifically with the purpose of trying certain especially serious crimes such as
terrorism, the National High Court (henceforth abbreviated to NHC). Its existence is sanctioned under
articles 62 onwards in the Courts Act (henceforth abbreviated to CA).
c) Changes in jurisdictional authorities for the criminal courts. These were introd uced
following the LO 4/1988, from 25th May, relating to reform of the LECRIM, with the LO 7/1988,
from 28th December, relating to criminal trial courts which modified various precepts from the
LOPJ and the LECRIM, and with the Law 36/1998, from 10 th November, which modified article
14, sections 1 and 3, of the LECRIM. A law from 2009 gave certain certain functional judicial
authority to the court clerks.
d) New legislation was introduced to combat gender violence. The Law 27/2003, from 31st
July, brought in the restraining order for cases of domestic violence, but it was the LO 1/2004 Full
Protection against Gender Violence, from 28th December, which dealt in more detail with the civil
and criminal regulation in cases of gender violence involving a man, either the husband or the
sentimental partner, and a woman even when they do not cohabit. New criminal offences were
introduced and other existing ones were modified. The great novelty was the creation of a new
jurisdictional organ with specific responsibilities, the Trial Court for Violence against Women.
e) The demand for criminal accountability for corporations (Corporate Criminal Liability)
in a criminal trial: The regulation of criminal accountability for corporations came into being for
the first time in Spain th rough a 2010 law reforming the Criminal Code, which overlooked the
need to provide trial entities to make these hearings possible. These provisions were introduced
later in Law 37/2011, concerning Medidas de Agilización Procesal (Measures to Speed
Procedure), from 10th October, and had a profound impact on the fight against terrorism as the
front companies used by armed organisations, especially for financing their activities, could now
also be brought to trial meaning that, either by collective or individual criminal trial, the results
have been much better and more satisfactory for society.
f) New speedy criminal trials, hugely important as they are sufficient for less serious crimes
and misdemeanours, which are the most numerous, were introduced, one through the LO 7/1988,
from 28th December, and the other through Law 10/199 2, from 30th April. These were
subsequently reformed by the LO 2/1998, from 15th June, which meant modifications being made
to the Criminal Code and the LECRIM, and again by the LO7/2002, from 5th July, meaning partial
reform to the LECRIM amongst other laws.
g) Misdemeanor trials. Law 10/1992, from 30th April, made significant changes to this
ordinary process, one of those originally considered in the LECRIM.