Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts


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Title II of Chapter II of the Criminal Procedure Law offers us 27 Articles that include the Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts. The first of them refers to who can increase competition.

While, in the following it tells us who will have a higher hierarchical level, as the case may be at the time of settling a Competence Issue, this allows us to understand who will have the last word when resolving a dilemma or controversy.  

The latter requires special attention, since it occurs frequently in many cases. This is because there is always the possibility of a controversy related to the Competition, which also allows us to have an idea of how they occur and who can make the final decision regarding it. 

Example of Competence Issues between Judges and Ordinary Courts

In the hypothetical case that a crime occurs in which facts relating to child pornography are involved and there is a complaint made in the capital of Spain, it will become a procedure that will subsequently be carried out by an introductory court. from Madrid. 

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If at the time of carrying out a process of analysis and studies that manage to obtain results from the Security Forces of that country, if they manage to find evidence against a possible suspect who resides in the city of Valencia, the person involved She will be detained and will have to testify in Valencia. 

Subsequently, the case will be transferred to the hands of the Night Court in said city as a consequence of the events that originated in the capital of Spain. This is when the Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts, since, in this case, a competition is carried out between the Courts of Valencia and Madrid.

Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts
Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts

Article 22

Continuing with the same case involving child pornography, the Article 22 of the Criminal Procedure Law, tells us that since the Investigating Judges of both cities consider themselves competent and are not capable of reaching a mutual agreement in the first instance, it is concluded that they must go to the competent superior.

In this case, we are referring to the Provisional Court of Madrid, which will fully determine which Investigating Judge will develop the case. Within the same Article, it is stated that, while the Provisional Court of Madrid does not present a response, each Investigating Judge must continue carrying out the pertinent procedures that help prove the crime.

Once a response has been determined that puts an end to the controversy, the Investigating Judge who has not been selected to act by the competent superior, which in this case is the Provisional Court of Madrid, must transfer all the investigations carried out in his proceedings to the Judge who has declared himself competent for the case.


In this aspect, it can be observed in detail that the first articles of the Criminal Procedure Law, referring to the Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts, present the necessary solutions in the event of a conflict between two public powers.

They have as their protagonist a higher power, which determines a solution in case those involved cannot reach an agreement in the first instance. At the same time, it shows us that higher powers can promote and, in turn, sustain Competition as long as it is warranted.

However, at the time of ending the conflict, the power that has been relegated from the case must provide all information obtained from the proceedings carried out while the higher power did not issue a verdict. Said information must be given to whoever has been chosen as the Judge or Court competent to act in the case.

Basically, the Articles tell us what powers can act in certain cases, as long as the Issues of Competence between Judges and Ordinary Courts. In this way, the Law assures us that the processes will be carried out in the best possible way, as well as reducing the possibility of conflicts between powers.

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