I would like to help today and donate

Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
CLOSE
NEWS

Short Update: Court caseload expected to increase by 4 million new cases after pandemic in Spain

FT Admin - May 25, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Court closures, Remote Justice

Spain is expecting 4 million new cases to be brought to courts after the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other cases, estimates for 2021 foresee a wave of new bankruptcy, dismissal and debt cases.  This represents an increase of 140% in 2021 in comparison with previous years.

The Spanish court system already had a huge civil backlog because of a culture of litigiousness. Parliament approved the government's plan for shifting most court proceedings to videoconferences, extending court hours, using trainees, and prioritizing certain civil cases (e.g. insolvency, child custody disputes, etc.). There has been a less serious backlog of criminal cases, but a flood of new criminal cases would slow down the criminal justice system too. The first 'routine' post-lockdown case to be heard over videoconference was on May 11th. There's going to be a bunch of bureaucratic and IT issues that Spain will need to work through to make this work (among other things, regional courts use incompatible computer systems).

A new plan to tackle the increase in caseload will be revealed in September when court operations are expected to return to normal, but it is foreseen that new judicial bodies will be put in place to handle COVID-19 related cases.

A new judicial period will start on  4 June 2020, when the suspension of proceedings will be lifted. Until then, lawyers have been able to file submissions electronically, but they were not bound by the usual procedural deadlines.  

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

Activities in the following sections on this website are supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union: Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides and Latest News. More information about our financial supporters is available here.