Teaching plan for the course unit

(Short version)


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General information


Course unit name: Electoral Law and Parliamentary Law

Course unit code: 362552

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Juan Vintro Castells

Department: Department of Political Science, Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component




Supervised project


Independent learning




Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Describe the principles of Spanish election law at a national level and at the level of Spain’s self-governing communities (the autonomous communities), specifically the origins of the law, the citizens who it serves, and the bodies responsible for implementing it.
— Explain how procedures in the voting system are regulated to ensure that Spanish citizens can take part in elections democratically and be represented in the parliament.
— Discuss how procedures and instruments are regulated to ensure that the parliament can perform its different functions: making laws, scrutinising the government, promoting the government’s political and governing action and electing people to public office.


Referring to abilities, skills

— Identify the techniques used in election law and parliamentary law and apply them in specific cases.



Teaching blocks


1. Election law

1.1. Concept and nature. Election law as informed by the following systems of law: the Spanish Constitution of 1978, the autonomy statutes of Spain’s self-governing communities, matters reserved for organic laws, autonomous community laws and the resolutions of the state’s central and regional electoral commissions in its election administration system.

2. Suffrage

2.1. The right to vote (active suffrage) and the right to stand for election (passive suffrage)

3. The state’s election administration system

3.1. Composition and functions of electoral boards. Polling station teams (presiding officers and clerks) and constituency subdivisions. The Electoral Registration Office (Oficina del Cens Electoral). Composition and regulation of the electoral roll.

4. The election procedure

4.1. Calling elections. Nominating candidates. Campaigning. Opinion polls. Voting and vote counting. Announcing results. Financing.

4.2. Candidates and gender parity.

5. The voting system

5.1. The number of members of parliament. Electoral constituencies. Types of party list. The seat-allocation method. The legal threshold.

6. Overseeing the election procedure

6.1. Non-judicial appeals before the administration against the nomination of a candidate and appeals before the administrative courts against an election result (courts and procedures). Election offences. Election expenditure (Spain’s national and regional boards of audit).

7. Parliamentary democracy and parliamentary law

7.1. The structure of parliamentary autonomy and the parliamentary system in the Spanish Constitution and in Catalonia’s statutes of autonomy. The principles of parliamentary law. Sources of parliamentary law. The Spanish Constitution of 1978. The statutes of autonomy of Spain’s self-governing communities. The law. Parliamentary regulations. The interpretative and subsidiary rules of the governing bodies of each house of parliament. Parliamentary precedents, conventions, usage and customs. The parliamentary budget. The laws regulating parliamentary personnel and the system of rules governing houses of parliament. Acts of parliament according to type and level of internal and jurisdictional control.

8. Statutes for members of parliament

8.1. Parliamentary oaths and the taking of seats. Incompatibility. Parliamentary privileges, including non-liability for opinions expressed in the exercise of duties (inviolabilitat), immunity from arrest and prosecution (immunitat) and, when a criminal investigation is authorised, the privilege to be tried by the criminal division of the Supreme Court rather than by a lower criminal trial court (aforament). The rights and duties of members of parliament.

9. The organisation and operation of the houses of parliament

9.1. Spain’s national-level bicameral structure (the House of Deputies and the Senate). The self-governing communities unicameral structure (the parliaments of the autonomous communities). Parliamentary groups. The governing bodies of the houses of parliament (chairs, boards, spokespersons). Deliberative bodies (committees, general assemblies, provincial council standing committees).

9.2. The legislature. The composition of the houses of parliament. Periods of parliamentary sessions and recesses. Meetings of parliament during and outside periods of sessions. Debates. Quora. Voting (systems and majorities). Order and discipline. Dissolution of parliament and the expiration of the term of the legislature.

10. Functions of the parliament (I): forming and scrutinising the government

10.1. Presidential inauguration. Instruments for scrutinising and sanctioning the government, including no confidence motions. Instruments for scrutinising and inspecting the government, including interpellation, question time, requests for information, requests for appearance, general debates and committees of inquiry.

11. Functions of the parliament (II): promoting the government’s political and governing action, electing people to public office and maintaining relations with other institutions

11.1. Promoting the government’s political and governing action (motions, bills, resolutions and the production of reports and analyses). Electing the members of public institutions and organisms. Maintaining relations with other official bodies of statutory or constitutional law.

12. Functions of the parliament (III): law-making

12.1. The principles of the legislative process. Right of initiative. Amendments. Stages in the legislative process. Special procedures. Passing, promulgating and publishing laws.





Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


ALONSO DE ANTONIO, J.A.; ALONSO DE ANTONIO, A.L. Derecho parlamentario. Barcelona : Bosch, 2000.   EnllaƧ

ALONSO DE ANTONIO, J.A.; ALONSO DE ANTONIO, A.L. Introducción al derecho parlamentario. Madrid : Dykinson, 2002.

Enllaē al CCUC  EnllaƧ

ARAGÓN, M. Temas básicos de derecho constitucional. Vols. I i II. Madrid : Civitas, 2011.  EnllaƧ

ARCE, A. El Parlamento en los tribunales. Cizur Menor : Thomson Aranzadi, 2004.  EnllaƧ

ARNALDO, E.; DELGADO IRRIBAREN, M. Código electoral. Madrid : El consultor de los ayuntamientos, 2011.

Enllaē al CCUC  EnllaƧ

BARCELÓ, M.; VINTRÓ, J. (coords.). Dret públic de Catalunya. Barcelona : Atelier, 2011.   EnllaƧ

CAZORLA PRIETO, L.M. El Congreso de los Diputados : su significación actual. Pamplona : Aranzadi, 1999.   EnllaƧ

CID, B. (dir). El Parlamento ante los tribunales. Cizur Menor : Thomson Reuters - Aranzadi, 2015.  EnllaƧ

GARCÍA SORIANO, M.V. Elementos de derecho electoral. Valencia : Tirant lo Blanch, 2010.   EnllaƧ

GUERRERO, E. El Parlamento. Madrid : Síntesis, 2004.  EnllaƧ

MARTÍNEZ ELIPE, L. Introducción al derecho parlamentario : conexiones históricas y político-jurídico-parlamentarias. Pamplona : Aranzadi, 1999.   EnllaƧ

PÉREZ-MONEO, M., GARROTE, M., PANO, E. Derecho Electoral Español. Porto: Editorial Juruá, 2019.

SANTAOLALLA, F. Derecho parlamentario español. Madrid : Dykinson, 2018.  EnllaƧ

SANTOLAYA, P. Procedimiento y garantías electorales. Cizur Menor (Navarra) : Civitas, 2013.  EnllaƧ

SARMIENTO, X.A. (coord.) Manual de actuación del parlamentario. Madrid : El Derecho, 2012.  EnllaƧ


Reglament del Congrés dels Diputats, de 1982   EnllaƧ

Reglament del Parlament de Catalunya, de 2005   EnllaƧ

Llei Orgànica 2/1979, del Tribunal Constitucional  EnllaƧ

Constitució Espanyola de 1978   EnllaƧ

Reglament del Senat, de 1982   EnllaƧ

Llei 13/2008 de la Presidència de la Generalitat i del Govern  EnllaƧ

Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya, de 2006  EnllaƧ

Web page

www.aelpa.org. Pàgina de l’Associació Espanyola de Lletrats de Parlaments Autonòmics. Proporciona accés a textos legals (EA, reglaments parlamentaris autonòmics, algunes resolucions parlamentàries), àmplia bibliografia i una llista molt completa d’enllaços (a tots els parlaments autonòmics i internacionals, i a organitzacions parlamentàries, entre d’altres)

www.senado.es. Pàgina oficial del Senat

www.parlament.cat. Pàgina oficial del Parlament de Catalunya

www.congreso.es. Pàgina oficial del Congrés dels Diputats