Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Spanish Constitution of 1978

The Spanish Constitution of 1978 is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy.

The purpose of this this article: discussion of the constitution in Spain, its history, sources, impact, implications, debated issues, relationship with European Union law, comparison with other countries' constitutions, etc. We should refrain from translating the entire text, but if specific articles are discussed it might be appropriate to translate them here or at least link to external sources for both a Spanish text and an English translation.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Discussion
3 Preamble
4 External links


See constitution of Spain for the constitutional history of Spain, dating back to the constitution of 1812.

As part of the Spanish transition to democracy a general election took place in 1977 to convene the Cortes Generales (Parliament) for the purpose of drafting and approving a constitution (this is called Cortes Constituyentes).

A seven-member panel was selected among the elected members of the Cortes to work on the draft of the Constitution to be submitted to the Cortes. The members were Gabriel Cisneros, José Pedro pérez-Llorca, Miguel Herrero de Miñon, Miquel Roca, Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Gregorio Peces-Barba and Jordi Solé Tura.

The Constitution was approved by the Cortes on date, and by the Spanish people in a referendum on December 6, 1978. December 6 is a national holiday in Spain.


The Constitution itself determines in Title X that a new constitution must be written, should there be the need to reform the Preliminary Title; Title I, Section I, Chapter II; or Title II. These "special" sections indicate what the drafters of the constitution considered fundamental about the regime they were establishing: that the "fundamental rights and public liberties" cannot be changed without regime change; and that Spain is a constitutional monarchy. From a logical point of view, since Title X is does not protect itself, it would be possible to first reform Title X and then change the previously protected articles.


Writing the preamble of the constitution was considered an honour, and a task requiring great literary ability. The person chosen for this purpose was Enrique Tierno Galván.

The Spanish Nation, wishing to establish justice, liberty and security, and to promote the welfare of all who make part of it, in use of her sovereignty, proclaims its will to:
Guarantee democratic life within the Constitution and the laws according to a just economic and social order.
Consolidate a State ensuring the rule of law as an expression of the will of the people.
Protect all Spaniards and all the peoples of Spain in the exercise of human rights, their cultures and traditions, languages and institutions.
Promote the progress of culture and the economy to ensure a dignified quality of life for all
Establish an advanced democratic society, and
Collaborate in the strengthening of peaceful and efficient cooperation among all the peoples of the Earth.
Consequently, the Cortes approve and the Spanish people ratify the following Constitution.

External links