On April 6, 1981, the Parliament approved the Organic Act 3/1981, regarding the creation of the Defensor del Pueblo, which was published in the Official State Gazette on May 7.

Soledad Becerril Bustamante

The appointment of Soledad Becerril Bustamante as Defensora del Pueblo was published on July 21, 2012.
She took office two days later, on July 23rd.

The appointment of Francisco Miguel Fernández Marugán as First Deputy and Concepció Ferrer i Casals as Second Deputy was published in the Official State Gazette on July 26, 2012.

History

Defensora del Pueblo

She is the first woman elected Defensora del Pueblo and was approved by the full House and Senate on 17 and 18 July 2012, respectively. She took office on 23rd of the same month.

Ms. Becerril was the first female Minister of the Democracy, taking over the Ministry of Culture in 1981. She served as a member of the Spanish Parliament throughout six terms: five terms in Congress, during one of which terms she served as vice president of the House. She was also elected to the Senate for one term. In local government, Ms. Becerril was elected to the city council of Seville and in 1995 was elected mayor of Seville, a position she held until 1999.

Soledad Becerril was born in Madrid on 16 August 1944. She received an Honours Degree in English Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid.

In 1974 she participated in the founding of the general information magazine for Andalusia “La Ilustración Regional”, published in Seville. She was a member of the Drafting Committee of the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia.

Among other honours, Soledad Becerril has received the Grand Cross of Carlos III, the Medal of Andalusia and the Medal of the City of Seville.

Enrique Múgica Herzog

On June 30, 2005 Enrique Múgica Herzog was re-elected Defensor del Pueblo.On July 6, 2005 Mª Luisa Cava de Llano y Carrió was re-elected as First Deputy, and Manuel Aguilar Belda, as Second Deputy.

History

Defensor del Pueblo from June 2000 to June 2010

Appointed to the Office of Defensor del Pueblo on June 15, 2000 with the approval of more than three-fifths of the members of the Congress and the Senate in the first vote in both Houses. On June 30, 2005, for the first time in the history of the institution, he was reappointed as Defensor del Pueblo. His second term ended on June 30, 2010.

Born in San Sebastian in 1932. Lawyer.

He began his political activism in 1953. He was the main founder of the “Congreso Universitario de Escritores Jóvenes” a young writers association which had a strong influence on the university events in February 1956, for which he was arrested and imprisoned for three months. His subsequent activism in opposition of the Franco regime would lead him back to jail a total of four times, totalling two and half years of imprisonment and confinement.

He has been Member of Parliament for Gipuzkoa in all Parliaments since 1977, when he held the Chair of the Defence Committee and was Vice President of the Constitutional Committee of Congress, having been re-elected for the last time in the general elections of 2000 and leaving Parliament upon his appointment as Defensor del Pueblo.

He was appointed Minister of Justice in 1988, serving until March 1991. The laws enacted during his term included the Judicial Demarcation and Zoning Act, the Companies Act and the procedural and penal reforms that led to the creation of the criminal courts.

On July 11, 1997, the Council of Ministers adopted Royal Decree 1131/97, which appointed him as Chairman of the Investigative Committee on the Gold Transactions of the Third Reich during the Second World War.

In addition to his political activities, he is the author of the book “Itinerario hacia la libertad” (Route to Freedom) and is a frequent contributor to major Spanish newspapers.

Enrique Múgica Herzog

The appointment of Enrique Múgica Herzog as Defensor del Pueblo was published on June 15, 2000.

The appointment of María Luisa Cava de Llano y Carrió as First Deputy and Manuel Aguilar Belda as Second Deputy was published on June 23, 2000.

History

Defensor del Pueblo from June 2000 to June 2010

Appointed to the Office of Defensor del Pueblo on June 15, 2000 with the approval of more than three-fifths of the members of the Congress and the Senate in the first vote in both Houses. On June 30, 2005, for the first time in the history of the institution, he was reappointed as Defensor del Pueblo. His second term ended on June 30, 2010.

Born in San Sebastian in 1932. Lawyer.

He began his political activism in 1953. He was the main founder of the “Congreso Universitario de Escritores Jóvenes” a young writers association which had a strong influence on the university events in February 1956, for which he was arrested and imprisoned for three months. His subsequent activism in opposition of the Franco regime would lead him back to jail a total of four times, totalling two and half years of imprisonment and confinement.

He has been Member of Parliament for Gipuzkoa in all Parliaments since 1977, when he held the Chair of the Defence Committee and was Vice President of the Constitutional Committee of Congress, having been re-elected for the last time in the general elections of 2000 and leaving Parliament upon his appointment as Defensor del Pueblo.

He was appointed Minister of Justice in 1988, serving until March 1991. The laws enacted during his term included the Judicial Demarcation and Zoning Act, the Companies Act and the procedural and penal reforms that led to the creation of the criminal courts.

On July 11, 1997, the Council of Ministers adopted Royal Decree 1131/97, which appointed him as Chairman of the Investigative Committee on the Gold Transactions of the Third Reich during the Second World War.

In addition to his political activities, he is the author of the book “Itinerario hacia la libertad” (Route to Freedom) and is a frequent contributor to major Spanish newspapers.

Fernando Álvarez de Miranda y Torres

The appointment of Fernando Álvarez de Miranda y Torres as Defensor del Pueblo was published on December 1, 1994.

The appointment of Margarita Retuerto Buades as First Deputy and Antonio Rovira Viñas as Second Deputy was published on December 2, 1994. The appointment of Antonio Rovira Viñas as First Deputy and Antonio Uríbarri Murillo as Second Deputy was published after the resignation of Margarita Retuerto Buades on October 23, 1996.

History

Defensor del Pueblo from December 1994 to December 1999.

Born in Santander, 1924. Lawyer. Former Professor of Procedural Law, Complutense University, Madrid. Author of the books Al servicio de la democracia (At the Service of Democracy, 1979) and Del contubernio al consenso(From Conspiracy to Consensus, 1985). Doctor honoris causa, Miguel Hernández University, Elche (1999).

During the 1960s, he was active in the European Movement (serving as President of its Spanish Federal Council, and Vice- President of the International Executive Committee).

He was also a member of the Count of Barcelona’s Private Council (1964), a group advising the exiled head of the Spanish royal family. During the Franco era, he suffered imprisonment and exile for his political activities (in 1962 he attended a Conference of the European Movement, which the Francoist authorities called the ‘Munich conspiracy’).

He founded the Christian Democrat Popular Party, in 1976, part of the Union of the Democratic Centre coalition, for which he served two terms in Parliament as a member for Palencia. In 1977 he was elected Speaker of the Congress, and during his term the Constitution of 1978 was ratified.
Spanish Ambassador to El Salvador, 1986-1989. In 1990, he was designated a State Councillor, and 1992 he was appointed head of the European Union’s Committee of Experts for its Multiannual Programme for the Promotion of Human Rights in Central America.

Álvaro Gil-Robles y Gil-Delgado

The appointment of Álvaro Gil-Robles y Gil-Delgado as Defensor del Pueblo was published on 16 March 1988.

The appointment of Margarita Retuerto Buades as First Deputy and Soledad Mestre García as Second Deputy was published on 23 March 1988.

On 13 December 1990, the appointment of Antonio Rovira Viñas as Second Deputy was published after the resignation of Soledad Mestre García.

The mandate of Álvaro Gil-Robles ended on 16 March 1993. The First Deputy Margarita Retuerto took over as acting Defensora del Pueblo until 1 December 1994, when Fernando Álvarez de Miranda y Torres was appointed new Defensor del Pueblo.

History

Defensor del Pueblo from March 1988 to March 1993.

Born in Lisbon, 1944. Doctor of Law. Professor of Administrative Law, Complutense University. Served as a counsellor of the Constitutional Court, (1980-1983), Chairman of the Forum for the Social Integration of Immigrants (1995-1999), and Chairman of the Spanish Committee for Refugee Aid (CEAR) in 1998.

His ties to the institution of the Defensor del Pueblo date to before its creation in Spain, to which he made a decisive contribution, from the drafting of the original Defensor del Pueblo Bill to holding the post of First Deputy during the Defensor del Pueblo's first term. He is the author of many articles and books, the latter including El Defensor del Pueblo (comentarios en torno a una proposición de ley orgánica) (Commentaries on a Defensor del Pueblo Bill, 1979), El Defensor del Pueblo para España (An Ombudsman for Spain, 1981) El control parlamentario de la Administración (Parliamentary Supervision of the Administration, 1976; second, expanded, edition, 1981); Los nuevos límites de la tutela judicial efectiva (The New Limits of Effective Judicial Protection, 1996). Since 1999, he has been the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez Cortés

The appointment of Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez Cortés as Defensor del Pueblo was published on December 30, 1982.

The appointment of Álvaro Gil-Robles y Gil-Delgado as First Deputy and Margarita Retuerto Buades as Second Deputy was published on April 21, 1983.

History

Defensor del Pueblo from December 1982 to December 1987

Doctor of Law. Former Professor of Procedural Law, Complutense University, Madrid.

President of the Pax Romana International Student Organisation (1939-1946). Spain’s Ambassador to the Vatican (1948-1951) and Minister of Education (1951-1956).

Pope John XXIII appointed him as an expert advisor on social, legal, and political issues, and he participated in the working session of Vatican Council II. Pope Paul VI appointed him a member of the Holy See’s Consilium de Laicis (1967-1972). President of the Spanish National Committee for Justice and Peace (1971-1975).

President of the Spanish Committee of UNICEF (1988- 2001). His books include, La concepción institucional del Derecho (The Institutional Conception of Law, 1944), Introducción a la filosofía Jurídica (Introduction to Legal Philosophy, 1958), La propiedad (Property, 1961), Del ser de España (On the Being of Spain, 1962), and El Concilio y los Derechos del hombre(The Council and the Rights of Man, 1968). He was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Cuadernos para el diálogo(1963-1977).