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About the translations in Spanish judicial proceedings

With the lawsuit it must be provided all the necessary evidentiary documents to be able to prove the client's claim and for the judge to know the basis of said claim. This is established in article 265, 1. 1st of our Civil Procedure Law (LEC).

Article 265. Documents and other writings and objects related to the substance of the matter.

1. Any lawsuit or response must be accompanied by:

1st. The documents on which the parties base their right to the judicial protection they seek.

In many cases, the evidentiary documents available to the lawyer will be invoices, consignment notes, delivery notes or contracts that may be in another language when the parties to a business belong to different countries. Very often this language will be English, as this language has become the language of commerce and international relations.

These documents cannot be annexed as they are, that is, in a foreign language, but must be translated into Spanish or the official language of the Autonomous Community where the claim is filed. This is clearly established by article 144 of the LEC, in which we find the following provisions:

Article 144. Documents written in non-official language.

Any document written in a language other than Spanish or, where applicable, the official language of the Autonomous Community in question, will be accompanied by a translation.

The LEC provides, therefore, that any document written in a foreign language must be translated before being presented in court. Failure to provide the corresponding translations will result in the evidentiary ineffectiveness of such documents.

On the other hand, the translation of any document written in a foreign language is an act of an expert nature (of the sworn translator) and the Judicial Costs in general cover the expenses incurred in a procedure such as attorney, procurator and expert fees, etc., when it's necessary and justified their intervention within a judicial procedure.

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