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The Right to Evidence: An Overview in Light of Spanish Constitutional Jurisprudence


In intimate connection with the right to effective judicial protection (Art. 24.1 CE) and the right of defense (Art. 24.2 CE), of which it is inseparable, the right to evidence "is comprised of the legal power recognized to those who participate as litigants in a process to provoke the necessary procedural activity to achieve the conviction of the judicial body about the existence or non-existence of the facts relevant to the decision of the conflict subject to the process" (STC 37/2000, February 14, FJ 3, reproduced, among others, in STC 19/2001, January 29, FJ 4; 133/2003, June 30, FJ 3; and 212/2013, December 16, FJ 4).


The doctrine of this Court on the right to use relevant means of proof (Art. 24.2 CE) can be summarized, according to STC 165/2001, July 16th, in several points laid out by the very Sentence, starting from the following one:


"a) This fundamental right, which operates in any type of process in which the citizen is involved, does not include a hypothetical right to carry out unlimited probative activity by which parties are empowered to demand any evidence they wish to propose. Instead, it attributes only the right to receive and practice those that are relevant (SSTC 168/1991, July 19; 211/1991, November 11; 233/1992, December 14; 351/1993, November 29; 131/1995, September 11; 1/1996, January 15; 116/1997, June 23; 190/1997, November 10; 198/1997, November 24; 205/1998, October 26; 232/1998, December 1; 96/2000, April 10, FJ 2), understanding pertinence as the relationship between proven facts and the thema decidendi (STC 26/2000, January 31, FJ 2)."


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