The Role and Significance of LAJs in the Spanish Judicial System
LAJ stands for Lawyer of the Administration of Justice (formerly called Judicial Secretaries) and they play a significant part in the criminal process (in fact, in all processes). They often act as notaries in court, recording proceedings. This function, reminiscent of times when overseeing judges was necessary, may seem outdated today, given our fully democratic judicial system and advanced technology (many hearings and statements are recorded on video).
Interestingly, certain crimes involving minors are investigated without LAJ presence, unlike adult cases. Other LAJ responsibilities across all legal processes include managing court deposits – funds that flow into the court (fines, appeal deposits, bail, etc.). Remember, this isn't court money; it's state funds because courts also contribute to the public treasury.
After a judge issues a verdict and orders execution, LAJs oversee various execution actions like seizures and more. They're also responsible for keeping the judge informed about case progress and ensuring court orders are carried out by court staff.
Lastly, LAJs serve as the heads of the judicial office, coordinating tasks among court personnel. Note that judges belong to the judicial branch, governed by the General Council of the Judiciary, while LAJs fall under the Ministry of Justice, making them part of the executive branch. In essence, LAJs aren't just assistants to judges. Although judges handle appeals against LAJ decisions, LAJs aren't subordinate to judges and are part of the Ministry of Justice's organizational structure.