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Types of Judicial Resolutions in Spain from a procedural perspective

Orders (Providencias), Rulings (Autos) and Judgments (Sentencias) are the three classes of judicial resolutions. This Tripartition obeys a criterion that, ultimately, refers to the importance of the issue being resolved. From this point of view, the Orders, whose object is the processing of the procedure, is located at the opposite end to the Judgements, which decides on the merits.

Its function is, in effect, the processing or "material organization of the process", provided that "it is not limited to the application of procedural impulse norms", a task entrusted, in the civil process, to the Lawyers of the Administration of Justice (LAJs), who will carry it out in the form of management proceedings. The Orders require their adoption by the Court because they resolve issues of greater complexity and scope, which require a careful task of prosecuting facts - normally procedural - "either because the law establishes it, or because charges are derived from them or because they affect procedural rights of the parties", that is, in short, to the effectiveness of the right to guardianship (and this provided that the law does not expressly require the form of Ruling). It is also appropriate to issue a Ruling, and not a Diligence of Ordination (Diligencia de Ordenación), when the course and impulse of the procedural acts is not exactly regulated. At the execution, Rulings will only be issued when expressly provided by law; otherwise, the LAJ shall adopt the corresponding Diligencia de Ordenación.

The Orders "shall be limited to expressing what is ordered in them", and may be dictated orally - in the course of a hearing - or in writing, in which case "mention of the place and date on which they are adopted and the indication of the court that dictates them ", with expression of its members and of who acts as rapporteur, when the Court is collegiate. In the latter case, the signature of the rapporteur is sufficient. Therefore, no formal division is required into separate and numbered paragraphs, with factual antecedents and legal grounds, as is the case in Rulings and Judgments. Many Orders are adopted at the proposal of the LAJ.

In addition to the operative part, the Orders will include "a succinct motivation when the law so provides or the Court deems it appropriate"; that is, if the law does not provide it, the Court may consider the motivation unnecessary, and ignore it.

The criminal process presents some specialty with respect to the exposed regime, inasmuch as it maintains the need for acts "of mere processing" or procedural impulse to be carried out by means of Order -which is a judicial resolution-, and not by decision of the LAJ in the form of a Diligence of Ordination, as happens in civil proceedings.

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