Yale Law Library - Foreign and International Blog
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Foreclosures in Spain
The New York Times today has an excellent article about the
effects of foreclosure laws in Spain. In Spain, foreclosure and eviction do not terminate the debt, so after losing
their homes, many people owe the remainder of the mortgage. According to
the article, people cannot escape the debt through bankruptcy either, because
mortgage debt is specifically excluded from the bankruptcy laws.
You can find the laws in the official gazette of Spain, the Boletín Oficial del Estado.
We also have access to a database called vLex,
where you can research legislation and caselaw as well as secondary
sources. The Foreign Law Guide's chapter on Spain (also a subscription database) is an excellent introduction to the Spanish legal system. More Spanish resources can be found using the Country-by-Country guide.
If you are looking
for the laws in English you can consult the book Butterworths International Insolvency Laws.
The book will also allow you to compare laws in Spain to laws in several other
European countries. Other books and secondary sources on this subject can
be found here, in Morris.
----- Ryan Harrington
Finders keepers? Spain claims sunken treasure
NPR reported this morning on Spain's battle to reclaim the treasure from a sunken Spanish vessel recovered in international waters in the Atlantic Ocean by Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, FL. The 19th century shipwreck contained some 17 tons in silver coins, cuff links and other personal items, and
other artifacts; it may be the most valuable treasure ever discovered. Exact details of the discovery have yet to be revealed.
A Federal District Court in Tampa is reviewing Spain's claim to the treasure that Odyssey recovered. Spain insists that Odyssey's claim to the warship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is immoral and illegal. Spain compares the Nuestra Señora site to the grave sites of Gettysburg and the U.S.S. Arizona, as the sinking of Nuestra Señora precipitated Spain's entry into the Napoleonic wars. Odyssey maintains, however, that they found no vessel and no human remains, just the cargo, and there is nothing to prove that it is the cargo of La Senora. In PACER, the federal court's password-protected electronic filing database (which is available free to the public in several federal depository libraries), you can review court filings for this case (8:07-cv-00614-SDM-MAP) as well as several others in which the Kingdom of Spain has filed a claim (ask a reference librarian for assistance if needed).
So just what is the law pertaining to sunken treasures? Finders keepers? Return to rightful owner?
The Yale Law Library has several books pertaining to the law of sunken treasure and cultural patrimony. See, for example, Legal Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National and International Perspectives. This book compares the laws, traditions, and perspectives of various countries, including the United States and Spain. Note the Subject Headings at the bottom of the record: Cultural property -- Protection -- Law and legislation; Shipwrecks; Salvage; Treasure-trove; Underwater archaeology -- Law and legislation. Click on any of them to find more works pertaining to that topic.
In comparison, see, The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National Perspectives in Light of the UNESCO Convention 2001, for an international law focus and analysis. Under the Subject Heading, underwater archaeology - law and legislation, you will find books in several languages other than English, including French German, Spanish, Russian and Italian. Admiralty law also comes into play, specifically the Supplementary Admiralty Rules. See also, Admiralty and Maritime Law, available in print and electronically.
There are several international law databases you might try as well to find case law and law review articles. See our Foreign and International Resources page for the plethora of electronic resources at your fingertips, or ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Spain's New Cabinet
Spain's re-elected Prime Minister José Luís Zapatero recently named his new 17-member cabinet, of whom 9 are female. The cabinet member getting the most attention and causing the most controversy, both domestic and international, is 37-year old Defense Minister Carme Chacón, who is 7 months pregnant. Hailing from Catalunya, Ms. Chacón, who was head of the Housing Ministry during P.M. Zapatero's first term, is credited with garnering support from her powerful region during last month's election.
P.M. Zapatero also created two new ministries: the Equality Ministry, headed by 31-year old Andalusian
Bibiana Aido, Spain's youngest Cabinet member ever; and the Science and Innovation Ministry, headed by
Basque molecular biologist Cristina Garmendia. Is Spain closing the gender gap?
Yale Law Library has an impressive collection of Spanish legal materials: historical and current, monographs and serials, print and electronic. The Spanish collection of monographs resides with the rest of our foreign law on the Lower East Side, LC Call No. KKT, and in the Rare Book Room, where you can examine Las Siete Partidas from 1550, for example. In addition to monographs, you will also find legislation and jurisprudence, such as Repertorio de Jurisprudencia. There are also several serial publications on the Upper East Side, such as Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional and Revista Española de Derecho Internacional. The library also subscribes to vLex, a Spanish database of laws, jurisprudence, and legal literature (IP access). For more electronic resources related to Spanish law, see Spain in our Country-by-Country Guide to foreign legal research, part of our larger Foreign and International Law Resources webpage. You'll find links to other sources, as well, such as La Constitución Española de 1812.
Photo and caption from The Independent article:
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero poses on the
steps of the Moncloa palace in Madrid with his female cabinet ministers
(left to right) Science and Innovation minister Cristina Garmendia,
Transport and Development minister Magdalena Alvarez, Education, Social
Affairs and Sports minister Mercedes Cabrera Calvo, Defence minister
Carme Chacon, deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega,
Public Administration minister Elena Salgado, Equality minister Bibiana
Aido, Housing minister Beatriz Corredor and Agriculture and Environment
minister Elena Espinosa