The Law of Historical Memory 52/2007 . The Law by which rights are recognized and expanded and measures are established in favor of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the Dictatorship, is a Spanish law approved by the Congress of Deputies, on October 31 , 2007 , based on of the text of the bill previously approved by the Council of Ministers on July 28 , 2006 , during the term of the President of the Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero .
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- 1 Law of Historical Memory
- 2 Some background
- 1 Work prior to the drafting of the law.
- 2 Parliamentary debates.
- 3 They will be able to opt for Spanish citizenship
- 4 Sources
Historical Memory Law
From the 27 of December of 2007 is in force the Law of Historical Memory. An initiative by which rights are recognized and expanded and measures are established in favor of those who suffered persecution or violence during the Civil War and the dictatorship .
This Law is originally the result of the work of the Interministerial Commission for the study of the situation of the victims of the Civil War and the Franco regime . With it, a Non-Law Proposition approved by the Congress of Deputies on June 1 , 2004 was complied with.. The Proposition urged the Government to carry out a study on the damages and losses caused by the Civil War and the repression of the dictatorship and to grant them compensation, as well as to facilitate access to the archives where documents related to the victims are kept. .
The Interministerial Commission fulfilled this mandate. After more than a year and a half of work, in addition to the Law, it prepared two reports: the General Report that includes all the actions that have been carried out in favor of the victims since the democratic transition and a diagnosis of their current situation, and the Report on Archives, which analyzed the state of the archives in which documents related or allusive to the victims are kept. Both reports are posted on this page.
Work prior to the drafting of the law.
In June 2004 , the Congress of Deputies approved a non-law proposal that urged the Government to carry out a study on the damages caused by the civil war and the repression of the dictatorship, to establish economic aid in certain assumptions, as well as to facilitate access to the archives where documents related to the victims are kept.
To comply with this Proposition, the Government created the Interministerial Commission to study the situation of the victims of the Civil War and the Franco regime .
After more than a year and a half of work, in addition to supporting the drafting of the Historical Memory Bill, this Commission prepared two reports: the General Report that includes all the actions that have been carried out in favor of the victims since the democratic transition and a diagnosis on their current situation, and the Report on Archives, which analyzed the state of the archives in which documents related or allusive to the victims were kept.
The 14 of December of 2006 , the Draft Law of Historical Memory exceeded the general debate in the plenary of the Congress of Deputies, the rejected amendments entirely with alternative text submitted by groups of IU-ICV and ERC, as well as the return amendment presented by PP. The project received support from the BNG, EA and Nafarroa Bai, in addition to the proponent groups.
After the debate in the Constitutional Commission, the Project returned to the Plenary of Congress on October 31 , 2007for voting on the opinion. The bulk of the regulation went ahead with the support of the PSOE, IU-ICV, CiU, PNV, BNG, CC, CHA and NaBai. Instead, ERC voted against and the PP, too, except for the chapter on compensation already recognized.
Finally, the Plenary Session of the Senate held on December 10, 2007 rejected all the living amendments and definitively approved the text in the terms sent by the Congress of Deputies by 127 votes in favor and 119 against (PP and ERC senators from Entesa Catalana group). On December 27 of that same year, Law 52/2007, known as the Historical Memory Law, was published in the Official State Gazette.
They will be able to opt for Spanish citizenship
CHILDREN OF ORIGINALLY SPANISH PEOPLE MAY OBTAIN THROUGH SPANISH CITIZENSHIP – ANNEX 1
People whose father or mother was originally Spanish may opt for Spanish nationality of origin if they formalize their declaration within two years from the entry into force of the present Additional Provision.
Although this already emerged clearly from the letter of the first point of the law that we have just cited, it is now known with certainty that children, of any age, of those who were born Spanish in any country will be able to choose. In other words, if a Spanish man (generally an emigrant, except in very special cases) retained Spanish nationality when his son or daughter was born, this son or daughter was “originally Spanish”, and his own children, that is, the emigrant’s grandchildren, They will be able to opt for Spanish nationality. It does not matter the age of the grandchild, it does not matter if the father or mother never registered at the consulate and died without “recovering”, and it does not matter the date of emigration from Spain of the grandfather. It also does not matter if your father or mother is still living and cannot, or will not, regain their Spanish nationality. And of course,
Simply, if you are the son of a person who was born Spanish, you can choose, regardless of dates, ages or places. If your father or mother “recovered” their original nationality and this is stated in the annotation in the margin of your Spanish birth certificate, you will simply have to prove with your own birth certificate that you are the child of that person. (Additionally, the consulate may require marriage certificates and other documents that prove parentage, even if it is not strictly mentioned in the instruction)
If your father or mother were born Spanish to a Spanish father but there was never a record of your birth at the consulate, you must proceed to the posthumous birth registration, as a prior procedure so that you can later choose as a child. Apparently the posthumous registration would be done together with the option process. It is a bureaucratic procedure that must be handled by the consulate staff.
And as we already said, it does not matter if your father or mother is still living and cannot, or will not, recover. The law allows children who were originally Spanish to be eligible, regardless of whether they are unwilling or unable to regain their original Spanish nationality for any reason.
Children of originally Spanish people must make an appointment and select the first option (Annex 1).
If you are not the son of a person who was born Spanish, you may still be eligible, but only if you are the grandson of an “exile.” Let’s see then that possibility …
GRANDCHILDREN OF EXILIATES MAY BE OBTAINED THROUGH SPANISH CITIZENSHIP – ANNEX 2
This right will also be recognized for the grandchildren of those who lost or had to renounce their Spanish nationality as a result of exile.
More complicated is the case of the grandchildren of a Spanish grandmother, or grandchildren of a grandfather who lost Spanish nationality before conceiving their son or daughter.
Well, the children of a Spanish woman were not born Spanish (except in some very specific cases). Nor were the children of a Spanish man born Spanish who had already lost Spanish nationality, by acquiring that of his new country of residence, before conceiving them. .
In this case, the grandchildren may choose only if they show that the grandmother or grandfather left Spain between July 18, 1936 and December 31, 1955. The reason for the exile does not matter, since any person who has emigrated is presumed exiled in that period.
The grandchildren of exiles should make an appointment and select the second option (Annex 2)
THOSE WHO ALREADY OPTED CAN OBTAIN THROUGH THE SPANISH CITIZENSHIP – ANNEX 3
They may also change their nationality, using Annex 3, those who have already opted in the past, and will now be able to achieve the nationality “of origin”, provided that they are children of an originally Spanish person or grandchildren of “exiles”. This is the case, for example, of the children of an immigrant Spaniard, or the children of a Spaniard who was nationalized before being born, and who opted after 2002 for article 20.1.b of the civil code, by law 36/2002. But even if they choose again and now become Spanish “of origin”, this does not bring benefits to their own children who will not become children of people who were originally Spanish (that is, Spanish by birth) and will not be able to use the law as children (although they may be able to choose, but if they were grandchildren of exiles).
For this same reasoning, great-grandchildren of legal age of emigrants will not benefit from the law after their parents choose, except in the rare cases in which the emigrant’s grandson or granddaughter was originally Spanish due to certain dates and special situations such as the topic of military service that is covered in the legal section.
Those who obtained nationality by option as minors when obtaining it one of their parents (even before 2003), or those who obtained nationality by residence, could also opt again (if they belong to one of the two beneficiary groups), and will pass to be Spanish of origin (but not people who were born Spanish), although the seventh point 7 of the instruction does not clarify it specifically. They should also use Annex 3, also requesting an appointment.
Of course, and in accordance with the provisions of article 20.1.a of the current civil code, any person who obtains Spanish nationality by this law (or by any means), can then obtain nationality by option for their minor children , according to the definition of a minor in the country of which they are native (18 in almost all, 21 in Argentina)
With respect to proving the condition of exile, the instruction clarifies:
The interested parties may prove the exile status of their grandfather or grandmother
by providing any of the following documents: a) Documentation that proves having been a beneficiary of the pensions granted by the Spanish Administration to exiles that directly and alone prove exile.
b) Documentation from the United Nations International Office for Refugees and from the Refugee Offices of the host States that assisted the Spanish refugees and their families.
c) Certifications or reports issued by political parties, unions or any other entities or institutions, public or private, duly recognized by the Spanish authorities or the host State of the exiles, that are related to exile, either because their members, or for having stood out in the defense and protection of Spanish exiles, or for currently working on moral reparation and the recovery of the personal and family memory of the victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship.
The above documents a), b) and c) will constitute proof of exile if they are presented together with any of the following documents:
1. Passport with entry stamp in the host country.
2. Certification of the Registration Registry of the Spanish Consulate.
3. Certifications from the Consular Civil Registry that prove residence in the host country, such as marriage registration, child birth registration, death registration, etc.
4. Certification from the local Civil Registry of the host country that proves having acquired the nationality of that country.
5. Documentation of the time of the host country stating the year of arrival in said country or arrival there by any means of transport.
d) For the purposes of exercising the option rights recognized in the seventh Additional Provision of Law 52/2007, the condition of exile will be presumed with respect to all Spaniards who left Spain between July 18, 1936 and July 31 December 1955.
The departure from Spanish territory may be accredited by any of the documents listed in the preceding paragraph. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
As can be seen, since the status of exile of anyone who has left Spain within the period from July 18, 1936 to December 31, 1955 is presumed, documents a, b and c do not would be necessary.
In addition to having to prove the date of departure from Spain with some of the previously numbered documents, a literal application of the provision of law 52/2007 leads to the conclusion that the exiled man or woman must prove that they lost their nationality. But the instruction does not mention that it is necessary to prove the loss because, although the instruction names the certificate of having acquired foreign nationality as one of the 5 possible documents to present (“… any of the 5 documents listed ..”), it does not presented as a prerequisite.
If it had to be proved, in the case of men it is understood that with the official nationalization document in the new country, the loss would be proven.
In the case of women, if they married a foreigner before August 5, 1954, it would be understood (note the use of the conditional) that they automatically lost Spanish nationality by marriage, according to the text of the civil code prior to 1954 ( “The married woman follows the nationality of the husband”).
It is to be hoped that the consulates will use this criterion and will not put up obstacles. But it could be the case that a Spanish woman has married a foreigner after August 5, 1954 and has not actually acquired the nationality of her husband or of the new country and therefore cannot prove that she lost Spanish nationality. In this case, at least based on the cold letter of the provision, their grandchildren will not be able to opt because they are not the grandchildren of a Spaniard “who has lost nationality due to exile”, as the law mentions.
Surely if there is a case of this type, the matter will be clarified by the Ministry of Justice or the instructions will be expanded. Or someone will appeal the consul’s decision and the DGRN will be issued about it … a year later.
It is good to clarify that the consulates have the obligation, according to what is indicated in the instruction, to deny the requests in writing, and they cannot refuse to receive the documents and the option act. All communications must be made in writing and leaving an appropriate record, as required by Spanish regulations, in particular Law 30/1992 on the Legal Regime of Public Administrations and subsequent reforms.