Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Constitutional Law 1

Constitutional Law 1
First semester
Public Law
Constitutional Law
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan

Teaching staff

To be agreed upon with the professor.



This module is based on the Spanish state and the constitution, which, with their legal force, constitute a social and democratic state of law. A description of the institutions and law within the autonomous communities is required, particularly those of Catalonia, since the territorial structure is composed of political units.


Pre-course requirements

Since this is a first-year degree course, the prerequisites are a general understanding of texts, analytical capacity, correct orthography and appropriate style in writing and the ability to express content orally.



a) Knowledge: recognising the Constitution as the supreme law and identifying the power of the state and its legal production, its relationships and the uniqueness of the composite structure of the Spanish state as a state of autonomous communities, in particular, the phenomenon of devolution of powers.

b) Skills: distinguishing constitutional principles and institutions; and

c) Attitudes: initiate a humanistic approach to the text of the Constitution, particularly in regard to the higher values of the national law: freedom, equality, justice and political pluralism.


  • 09 - To develop mechanisms that favour sensitivity towards issues related to fundamental rights as well as respect for other cultures and customs
  • 11 - To acquire skills for autonomous learning
  • 13 - To develop critical analysis skills
  • 14 - To be aware of the importance of the Law as a regulatory system for social relationships
  • 16 - To be able to use constitutional principles and values as work tools when interpreting the legal system
  • 17 - To understand and have knowledge of public and private institutional principles in their origin and as a whole
  • 18 - To understand the different ways of creating Law within its historical evolution as well as its current state

Learning outcomes

1. Know and understand the features, guarantees and purposes of the constitution as a concept, including the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

2. Identify the elements of the rule of law and the interaction between them. 

3. Argumentation skills will be acquired.

4. Reading comprehension skills will be improved.

5. The values and principles of the rule of law for the recognition of human dignity will be internalised.

6. Skills for independent learning will be acquired.



Topic 1. Constitution as legal regulations. Legal regulations and legal code: validity and effectiveness; direct effectiveness of the Spanish Constitution; invalidity and exemption from lesser legal standards. Constitutionalism and the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

Topic 2. The Spanish Constitution and its guarantees: constitutional jurisdiction, constitutional reform and the exception law. Art. 155 CE[mb1] . Interpretation of the Constitution: methods, regulations and principles for interpreting the Constitution.

Topic 3. Content, structure and functions of the Constitution: "biblical" structure; traditional division between organic and dogmatic parts of the constitution; functions in organic and dogmatic parts of the constitution; functions.

Topic 4. Introduction to the theory of the State: political and normative dimension of the State; sovereignty, institutions, people and domains as normative factors of the State.

Topic 5. Social and democratic state of law: the principles of rule of law; democratic pluralism; equality and egalitarianism of the Social State.

Topic 6. Functions and powers of the State. The organic approach.

Topic 7. The functions of the State: the legislative function of the Spanish congress and senate. Types of laws.

Topic 8. The functions of the State: the legislative function of the Spanish government. Executive order and Ordonnance.

Topic 9. The functions of the State: the executive function of the Spanish government. The administration. Regulations.

Topic 10. Judicial power: history, structure and principles on which it is based.

Topic 11. Balance of powers. Control mechanisms. Supervisory bodies.

Topic 12. The Spanish economic model and the state budget. The "economic constitution".

Topic 13. Beyond the separation of powers: political form of the State (Crown) and Constitutional Court. Brief reference to the European Union.

Topic 14. The regional model and the Generalitat of Catalonia. The Statue



Teaching and learning activities

In person

Through the different activities (case studies, oral presentations, text analysis, overview of lecture content) the student should develop a critical sense, professional autonomy and knowledge of each the different units in the course.


Actividades en el aula para el seguimiento de los alumnos (individual y en grupo)
09 13
Actividades fuera del aula para el seguimiento de los alumnos (individual y en grupo)
Estudio independiente del alumno
11 17 18
Presentación en el aula de los conceptos y su aplicación práctica
14 16 17 18

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Final exam (mark out of 5) of the entire subject.

Continuous evaluation throughout the semester (score out of 5), and consists of:

Three non-release intermediate exams (1 point each, up to a total of 3 points) in the form of a test and/or memorandum. They will develop:

  • Items 1-5
  • Issues 6-10
  • Subtraction of items developed in the classroom

Achievement tests, carried out in a surprising way (they will count up to a total of 2 points

The absence of unjustified class attendance will subtract up to 1 point from the final grade of the evaluation, if more than 2 absences are accumulated without justification. Active and efficient participation in the IN TIME project can mean up to 1 more point in the final evaluation grade without in any case automatically leading to a pass or M Honors in the subject.

The JULY CALL will not take into account the continuous evaluation, except if it is equal to or greater than 4 points.

Bibliography and resources

During class, readings will be given, both compulsory and optional texts which will be offered in order to complement this basic selection of bibliography:

ALVAREZ CONDE, Enrique: Curso de Derecho Constitucional, 2 vols. Tecnos, last edition.

BALAGUER CALLEJÓN, Francisco (coord.), Manual de Derecho Constitucional, 2 vols.Tecnos, Madrid: 2017.

DE OTTO, I. Derecho Constitucional, I. Sistema de fuentes, Ariel, 1997.

LOPEZ GUERRA, L., ESPIN, E. y otros: Derecho Constitucional, 2 vols. Tirant lo Blanch, last edition

MOLAS, Isidre: Derecho Constitucional, Tecnos, last edition.

PECES-BARBA, G. y RAMIRO, M.Ángel (coords.) La Constitución a examen, Marcial Pons, 2004.

BARCELO, M., VINTRO, J. (coords.) Dret Públic de Catalunya, Atelier, last edition.

Teaching and learning material