The Congress and Senate were disolved on 24 September 2019. The will be reopened on 3 December 2019.

Standing Orders of the Senate

PART ONE. Constitution of the Senate

CHAPTER ONE. Preparatory Sitting

Section 1

1. After the holding of general elections to the Senate, the elected Senators shall accredit their status through the personal presentation to the Secretariat General of the House of the credentials issued by the Provincial Electoral Board.
(See section 69 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The Senators appointed by the Autonomous Communities shall also present the credentials issued by the relevant body of the Assembly of the Autonomous Community. The Senators appointed for a period not coincident with the parliamentary term of the Senate, shall present, after the holding of elections to this House, new credentials or a certificate to the effect that their appointment remains valid in accordance with the relevant legislation.

3. Once their credentials are surrendered, the Senators shall submit a declaration of their activities and of their assets as referred to in section 26 of the present Standing Orders.
(See Section 160 of Organic Act 5/1985, of 19th June, on the General Electoral System, Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate, of December 21st 2009, passing the rules on registration of interests and Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus of 19 July 2011, amending the Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus, of 21 December 2009, laying down Rules for the Register of Interests to comply with what has been set forth in the reform of Section 160.2 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System).

Section 2

1. On the day fixed within the legal period provided to the effect by the Royal Decree calling for the election, the Senators shall convene at the Senate Palace in order to hold their Preparatory Sitting.

2. The Senator who comes first on the list of the presentation of credentials, shall fill the presidency, open the meeting and call upon the Senior Clerk to read out the convening of the House, the above-mentioned list and the sections of the Standing Orders relating to such procedures. Likewise, he or she shall order the appeals, if any, raised against the proclamation of Senators to be made known.

Section 3

A Bureau shall thereafter be constituted under the presidency of the senior Senator, of which the four junior Senators shall act as Secretaries.

CHAPTER TWO. Procedure for the constitution of the Senate

Section 4

1. After the constitution of the Seniority Bureau, the Senate shall proceed to its final constitution, unless the appeals lodged against the proclamation of a number of Senators directly elected affects a minimum of twenty percent of the number of seats assigned in the House to this category of Senators. In such a case, the Senate shall be constituted on a provisional basis until the rulings adopted on the appeals confirm the proclamation of Senators directly elected in a number equal at least to eighty percent of the number of such category of Senators.

2. When the Senate is constituted on a provisional basis it shall only deal with matters of incompatibility unless that, following a parliamentary initiative or a Government statement, the debate of any other business may be considered indispensable. For the implementation of such initiative, a motion signed by a Parliamentary Group or by twenty-five Senators is required.

Section 5

1. During the constituent sitting of the House, whether provisional or final, the Bureau shall be elected and formed by the Speaker, two Deputy Speakers and four Secretaries.
(See section 72.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The members of the provisional Bureau shall be reputed as confirmed in their respective posts when the Senate is finally constituted unless at least one Parliamentary Group requests the holding of the relevant elections. 

Section 6

1. The votes to fill these posts are cast through balloting. The Bureau Chairperson shall previously read out the name of the candidates, with a mention, if appropriate, of the Senator or the Senators who have sponsored them.

2. Each Senator shall hand the ballot paper to the Chairperson, who will put it into the ballot box. Before the voting is concluded, the Chairperson shall enquire whether there still remains somebody to vote. Upon termination of the voting, the counting shall be effected, to which purpose the Chairperson shall withdraw the ballot papers from the ballot box that shall be read out aloud by one of the Secretaries.

3. The Secretaries, assisted by the Clerks present at the act, shall take note of the conduct and the result of the voting and record them in the relevant minutes, which shall be signed by all the members of the Bureau.

Section 7

1. Only one name shall be written down in each ballot paper for the election of the Speaker and the election shall fall upon the candidate who obtains an absolute majority of the members of the House so far accredited.

2. If no absolute majority is reached, a new voting shall be performed among the Senators having reached a tie with the greater number of votes or, in default thereof, between the two candidates having obtained most of the votes. In this second voting the candidate obtaining more votes shall be elected.

Section 8

1. The two Deputy Speakers shall be elected simultaneously and no Senator shall be allowed to write more than one name in the ballot paper. The two candidates obtaining the greater number of votes shall be elected by correlative order.

2. In case of a tie for any of the posts of Deputy Speakers, a new voting shall be performed between the candidates showing an equal number of votes, until one of them obtains more votes than the rest.

Section 9

As for the election of the four Secretaries, the Senators shall only write two names in the ballot papers. The four candidates obtaining a greater number of votes shall be elected. If a tie is recorded, the provisions of paragraph 2 of section 8 shall apply to the candidates in whom such circumstance occurred.

Section 10

1. If a ballot paper contains more names than required, only the appropriate ones shall be counted, by order of their recording, according to the election in progress, while the other names shall be considered as not written.

2. A ballot paper containing less names than necessary shall be considered as valid.

Section 11

1. After the final election or following the confirmation of the Bureau, the Senators shall take an oath or make a promise of compliance with the Constitution.

2. The Chairperson of the Seniority or of the Provisional Bureau, whoever is appropriate, or a Deputy Chairperson, shall receive the statement of compliance made from the candidate elected or confirmed as Speaker in the final constitution of the House, and the latter, in turn, shall do the same with all the Senators, starting by the Deputy Speakers and Secretaries, and following with the others by alphabetical order.

3. To that effect, the following formula shall be read out: "Do you swear or make the promise to observe the Constitution?". The Senators shall successively approach the Speaker's seat and answer: "yes, I swear", or "yes, I promise".

Section 11 bis

In his or her first address to the Plenary Sitting of the House, the Speaker shall be free to use Castilian and the other languages considered as official in any Autonomous Community in conformity with the Constitution and the relevant Statute of Autonomy. Should that be the case, the contents of this address shall be identical in the different languages.

Section 12

1. For the sake of acquiring full status, the Senators elected and those appointed by the Autonomous Communities shall fulfill the two following conditions:

a) Present their credentials within the thirty days following their issue, as it may correspond, by the Provincial Electoral Board or by the Autonomous Community, notwithstanding what the House shall be entitled to extend this term in case of illness or as a result of physical impossibility.

b) To take the oath or make the promise of compliance referred to in the foregoing section, either at the time of the final constitution or, in case of illness or physical impossibility, at a later sitting or through a trustworthy document within the three months following the presentation of their credentials. The Plenary Sitting shall be informed of the submittal of the said document.
(See section 108.8 of the Organic Act 5/1985, of 19th June, on the General Electoral System).

2. In so far the Senators have not acquired their full status, the Senators elected and those appointed by the Self-governing Communities shall not accrue economic rights or be entitled to participate in the discharge of the constitutional functions of the House.

Section 13

If, once the Senate has been finally constituted, the incorporation of new Senators entails an increase of over fifteen percent in the number of the members existing at that given time, a Parliamentary Group or twenty-five Senators shall be entitled to request the holding of an election for a new Bureau.
(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the election of a new Bureau of the Senate referred to in section 13 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 15th October 1985).

Section 14

After the Senate has been finally constituted, its Speaker shall officially inform the King, the Congress and the Government thereof.
The Speaker shall also inform the legislative Assemblies or, if appropriate, the superior collective bodies of the Autonomous Communities.
(See section 4.2 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

CHAPTER THREE. Scrutiny of incompatibilities and declaration of vacancies

Subchapter 1. Scrutiny of incompatibilities

Section 15*

1. After its constitution, the Senate shall elect the members of the Committee on Incompatibilities.

2. The Senators who, in the opinion of the Bureau, may be affected by the provisions relating to incompatibilities, or those who fill posts freely appointed by the Government, shall not be entitled to form part of this Committee.
*Drafted in accordance with section 1 of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on May 13th, 2008.

Section 16

1. The Committee on Incompatibilities shall issue, within the shortest possible time, a report on the status of each Senator in conformity with the current legislation relevant to the matter. When no notice of incompatibilities is given, an overall report may be issued.
(See:
Section 70 of the Spanish Constitution
Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on sections 16.1 and 17.3 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th March 1992
Sections 6, 7, 154-160 and 211 of the Organic Act 5/1985, of 19th June, on the General Electoral System
Section 9.2 of the Act 5/2006, of 10th April, regulating the conflicts of interests of the Members of Government and Senior Officials of the General Administration of the State
Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate, approving the rules on the Register of Interests, of 21st December 2009
Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus of 19 July 2011, amending the Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus, of 21 December 2009, laying down Rules for the Register of Interests to comply with what has been set forth in the reform of Section 160.2 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System)

2. Individual reports shall be issued for the other cases, with indication of the specific proposal put forward as regard the situation of each Senator.

3. All the reports shall be submitted to the Plenary Sitting for discussion and voting.

4. The Senator directly affected by an individual report shall be entitled to participate in the relevant discussion but without a right to take part in the subsequent voting.

Section 17

1. Once a status of incompatibility has been declared and notified, the Senator concerned shall have eight calendar days at his or her disposal during which he or she may opt either for the seat or for the office considered as incompatible. In the case that he or she does not exercise this option, it shall be deemed that he or she waives the seat.

2. Whenever a Senator is appointed to a position that is incompatible with the seat, he or she shall be entitled to exercise the option as from the date of the notification or the publication of the appointment.

3. The Senators shall inform the Committee on Incompatibilities of any change that may occur during the parliamentary term in connection with the data indicated in the statements foreseen in section 26 of the present Standing Orders.
(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on sections 16.1 and 17.3 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th March 1992, Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate, approving the rules on the Register of Interests, of 21st December 2009 and Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus of 19 July 2011, amending the Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus, of 21 December 2009, laying down Rules for the Register of Interests to comply with what has been set forth in the reform of Section 160.2 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System).

Subchapter 2. Declaration of vacancies

Section 18

A Senator shall be deprived of his or her status in the following cases:

a) Annulment of the election or the proclamation as a Senator through a final court judgement.

b) Condemnation, through a final court judgement, to an absolute or a special disability to exercise a public function.

c) Death.

d) Loss of the general conditions for eligibility as established by the relevant legislation.

e) Expiry of the term of office upon termination of the legislative period or dissolution of the House, without prejudice to the provisions concerning the members of the Permanent Deputation in section 46*.
(See section 69.6 of the Spanish Constitution, and section 2 of the Act 50/1997, of 27th November, on the Government).
* Drafted in accordance with to the first additional provision of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on May 13th, 2008.

f) In the case of Senators designated, when it is pertinent, and following a communication by the legislative Assemblies or the superior collective bodies of the Autonomous Communities.

g) Resignation submitted to the Bureau of the House.

Section 19

1. The vacancies resulting on the basis of the provisions of the foregoing section, as well as those deriving from the nullity of the election or from any other cause, shall be communicated to the Government, the legislative Assembly or the superior collective body of the relevant Autonomous Community so that they may take the measures necessary for filling the said vacancies.

2. It shall not be allowed to waive the seat of Senator if no resolution on the validity of the election has yet been passed.

PART TWO. Senators and Parliamentary Groups

CHAPTER ONE. Parliamentary rights and duties of the Senators

Section 20*

1*. The Senators shall have the right and the duty to attend the Plenary Sittings and those of the Committees of which they are members, as well as to vote at the said sittings and perform all the functions whose exercise may statutorily fall upon them.
* Numbering according to the reform of sections 20 and 67 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on November 3rd, 2004.

2*. For the better fulfilment of their parliamentary duties, and with the prior knowledge of their respective Parliamentary Group, the Senators shall be entitled to request from administrative bodies all such information or documents as the latter may possess. The request shall be submitted, in each case, through the Speaker, and the body shall make available the documentation so requested or shall give notice to the Speaker, within a term not exceeding thirty days and for conveyance in the most suitable manner to the applicant, of the legally justified reasons preventing the supply of such information.
* Paragraph 2 included in the reform of sections 20 and 67 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on November 3rd, 2004.

3*. Together with the text in Spanish, the Senators may use any of the languages having the status of an official language in an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and the relevant Statute of Autonomy for the submission of documents through the Registry of the Chambar.
* Paragraph 3 included in the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on July 21st, 2010.

(See:
Section 109 of the Spanish Constitution
Section 10 of the Act 50/1981, of 30th December, regulating the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor
Section 6.2 of the Act 39/1995, of 19th December, on the organization of the Sociological Research Centre
Section 14.2 of the Act 15/2003, of 26th May, regulating the pay system of the judicial and public prosecutor careers
Section 14.3 of the Act 5/2006, of 10th April, regulating the conflicts of interests of the Members of Government and Senior Officials of the General Administration of the State)

Section 21

The Senators shall enjoy, even after the expiration of their mandate, a status of inviolability concerning the opinions stated in the course of parliamentary sittings and the votes cast during the exercise of their functions.
(See section 71.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 22

1. During the period of their mandate, the Senators shall enjoy parliamentary immunity and not be retained or arrested except in the case of being caught in the commission of a criminal offence. The detention or arrest shall be immediately communicated to the Presidency of the Senate.

The Senators shall neither be indicted nor prosecuted without a previous authorization from the Senate, following a formal petition to that effect. Such an authorization shall also be compulsory in the procedural investigations opened against those individuals who, while being indicted or prosecuted, may become Senators.
(See:
Section 71.2 of the Spanish Constitution
Act on Criminal Procedure
Act of 9th February 1912, declaring the Courts competent to hear cases against Senators and Members of Congress
Section 501 of the Organic Act 10/1995, of 23rd November, on the Criminal Code).

2. The Speaker of the Senate, upon entry of the petition, shall submit it to the Committee on Petitions by a Court, which, after demanding, if appropriate, the records relevant to the case and hearing the person concerned, shall issue its report within a period not longer than thirty days. The debate on the report shall be included in the agenda of the first ordinary Plenary Sitting to be held thereafter.

3. The Senate shall convene in camera, in order to be briefed on the report about the petition in question. A debate may be started on the granting of the petition with two turns for and two against alternately granted.
(Seesection 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

4. Within a term of eight days, starting as from the date of the resolution of the House, the Speaker of the Senate shall communicate it to the Supreme Court and submit to this a validated copy of the resolution adopted.

5. The petition shall be considered as dismissed if the Chamber fails to pronounce on its merits within a term of sixty calendar days, counted during the period of sessions, as from the day next to the formal entry of the petition.

6. Upon the granting of the petition and once the judicial resolution deciding the prosecution is definitive, the House may vote by an absolute majority of its members and, according to the nature of the charges made, in favour of the temporary suspension of the status of Senator.

The sitting at which the House decides on the suspension shall also be in camera and only two turns for and two turns against shall be alternately allowed, while the Senator concerned shall not be entitled to be heard.
(See section 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

In the circumstance of a temporary suspension as referred to in this section, the House may, in its resolution, decide to deprive the Senator concerned from the salary until the suspension comes to expiration.

Section 23

1. The Senators shall be accorded the treatment of Excellency which they shall retain for life, and have the right to the salary, allowances and indemnities for the expenses they necessarily incur in the performance of their task as fixed by the relevant budgetary appropriations. Such compensations shall be non-waivable and non-withholdable.
(See section 71.4 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. Nevertheless, the Senator who repeatedly fails to attend the sittings without the relevant leave from the Bureau may be deprived of his or her salary for one month or more, at the proposal of the Presidency, following a resolution adopted in camera by the House.
(See section 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 24

1. The Senators shall have a free travel pass, within the national territory, to the public transport means as determined by the Bureau of the Senate or, as the case may be, the right to be paid, out of the Budget of the Senate, the relevant travel expenses incurred, in conformity with the resolutions adopted by the Bureau at each time.

2. During their mandate, the Senators who, as a consequence of the fulfillment of their duties, are no longer to benefit from the Social Security allowances to which they have a right by reason of their former activities, may request their reinstatement in the Social Security, for the account of the Senate; to this effect, the Budget of the House shall make the relevant appropriations.

The Senate shall also meet the contributions due under the relevant pension schemes and the Mutual Provident Associations to which the Senators are mandatorily affiliated, and to that purpose it shall make the necessary budgetary appropriations.

3. A benefit scheme shall contain the retirement pensions and other economic benefits in favour of the Senators.

Section 25

Senators may ask to be shown the minutes and the documents of the various bodies of the House.

Section 26

1. Within the terms set out in section 160 of the Organic Act on the General Electoral System and in conformity with the models approved by the Bureaus of both Houses at a joint sitting, the Senators shall be obliged to make the following declarations:

a) Declaration of activities.

b) Declaration of assets.

2. Both declarations shall be made at the beginning of their mandate as a requisite for the acquisition of full status of Senators and also within the period of thirty calendar days following the loss of such a status or the modification of the circumstances initially declared.

3. The declarations of activities and assets shall be entered in the Register of the Interests of the House under the direct dependence of its Speaker. The contents of the Register shall be public, except in such matters that concern the assets. The resolutions of the Committee on Incompatibilities and of the Plenary Sitting on the matters of incompatibilities shall be entered in the Register as well as all other data concerning the activities of the Senators liable to be recorded therein that are submitted by that Committee, which shall have free access to their contents at all times.
(See section 160 of the Organic Act 5/1985, of 19th June, on the General Electoral System, Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate, approving the rules on the Register of Interests, of 21st December 2009 and Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus of 19 July 2011, amending the Agreement of the Chamber of Congress and Senate Bureaus, of 21 December 2009, laying down Rules for the Register of Interests to comply with what has been set forth in the reform of Section 160.2 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System).

CHAPTER TWO. Parliamentary Groups and Territorial Groups

Section 27

1. Each Parliamentary Group shall comprise a minimum of ten Senators. No Senator may belong to more than one Parliamentary Group.

2. When the members of a Parliamentary Group normally formed are reduced in number to fewer than six in the course of the parliamentary term, the Group shall be dissolved at the end of the period of sessions during which such reduction occurs.

3. The Senators who have participated in the elections as members of the same party, federation, coalition or grouping shall in no case form more than one Parliamentary Group.

4. Each Parliamentary Group shall adopt a name akin to that under which its members participated in the elections.

5. The various Parliamentary Groups formed within the Senate shall enjoy a complete autonomy as regards their internal organization and shall be free to use for their meetings the rooms of the Senate Palace allocated by the Speaker.

Section 28

1. Within the term of five business days, counted as from the date of the constitution of the Senate, the Senators having decided to form a Parliamentary Group shall submit to the Presidency of the House a nominal list of its members. Such a list shall be signed by all the members of the Group, specify the name of the Group as well as that of the Senator due to act as its Spokesman, and of those who may, eventually, deputize for him or her.

2. In the case of the Senators elected by the legislative Assemblies or superior collective bodies of the Autonomous Communities, the provisions of the foregoing paragraph shall apply but, where appropriate, the term of five business days shall be counted as from the date of presentation of their credentials.

3. The list of members of the Parliamentary Groups shall be made public.

Section 29

The Senators willing to join the different Parliamentary Groups formed in the House may do so by means of a document addressed to the Presidency of the Senate. This document shall be countersigned by the Spokesman of the Group in question.

Section 30

1. The Senators who had not joined a Parliamentary Group of a specific name within the period indicated in section 28 shall be assigned to the Mixed Group, whose participation in the activities of the House shall be the same as that of the other Groups.

2. The Mixed Group, summoned to the effect by the Speaker of the House, shall disclose to him or her the names of its members designated to fulfill the functions of Spokesman on terms similar to the provisions of section 28.

3. Senators who, for any reason whatsoever, cease to belong to a Parliamentary Group bearing a specific name, shall be automatically incorporated to the Mixed Group, unless they decide, within the term of three days, to join other previously-established Groups. The Spokesman of the Mixed Group, or that of any of the latter Groups, shall inform the Speaker of the House of any eventual incorporations.

Section 31

When in the course of the parliamentary term the total number of members of a Parliamentary Group suffers a change, the number of its representatives at the Committees shall at all times be proportionate to the actual number of members of the Group.

Section 32

1. It shall be possible to form Territorial Groups within the Parliamentary Groups composed of Senators elected either in the territory or by the legislative Assemblies or the superior collective bodies of two or more Autonomous Communities. No Senator shall be entitled to belong to more than one Territorial Group.

2. Each Territorial Group shall comprise a minimum of three Senators chosen by the electorate of the relevant territory or designated by the legislative Assembly or the superior collective body of the appropriate Autonomous Community.

3. The Territorial Groups may participate in the cases and in the way laid down in sections 43 and 85 of these Standing Orders.

Section 33

The Senators having decided to form Territorial Groups shall surrender to the Presidency of the House, through their respective Parliamentary Groups, a nominal list of their members. This list shall be signed by all its members and by the Spokesman of the Parliamentary Group to which they belong, and shall indicate the name of the Group, with an express reference to the territory and the party, federation, coalition or grouping of their members, as well as to the name of their representative and to that of those who may, eventually deputize for him or her.

Section 34

The Senate shall grant a subsidy to the Parliamentary Groups for an amount to be determined according to the number of their members, plus a fix allowance identical for all the Groups.
(See Section 4.d) of the Act 38/2003, of 17th November, General on Subsidies)

PART THREE. Organization and functioning of the Senate

CHAPTER ONE. Bureau

Section 35

1. The Bureau, which is the governing body of the Senate, shall act under the authority and the direction of its Speaker.

2. It shall be assisted and counselled by the Senior Clerk, who is the Head of the Services and is accountable to the Speaker of the House.
(See sixth additional provision of the Act 52/1997, of 27th November, on Legal Advise to the State and Public Institutions).

Section 36

1. The following functions fall upon the Bureau:

a) To fix the starting and the closing dates for the periods of sessions of the Senate.

b) To determine the timetable of activities of the Plenary Sitting and the Committees for each period of sessions.

c) To assess, according to the Standing Orders, the parliamentary deeds and documents, and decide on their admissibility and the further action to be taken thereon.
(See section 5 of the Organic Act 3/1984, of 26th March, regulating the popular legislative initiative).

d)* To take such decisions and measures as may be required for the organisation of tasks and the internal governance and system of the House.
e)* To approve the Budget Bill of the Senate, directing and controlling its implementation and approving any amendments and its liquidation.
f)* To approve regulations that, in the exercise of the autonomy of the Senate, adapt the general provisions of the legal system on matters pertaining to the budget, control, accounting and procurement to the organisation and functioning of the House.
g)* To approve regulations and to adopt any measures necessary to ensure the transparency of the activities of the House and the right of access to public information of the Senate.

h)* Any other that may be provided for by the existing laws and the present Standing Orders.
(See:
Sections 33-34 and 36-37 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court
Section 133.4 of the Organic Act 5/1985, of 19th June, on General Electoral System
Sixth additional provision of the Act 52/1997, of 27th November, on Legal Advise to the State and Public Institutions
Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate adopting the Rules of Organization and Functioning of the Defender of the People, of 6th April 1983).

*letters d), e), f) and g) added, and letter h) renamed by the Reform of several sections of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted at the Plenary Sitting of the Senate of 5 June 2014

2. Whenever a resolution adopted by the Bureau in the exercise of the functions referred to in point c) of the previous paragraph, directly affects a Senator or a Parliamentary Group, these may ask for its reconsideration. The Bureau shall thereon decide through a reasoned resolution which, if not unanimously adopted, may be subject to what is set out in section 174.d).
(See Section 42 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court).

Subchapter 1. The Speaker and the Deputy Speakers

Section 37

It shall be the responsibility of the Speaker of the Senate:

1. To act as the Spokesman of the House and its ex officio representative in all official acts.

2. To convene and preside over the Plenary Sittings of the Senate, and maintain the order of the discussions, direct the debates and summon and preside over the Bureau of the Senate.
(See section 67.3 of the Spanish Constitution and Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the development of the debates, of 14th February 1984).

3. To convene and preside, if he or she considers it expedient, over any Committee of the Senate.
(See section 67.3 of the Spanish Constitution).

4. To announce the agenda of the Plenary Sitting of the Senate.

5. To maintain communications with the Government and the authorities.

6. To sign, together with one of the Secretaries, the messages that the Senate has to send.

7. To interpret the Standing Orders.

8. To fill, in consultation with the Bureau of the Committee on Standing Orders, any gaps in such Orders.

9. To ensure the compliance with the Standing Orders, and look after the observance of parliamentary courtesy and usages.

10. To apply the relevant measures concerning parliamentary order and discipline.

11. To any other powers and faculties foreseen in the Constitution, in the laws and in these Standing Orders.
(See sixth additional provision of the Act 52/1997, of 27th November, on Legal Advise to the State and Public Institutions).

Section 38

The Speaker shall exercise the supreme authority of the House in the Senate Palace and in all its other premises, adopt the relevant measures necessary to maintain order within its precincts, and release the appropriate orders to civil servants and security agents.
(See sections 66.3 and 72.3 of the Spanish Constitution and Organic Act 10/1995, of 23rd November, on the Criminal Code).

Section 39

The Speaker shall take all the necessary steps concerning any members of the public who may cause a breach of the peace in the gallery of the House, and may order their immediate expulsion. If the offence committed was a major one, the Speaker shall order their arrest and hand over to the competent authority.
(See section 72.3 of the Spanish Constitution and sections 496 and 497 of the Organic Act 10/1995, of 23rd November, on the Criminal Code).

Section 40

The Deputy Speakers shall deputize, in order of precedence, for the Speaker, and exercise his or her functions in case of vacancy, absence or impossibility of the latter.

Subchapter 2. The Secretaries.

Section 41

The Secretaries of the Senate shall:

1. Draw up and authorize the minutes of the Plenary Sittings that must be signed by two of them and countersigned by the Speaker.

2. Inform of all the communications and documents sent to the Senate, draw up and sign the relevant decisions deriving therefrom.

3. Authorize any official communications and certificates issued by the Secretariat.

4. Compute the results of the ballots held by the Senate.

5. Sign (one of them), together with the Speaker, the reasoned messages foreseen in section 90.2 of the Constitution.

Section 42

The Bureau of the Senate may at any time allocate the tasks indicated in the previous section among the Secretaries.

CHAPTER TWO. The Board of Spokesmen

Section 43

1. The Board of Spokesmen shall be composed by the Speaker of the House that convenes and presides over it, and by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups existing at each time.

2. The meetings of this Board may be attended, apart from the Spokesmen of the various Parliamentary Groups, by a representative of the Government and by up to two representatives of the Territorial Groups of each Parliamentary Group, as designated by its Spokesman. Likewise, when the debates involve a matter particularly affecting an Autonomous Community, the Speaker shall inform the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups with Territorial Groups under their dependence, to the effect that the representatives of the latter may also attend the meetings.

Section 44

The Board of Spokesmen shall be consulted in order to fix:

a) The dates for the beginning and the conclusion of the periods of sessions of the House.

b) The agenda for the sittings of the Senate.

c) The criteria conducive to arranging and facilitating the debates and the tasks of the Senate.

d) The rules of interpretation or supplementary rules that the Presidency may dictate.

CHAPTER THREE. The Permanent Deputation *

(See section 78 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 45

1. As soon as the House is definitively constituted, it shall designate the Permanent Deputation (Diputación Permanente), which shall be presided over by the Speaker of the Senate and composed by a minimum of twenty-one members.

2. The Bureau of the Senate, after hearing the Board of Spokesmen, shall set the total number of members of the Permanent Deputation and their distribution among the Parliamentary Groups in proportion to the number of members of each of such groups .

3. Each Parliamentary Group shall designate the number of principal members to which it is entitled to elect and the same number of substitutes .

Section 46

The principal members and the substitutes of the Permanent Deputation shall maintain their status of Senators with all the rights and the prerogatives inherent to their condition, even after the expiration of their mandate or the dissolution of the Senate and while the constitution of the new House is pending.
(See section 69.6 of the Spanish Constitution)

Section 47

At its first sitting, the Permanent Deputation shall elect among its members two Deputy-Chairpersons and two Secretaries who, together with the Speaker of the Senate, shall compose the Bureau of the Permanent Deputation. The election shall be carried out according to the procedure established by section 53.3. The constitution of the Permanent Deputation shall be notified to the Government and to the Congress of Deputies.

Section 48

The Permanent Deputation shall meet whenever the Speaker deems it fit, and necessarily in the following cases:

a) the day before the Preparatory Sitting.

b) at the request of the Government.

c) at the request of one quarter, at least, of its members.
*Sections 45 to 48 drafted in accordance with section 2 of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on May 13th, 2008.

CHAPTER FOUR. The Committees

Subchapter 1. General Rules

Section 49

1. The Committees of the Senate shall be Standing or, otherwise, Committees of Enquiry or Special. The Standing Committees shall be Legislative and non Legislative.

2*. The Legislative Committees shall be composed by the General Committee on Autonomous Communities, plus the following ones:
* Drafted in accordance with the amendment of the Senate Standing Orders affecting section 49.2, dated June 19th, 2018 (issue 256 of the Official Gazette of the Spanish Parliament, dated June 28th, 2018).

Constitutional

Foreign Affairs

Justice

Home Affairs

Defence

Economy and Enterprise

Treasury

Budget

Public Works

Education and Vocational Training

Employment, Migrations and Social Security

Agriculture, Fishing and Food

Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare

International Cooperation for Development

Culture and Sport

Equality

Local Entities

Ecological Transition

Industry, Tourism and Commerce

Science, Innovation and Universities

Public Administration

Integrated Disability Policies

3*. The non Legislative Committees shall be those to be constituted, to that effect, by virtue of a legal rule, plus the following ones:
*Drafted in accordance with section 3 of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on November 30th, 2016.

Standing Orders

Incompatibilities

Petitions by a Court

Petitions

Iberoamerican Affairs

Nominations

Rights of Families, Chilhood and Adolescence

4. The Special Committees or Committees of Enquiry shall be those created as such for a specific purpose.

5. The Standing Committees, both Legislative and non Legislative, shall carry out their functions without detriment to the competences conferred to the General Committee on Autonomous Communities.*
*Paragraph included in the reform of section 49 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on October 11th, 2000.

Section 50

The Standing Committees, both Legislative and non Legislative, shall be constituted for a parliamentary term, and the Special Committees or Committees of Enquiry shall run until completion of the specific tasks for which they were set up.

Section 51

1. The Committees of the Senate shall be composed by a number of members designated by the Parliamentary Groups in proportion to their number of members in the House. All Committees shall have at least one member of each Parliamentary Group.

2. Upon hearing the Board of Spokesmen, the Bureau shall determine the total number of members of the Committees and their proportional allocation among the Parliamentary Groups at the first sitting of each period of sessions, taking into account the number of components of the different Groups at the first day of such a period.

3. For the constitution of the General Committee on Autonomous Communities, each Parliamentary Group shall designate twice the number of members to which it may be entitled in the other Committees of the Senate.

Section 52

Following the constitution of the Senate and within the term to be fixed to that effect by the Speaker, the Parliamentary Groups shall notify in writing which of their members must form part of the different Committees, in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing section.

Section 53

1. The Committees must be set up within ten days following the termination of the period established for the designation of their members.

2. At their first sitting, the Committees shall proceed to elect among their members a Bureau which is to be composed -if no other provision is made- by a Chairperson, two Deputy Chairpersons and two Secretaries.

3. To such effect, the same rules as established for the election of the Bureau of the House shall be observed, except for the fact that, as regards the election of the Secretaries, only one name shall be written on the ballot paper.

Section 54

The allocation of the tasks between the Committees shall be made by the Bureau of the House. In case of doubt, the decision shall be submitted to the Plenary Sitting of the Senate. The same criterion shall apply when a Committee raises a conflict of powers, whether positive or negative.

Subchapter 2. General Committee on Autonomous Communities

Section 55

The Bureau of the General Committee on Autonomous Communities shall comprise one Chairperson, two Deputy Chairpersons and four Secretaries, subject for their election to the same rules as established for the election of the Bureau of the Senate.

Section 56

This Committee shall:

a) Start such informative, study or follow-up procedures as it deems pertinent on matters of autonomous relevance under observance of the powers of the Autonomous Communities.

b) Report on the autonomous implications of any initiatives to be examined at the Senate. If these were Government or non-governmental bills, the Committee shall issue a report during the period between the publication referred to in section 104.1 and the expiration of the term for tabling amendments, as fixed by the Bureau of the Senate in accordance with section 107.

c) Be informed of the agreements reached between the Autonomous Communities for the administration and the provision of services of their competence, and express its opinion on the need for authorization by the Parliament, in conformity with the provisions of section 137 of these Standing Orders.
(See section 145.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

d) Express its opinion on the authorization that the Parliament could grant concerning the conclusion of co-operation agreements between Autonomous Communities under the terms foreseen in section 138.
(See section 145.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

e) Be informed by the Government about the eventual agreements reached between the latter and the Autonomous Communities.

f) Be informed by the Government about the proceedings opened before the Constitutional Court against rules or acts of the Autonomous Communities, and receive periodical information from the Government on the conflicts existing between the State and the Autonomous Communities.

g) Obtain information of and be acquainted with the agreements reached in the bilateral or multilateral co-operation and coordination bodies, mainly the Fiscal and Financial Policy Council, existing between the Government and the Autonomous Communities.

h) Promote the co-operation and coordination between the various Public Administrations on matters of their jurisdiction, as well as foster the collaboration between them and the definition of specific fields of agreement.
(See section 8.2 of the Act 30/1992, of 26th November, on the legal system of the Public Administrations and the Common Administrative Procedure).

i) Make recommendations to public powers on matters of their jurisdiction.

j) Report on the initiatives concerning the allocation by the Parliament, in matters of State jurisdiction, to all or some of the Autonomous Communities, of the faculty to dictate, for themselves, legislative regulations based on the principles, grounds and directives fixed by a State Act. Without prejudice to the competence of the Courts of justice or to the possibility of creating within each State Act specific systems of parliamentary control on these legislative rules of the Autonomous Communities, the General Committee on the Autonomous Communities shall itself assume follow-up and control functions thereon.
(See section 150.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

k) Report on the initiatives whereby the State agrees to transfer or delegate upon the Autonomous Communities faculties of its own and on the control systems which the State reserves itself on this matter.
(See section 150.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

l) Report on the Bills setting up the principles necessary for harmonizing the legal rules of the Autonomous Communities within the terms foreseen by section 150.3 of the Constitution.

m) Report on the Government's initiatives to request the authorization from the Senate to adopt the measures necessary to compel a Autonomous Community to the compliance with its constitutional and legal duties or to prevent their action whenever that could severely harm the general interests of Spain as provided for in sections 155.1 of the Constitution and 189 of these Standing Orders.

n) Report on the Government's initiatives on the proposal for the dissolution of the governing bodies of the Local Entities, in the case that their conduct proves highly harmful to the general interests or that it entails a breach of their constitutional and legal obligations.
(See section 61 of the Act 7/1985, of 2nd April, regulating the basic principles of Local Government).

ñ) Report on the endowment, allocation and regulation of the Interterritorial Compensation Fund, supervise and follow up the investment projects included therein and evaluate their overall repercussion on the measures conducive to correcting interterritorial imbalances.
(See section 158.2 of the Spanish Constitution and section 10 of the Act 22/2001, of 27th December, regulating the Interterritorial Compensation Funds).

o) Report, during their examination at the Senate and, as foreseen in paragraph b) of this same section, on the parts of the General State Budget Bill that affect the funding system of the Autonomous Communities. The relevant reports shall be released to the Budget Committee for informative purposes.

p) Be informed by the Government and the Mixed Committee Congress-Senate for the European Communities, of the legal adaptation procedures or the acts performed by bodies of the European Union that may have a repercussion at a regional or an autonomic level.

q) Formulate to the Government its criteria concerning the Spanish representation in all international fora where there is a territorial participation.

r) Know the amount and the allocation of the European Union funds designed to correcting regional or interterritorial imbalances in Spain, and follow up the implementation of the investment projects that go to the account of such funds.

s) Exercise a legislative initiative through non-governmental bills, according to the procedure provided for in section 108 of these Standing Orders.

t) Submit to the Speaker of the Senate an annual report on its activities and deliberations affecting the development of the Autonomic State.

u) Propose to the Plenary Sitting of the Senate motions on matters of its competence.

v) Without prejudice to the functions specified in the foregoing paragraphs, exercise all the functions having no legislative character generically allocated by the Standing Orders to the House Committees, or those it may be entrusted with by the Bureau of the Senate, if related to self-government businesses.

Section 56 bis 1

All Senators designated by the legislative Assemblies of the Self-governing Communities in compliance with section 69.5 of the Constitution, who are not members of the General Committee on Self-governing Communities, shall be informed in advance of the holding of its sittings, which they may attend. They may also register in the speakers' roll to take the floor in all its debates.

Section 56 bis 2

1. The Government shall participate in the sittings of the General Committee on Autonomous Communities.

2. The Governing Councils of the Autonomous Communities, represented by their President or by the member of the relevant collective body designated to the effect, shall also be entitled to participate in the sittings.

3. It shall not be necessary to accredit the representation held by the members of the Governing Councils of the Autonomous Communities, although when such rights of representation are conferred on more than one person for participation in different points of the agenda of the same sitting, the Bureau of the Committee shall be notified in advance thereof.

Section 56 bis 3

The General Committee on Autonomous Communities shall meet when convened by its Chairperson or by the Speaker of the Senate on its own initiative, at the request of the Government, of one of the Government Councils of the Autonomous Communities or of a third of its members.

Section 56 bis 4

1. The speakers who wish to take the floor in connection with any one of the points of the agenda, fixed according to the provisions of section 71.2 of the current Standing Orders, after hearing the Spokesmen of the Groups in the Committee, shall register until half an hour before the beginning of the sitting. Upon hearing the Bureau and following consultations with the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups, the Chairperson of the Committee shall fix, in consideration of the number of speeches requested and of the points included in the agenda, the order and the duration of the said speeches, as well as the subsequent conduct of the debate.

2. If the Government ask for the floor, it shall start the turn of the speeches.

3. Upon conclusion of the speeches referred to each point, the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups shall, should they request it, avail themselves of a turn in order to establish their final stands, on termination of which the debate on the matter subject to discussion shall be considered as finished.

Section 56 bis 5

1. Apart from what section 65 provides for the appointment of Reporting Bodies, whenever the matters to be handled may specifically concern any Autonomous Community, the General Committee on Autonomous Communities may form a Reporting Body for their examination beforehand, in whose discussions all the Senators designated by the legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Community concerned shall be entitled to participate.

2. In consideration of the matters under debate and the development of its working plan, the Committee may entrust the preparation of the relevant previous reports to any of its members, following the proposal of its Chairperson and the approval of the majority of the Committee members.

3. The Bureau shall, in each case, fix the terms available for the preparation of the reports referred to in the previous paragraphs.

Section 56 bis 6

When the Bureau of the House entrusts the General Committee on Autonomous Communities with the conduct of legislative initiatives, the latter shall observe the provisions valid for the functioning of the other Legislative Committees of the Senate.

Section 56 bis 7*

The General Committee on Autonomous Communities shall necessarily hold an annual sitting before the end of the first period of sessions, whose single item in the agenda shall be to draw a balance in the general situation of the Autonomic State. In pursuance to the relevant debate, motions shall be tabled in accordance with the provisions of these Standing Orders.
*Drafted according to the section 1 of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on 29th June, 2005

Section 56 bis 8

Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing section, the Senate shall hold an annual Plenary Sitting whose agenda will be devoted exclusively to examine the Autonomic State. This debate may give way to the tabling of motions in conformity with the provisions of the Standing Orders.

Section 56 bis 9*

The speeches that may be pronounced during the sittings of the General Committee on Self-governing Communities shall be made in any of the languages which, together with Castilian, are considered official in a particular Self-governing Community, as set out in the Constitution and in the relevant Statute of Autonomy. The Journal of Debates (Diario de Sesiones) shall publish the speeches in Castilian and in the specific language in which each has been made.
* Section included in the section 2 of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on 29th June, 2005

Subchapter 3. Mixed and Joint Committees

Section 57

The Mixed Committees of the Congress and the Senate shall be set up in the cases foreseen by the Constitution and by law, and whenever one and the other House agree to it. If nothing to the contrary is decided in the agreement or resolution for their creation, the number of members of these Committees shall be fixed, as far as the Senate is involved, through the intervention of its Bureau.
(See:
Sections 74.2 and 167.1 of the Spanish Constitution
Section 53 of the Standing Orders of the Congress
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the composition of the Mixed Committees Congress-Senate, of 26th May 2008

On Mixed Committee on relations with the Defender of the People:
Section 2.2 of the Organic Act 3/1981, of 6th April, on the Defender of the People
Resolution of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination by the Plenary Sitting of the Senate of the Reports of the Defender of the People, of 28th April 1992
Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate adopting the Rules of Organization and Functioning of the Defender of the People, of 6th April 1983
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the organization and functioning of the Mixed Committee on the Defender of the People, of 21st April 1992

On Mixed Committee on the relations with the Auditing Court:
First transitional provision of the Organic Act 2/1982, on 12th May, on the Auditing Court
Rules of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate, of 3rd of March 1983, on the functioning of the Mixed Committee referred to in the first transitory provision of the Organic Act 2/1982, of 12th May, of the Auditing Court
Rules of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the examination of the General State Account, of 1st March 1984

On Mixed Committee on the European Union:
Act 8/1994, of 19th May, which regulates the Mixed Committee on the European Union
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate implementing the Act 8/1994, of 19th May, which regulates the Mixed Committee on the European Union, of 21st September 1995

On Mixed Committee on parliamentary control of the RTVE Corporation and its bodies:
Section 39 of the Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on State-owned Radio and Television.
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate regulating the parliamentary control exercised by the Mixed Committee Congress-Senate on parliamentary control of the RTVE Corporation and its bodies, of 27th February 2007
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the exercise of the duties attributed to Parliament by Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on the State-owned radio and television corporation, of 12th November 2007).

Section 58

If the Bureau of the Senate deems that there exist two or more Committees which are simultaneously competent to handle the specific issue under consideration, it shall set up another Committee formed by members of those Committees affected, whose members shall be designated in a number proportional to that of the relevant Committees and in conformity with the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of section 51.

Subchapter 4. Committees of Enquiry or Special Committees

Section 59

1. At the proposal of the Government or of twenty-five Senators not belonging to the same Parliamentary Group, the Senate may create Committees of Enquiry or Special Committees in order to carry out enquiries or studies concerning any matters of public interest. Its constitution shall comply with the provisions of section 52.
(See section 76 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. In the case that the proposal concerns a Mixed Committee of the Congress and the Senate, its constitution shall require the previous approval of both Houses. If the proposal is put forward and approved in the Senate, it shall be passed on immediately to the Congress.

Section 60

1. Upon their constitution, these Committees shall prepare a working plan and fix their activities and schedules. They shall periodically report to the Bureau of the House on the appropriate compliance with such a plan.

2. The Committees of Enquiry may summon any person to testify to the effects foreseen in the Act which develops the provisions of section 76.2 of the Constitution.
(See:
Organic Act 5/1984, of 24th May, on the appearance before the Committees of Enquiry of the Congress and the Senate or of both Houses
Section 90 of the Act 24/1988, of 28th July, on the Securities Market
Section 265.b of the Royal Legislative-Decree 2/2011, of 5th Septembre, passing the restated text of the Act on State Harbours and Merchant Navy
Royal Decree-Act 5/1994, of 29th April, that regulates the obligation to disclose certain data at the request of the Parliamentary Committees of Enquiry
Section 502 of the Organic Act 10/1995, of 23rd November, on the Criminal Code
Section 19.1.b) of the Act 21/2003, of 7th July, on Aerial Security
Section 95.1.e) of the Act 58/2003, of 17th December, on Taxation
Section 75.2 of the Royal Legislative-Decree 6/2004, of 29th October, passing the restated text of the Act on the regulation and supervision of private insurances

Section 95.2.ñ of the Act 7/2007, of 12th, of April, on the Basic Statute of Public Employees).

3. The conclusions reached by these Committees shall be rendered public unless an overall or partial decision to the contrary needs to be adopted. Those conclusions shall neither be binding upon the Courts nor will they affect judicial resolutions.

4. The report of the Committees of Enquiry may be discussed at a Plenary Sitting with two turns for and two turns against wherein the Spokesmen of the Groups concerned shall be entitled to take the floor if they so wish. None of the speeches shall last more than fifteen minutes.

5. The results of the enquiry shall be disclosed, as the case may be, to the Public Prosecutor for the adoption, when relevant, of the appropriate actions.

Subchapter 5. Meeting and functioning of the Committees

Section 61

1. The Committees meet when convened, either directly or at the request of one third of its members, by their Chairperson or by the Speaker of the House.
(See section 67.3 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The convening shall be made, except in cases of urgency, three days in advance at least.

3. Bearing in mind the workload of the Senate, the Speaker of the House may organize and set an order for the meetings of the various Committees.

Section 62

1. Each member of the Committee may be replaced at each sitting by a Senator belonging to the same Parliamentary Group. The name of the deputy shall be notified at the beginning of each sitting through a document addressed to the Chairperson of the Committee by the member or by the Spokesman of the Group concerned.

2. The Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups may proceed to introducing substitutions which they shall beforehand notify to the Speaker of the House. The deputy shall not fill the post held, as the case may be, by the Senator being deputized for in the Committee.

Section 63

The Senators may attend the sittings of any Committee. If they do not belong to it, they shall have neither a right of speech, except if they stand for an individual amendment, nor a voting right.

Section 64

All the rules regulating the debates and the voting of the Plenary Sitting of the House shall be applicable to the debates and the voting procedures of the Committees, unless there exists an express provision to the contrary in these Standing Orders.

Section 65

The Committees may designate Reporting Bodies elected from among their members for the preparation of the report, and determine in each case the number of their components. The Rapporteurs shall not belong to a single Parliamentary Group.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on the adoption of agreements of the Reporting bodies appointed by Committees, of 18th November 1997).

Section 66

1. The Committees may demand, through the intermediary of the Speaker on the House, the presence of members of the Government in order to be informed of some business of their jurisdiction.
(See sections 109 and 110.1 of the Spanish Constitution and Rule of Interpretation on the delegation by the Committees in their respective Bureaus of the faculties referred to in sections 66.1 and 67 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 23rd May 1984).

2. The Government may ask for the holding of sittings in order to inform on matters of its jurisdiction with an indication of the agenda to be examined. The appearances shall be approved by the Bureau of the Committee.
(See section 110.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

3. In both cases, and, as a consequence of the information given by the Government, a debate may be opened with the participation of the Senators present at the sitting.

Section 67

The Committees may perform enquiries or studies on matters of their jurisdiction, provided a Committee of Enquiry or a Special Committee has not yet been constituted, and entrust several of their members with the carrying out of an information. Furthermore, they may, through the intermediary of the Speaker of the Senate, request the information and assistance they may need from the Government and its Departments and from any State and Autonomous Communities authorities, as well as the necessary documentation at the request of one third of the members of the Committee, subject to the provisions of Section 20, paragraph 2.*

*Drafted according to the reform of the sections 20 and 67 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on November 3rd, 2004.

(See:
Section 109 of the Spanish Constitution
Section 10.2 of the Act 9/1968, of 5th April, on Official Secrets
Section 10 of the Act 50/1981, of 30th December, regulating the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor
Section 2 of the Act 12/1983, of 14th October, on the Autonomic process
Section 90 of the Act 24/1988, of 28th July, on the Securities Market
Section 6.3 and 10.1 of the Act 13/1994, of 1st June, on the autonomy of the Bank of Spain
Section 6.2 of the Act 39/1995, of 19th December, on the organization of the Sociological Research Centre
Section 16.1 of the Act 5/1996, of 10th January, on constitution of certain public bodies
Section 14.2 of the Act 15/2003, of 26th May, regulating the pay system of the judicial and public prosecutor careers
Section 75.2 of the Royal Legislative-Decree 6/2004, of 29th October, passing the restated text of the Act on the regulation and supervision of private insurances
Sections 14.3 and 16 of the Act 5/2006,of 10th April regulating the conflicts of interests of the Members of Government and Senior Officials of the General Administration of the State
Section 5.2 of the Act 16/2006, of 26th May, regulating the Statute of the Eurojust National Member and the relations with this body of the European Union
Seventh additional provision, paragraph 1, of the Act 28/2006, of 28th July, on the State Agencies for the public services improvement
Section 10.2 of the Act 40/2006, of 14th December, on Statute of Spanish citizenship abroad
Section 25 of the Act 15/2007, of 4th July, on the competition defence

Furthermore they may demand the appearance of other people in order to obtain information on matters of their jurisdiction.
(See Rule of Interpretation on the delegation by the Committees in their respective Bureaus of the faculties referred to in sections 66.1 and 67 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 23rd May 1984).

Section 68

The Clerks shall fulfill, vis-à-vis the Bureau of the Committee, the same tasks as the Senior Clerk whom they represent at the Bureau of the Senate. At the Reporting Bodies they shall fulfill such legal and technical advisory functions as necessary for the compliance with the mission entrusted to those Bodies, as well as draw up, in conformity with the latter's criteria, their respective conclusions and reports that contain the agreements reached by the Committee.

CHAPTER FIVE. Plenary and Committee Sittings

Section 69

1. The Senate shall meet annually in two ordinary periods of sessions: one, from February to June, and another one, from September to December.
(See section 73.1 of the Spanish Consitution).

2. Except in the cases in which a law or the current Standing Orders may provide otherwise, only the working days shall be considered valid in the computation of the relevant periods.

Section 70

1. The Senate may, at the request of the Government, the Permanent Deputation or the absolute majority of the Senators, meet at extraordinary sittings.
(See section 73.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The request must exactly specify the proposed agenda, and the Speaker shall convene the House within the first ten days following the entry of the request. The extraordinary sittings shall be closed once the discussion of the agenda comes to an end.

Section 71

1. The agenda of the Plenary Sitting shall be fixed by the Speaker of the Senate in agreement with the Bureau and after hearing the Board of Spokesmen. The representative of the Government may incorporate only one item with priority.

2. The agenda of the Committees shall be fixed by their Speaker, upon hearing the relevant Bureau and taking into account, if appropriate, the working schedule of the House. One third of the members of the Committee shall be entitled to include only one item with priority.

3. The Speaker of the Senate may convene a meeting of the Committees and fix their agenda when required by the legislative works of the House.

4. Once the relevant sitting begins, the agenda shall only be modified if an agreement to this effect has been adopted by the majority of the Senators present at the sitting and following a proposal by the Speaker of the House, by the Chairperson of the Committee or by a Parliamentary Group.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on the development of section 169.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 9th December 1998).

Section 72

The Plenary Sittings of the Senate shall be public, except that, following a reasoned request by the Government or by fifty Senators, the House decides otherwise by an absolute majority. The sittings shall be held in camera in the cases foreseen by these Standing Orders.
(See Section 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 73

The representatives of the mass media, duly accredited vis-à-vis the Senate, may attend the public sittings under the conditions fixed by the Bureau of the House to this effect and, in any case, from the places assigned to them.
(See section 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 74

The people from the general public who attend the sittings of the Senate shall abstain from expressing any manifestations either of approval or of disapproval, and shall not have the right to communicate with any Senator inside the Plenary Sitting hall.

Section 75

1. The representatives of the mass media, duly accredited, may attend the sittings of the Committees.

2. In any case, the sittings of the Committees or such points of the sitting's agenda dealing with matters of incompatibility, petitions lodged by Courts and issues personally concerning the Senators shall be held in camera.

3. The Committees may hold their meetings in camera when, irrespective of the agenda, this is decided by the absolute majority of their members.

Section 76

The Plenary Sittings of the Senate shall be held from Tuesdays to Thursdays, except if the House itself, at the proposal of its Speaker, the Board of Spokesmen or fifty Senators, resolves to hold them on another weekday.

Section 77

The sittings shall not last more than five hours, unless the House agrees to the contrary under the provisions laid down in the foregoing section.

Section 78

Except for the provisions contained in section 79, the two foregoing sections shall be applicable to the Committees, although the proposals mentioned therein shall be made by the Chairperson of the Committee or by five of its members.

Section 79

The Committees may meet from Mondays to Fridays and in no cases shall their meetings coincide with those of the Plenary Sitting.

Section 80

The Speaker shall open the sitting with the expression: "The sitting is opened", and put an end to it with the expression: "The sitting is closed". No act performed either before or after such formulations shall be valid.

Section 81

1. The minutes of each sitting shall succinctly record the points discussed, and contain the agreements reached therein. One Secretary shall read them out aloud for approval, if appropriate, before proceeding to the agenda of the next sitting.

2. At the Plenary Sittings, the reading out of the minutes may be dispensed with by a resolution of the House provided the said minutes had been submitted to the consideration of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups at least twenty-four hours in advance.

Section 82

Both the Plenary Sitting and the Committees, once they have been duly convened, shall start their sittings irrespective of the number of Senators present at that time, without prejudice to what these Standing Orders may determine on matters of quorum and on other requirements for the adoption of resolutions.
(See section 79 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 83

1. The members of the Government who are not Senators may attend, with a right of speech but not of vote, the sittings of the Plenary Sitting and of the Committees.
(See section 110.2 of the Spanish Constitution and section 66 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

2. The Members of Congress shall be entitled to attend, with no right of speech or of vote, the sittings of the Plenary Sitting and of the Committees of the Senate that are not held in camera, and shall sit in the place fixed to that effect by the Speaker.

CHAPTER SIX. Right to speak

Section 84

1. Any Senator shall be entitled to speak after he or she has requested the right to take the floor and this has been granted to him or her.

The speeches shall be addressed without interruption, only to the House and shall, in no case, be read out aloud although the use of auxiliary notes is allowed.

If a Senator, when summoned by the Speaker, is absent, it shall be understood that has waived the right to take the floor.

2. The Senators who may have asked for the floor to defend a similar stance may exchange their turn to speak.

Following notification to the Speaker in connection with a specific debate, any Senator having a right to speak may be replaced by another one belonging to the same Parliamentary Group.

3. Whoever is addressing the House may only be interrupted by the Speaker who shall call him or her to order or make him or her abide by the matter under debate.

4. The members of the Government may make use of their right to speak whenever they request it. 

5*. During Plenary Sittings, for the debate of the motions, Senators may speak in any of the languages having the status of an official language in an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and the relevant Statute of Autonomy.
* Paragraph 5 included in the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on July 21st, 2010.

Section 85

1. During the debates of the Plenary Sitting of the House on matters specially concerning one or more Autonomous Communities, the Speaker, in agreement with the Spokesmen of the respective Parliamentary Groups, shall extend the number of turns for the Spokesmen as fixed in each case by the Standing Orders to the effect that the representatives of the Territorial Groups concerned may have the right to speak.

2. The Speaker shall, if necessary, limit the number and the time of the speeches.

Section 86

The Spokesmen, both in the Plenary Sittings and in the Committees of the House, shall take the floor in an order inverse to the number of members of their respective Parliamentary Groups.

Section 87

Further to the turns foreseen in each case by the Standing Orders, the Speaker may grant the floor once again to the Senators whose arguments have been the object of discussion, for a time that shall not exceed five minutes.

Section 88

1. The allusions shall only enable the Senator to whom, in the opinion of the Speaker, they refer, to reply to the statements made about his or her person or acts during the debate, but without entering into the substance of the matter under discussion or taking the floor for a length of time exceeding five minutes.

2. The allusions shall only be answered at the same sitting in which these are made, except if the Senator alluded was absent, in which circumstance he or she may give the reply at the next sitting.

3. Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, if the allusion made concerned a member of the House already dead or absent at that time, any Senator, but preferably one of his or her own Parliamentary Group, may take the floor in his or her defence.

Section 89

Any Senator shall be entitled to request, during the debate or before voting, that a specific document liable to lead to a proper comprehension of the point under discussion be read out aloud. The Speaker shall reject or put an end to any such readings which may deem irrelevant or unnecessary.

Section 90

1. At any time during the debate a Senator may make use of the right to request the compliance with the Standing Orders, by making an express mention of the sections whose observance demands.

2. The above-mentioned appeal shall not give way to any debate, and the resolution passed by the Speaker, upon hearing the opinion of the Bureau on the above allegation, shall be accepted without reservation.

Section 91

Whenever the Speaker or any other member of the Bureau participates in the debate, he or she shall abandon the seat at the Bureau and occupy it again only when the debate in question comes to an end.

CHAPTER SEVEN. Voting

Section 92

1. Voting shall be:

a) By assent, at the Speaker's proposal.

b) Ordinary.

c) By roll call.

2. Voting by roll call may be public or secret. Secret voting by roll call may, in turn, be conducted by means of ballot papers or black and white balls.

3. In the case of pregnancy, maternity, paternity or serious illness that prevent Senators from attending the plenary sittings of the House and when considered appropriate in view of the special circumstances, the Bureau of the Senate may authorize the telematic voting of the Senators when the method and timing of such voting is foreseeable because it is not subject to fragmentation or modification.
To that effect, the Senator will address the appropriate request in writing to the Bureau of the Senate, which will notify him its decision and, if appropriate, establish the votings and the voting period during which voting can taking place following this procedure.
Votes cast this way must be cast through the voting system set, to that effect, by the Bureau, which guarantees the identity of the voter and the way he voted. These votes shall be held by the Presidency of the Chamber before the actual voting starts.
4. The vote of the Senators is personal and cannot be delegated. (Spanish Constitution, section 79.3)

Section 93

1. Without prejudice to the special majorities established by the Constitution or the organic acts and by those specified in these Standing Orders for the election of persons, the agreements shall be adopted by a simple majority among the Senators present at the sittings, provided a quorum consisting of half the number of Senators of the body in question plus one is reached.
(See section 79.2 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The presence of the legal quorum necessary for the adoption of resolutions shall be taken for granted, but verification shall be compulsory whenever, either a Parliamentary Group, ten Senators at a Plenary Sitting or five in a Committee, request so before the actual voting starts.
(See section 79.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

3. Members of the House that have been expressly authorized by the Bureau to participate in the voting will be counted as present at the voting, even if they are not.
4. Without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing paragraph, whenever the approval requires a qualified majority, the Speaker may ask for the verification of the actual existence of quorum.

5. Should the lack of quorum for the adoption of a resolution be verified, the Speaker shall be entitled to postpone the voting until any such time as he or she may deem fit.

Section 94

The proposals put forward by the Speaker shall be understood as adopted when, following their due announcement, no objection or opposition is raised thereto.

Section 95

1. Ordinary voting for the passing of a resolution shall be carried out by making the Senators in favour, against or abstaining stand up successively from their seats. The voting may also be conducted by an electronic procedure.

2. During ordinary voting, the Senators shall not be allowed to enter or leave the sitting hall.

Section 96

1. Public voting by roll call shall take place in a Plenary Sitting when requested by a minimum of fifty senators, and in a Committee when requested by five of its members.

2. In that case, the Senators shall be called out by alphabetical order by a Secretary and answer "yes" or "no", or else state their intention to abstain. The Bureau shall be the last to be called out to vote.

3. Public voting by roll call may also take place by an electronic procedure. It shall rest with the Speaker, in agreement with the Bureau, to decide on the adoption of this procedure or of the one indicated in the foregoing paragraph.
(See Rule of Interpretation on public voting by electronic roll call, of 23rd May 1984).

Section 97

1. Voting by roll call shall be secret if so requested by fifty Senators at a Plenary Sitting or by one-third of the members of a Committee.

2. Secret voting by roll call shall take place by means of ballot papers when the present Standing Orders do not foresee an automatic appointment for the post to be filled, and by black and white balls when qualifications are made on the basis of personal conducts or behaviours. White balls are a sign for approval and black balls of rejection.

3. When voting is secret, the Senators shall be called out by alphabetical order by a Secretary so that they can place their ballot papers or the ball in the appropriate place. The name of the Senator who first votes shall be determined by drawing lots and the Bureau shall be the last to vote.

Section 98

When opposite voices raise calling some for a public some for a secret voting in circumstances different from those considered in paragraph two of the foregoing section, the Speaker, as an incidental issue, shall first put to voting the procedure to be followed.

Section 99

1. Once the voting is finished, the Speaker shall draw the ballot papers out of the urn and read them out aloud. The Secretaries shall count the votes and, finally, the Speaker shall proclaim the results of the voting and, where applicable, the resolution adopted. The same procedure shall be followed when the voting is performed by the use of balls.

2. In case of doubts arising among the Secretaries or when so requested by twenty-five Senators at a Plenary Sitting or by five when a Committee is holding a meeting, the votes must be counted once again with the assistance of two Senators belonging to different Parliamentary Groups and appointed by the Speaker.

Section 100

1. Whenever a voting ends in a tie, the procedure shall be repeated twice more if necessary, and, in the event that the tie persists, the text, report, section, proposal or issue under debate shall be considered as rejected.

2. If the tie is as a consequence of the voting having been carried out using ballot papers for the appointment of posts, and there are not specific regulations in these Standing Orders, the voting shall be repeated as many times as necessary until the tie is resolved.

3. When voting is performed by means of white and black balls for assessing personal conducts and behaviours, a tie shall be construed as an actual majority of white balls.

4. When voting occurs at a Committee meeting, it shall be understood that there is no tie when the equality in the number of votes, reflecting an identity in the sense of the vote cast among the members of the Committee belonging to the same Parliamentary Group, may be sorted out by counting the number of votes which each Group has at the Plenary Sitting. *

* Paragraph included in the reform of section 100 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on October 24th, 1995.

CHAPTER EIGHT. Parliamentary discipline

Section 101

1. The Senators shall be called to order by the Speaker:

a) Whenever they utter words considered as abusive to the decorum of the House or of its members, the institutions of the State or of any other person or entity.

b) Whenever they contravene the rules of the debates through their interruptions or in any other way.

2. After having called a Senator to order for three times in the course of the same sitting, the Speaker shall be entitled to impose on him or her, without debate, the prohibition to attend the rest of the sitting. This decision of the Speaker may be extended to the following sitting. In case of a repeated offence, the adoption of a stricter resolution shall be submitted to the House in conformity with the procedure established in paragraph 3 of the following section.

3. If the Senator upon whom the sanction of leaving the sitting hall was inflicted refuses to abandon it, the Speaker shall adopt such measures as appropriate in order to make the expulsion effective, and shall suspend him or her from exercising the parliamentary functions for a maximum term of one month.

Section 102

1. The Senators shall not be allowed to carry weapons within the precincts of the Senate Palace. Any Senator who violates such a prohibition shall be suspended by the Bureau of the parliamentary functions for the maximum term of one month. In any case, the Senator displaying or making use of a knife or of a firearm in the course of a sitting shall be immediately expelled from the sitting hall and suspended of the parliamentary obligations for a minimum term of one month, without prejudice to the fact that, at the proposal of the Bureau or of fifty Senators at least, the House may resolve to extend or augment the sanction to a maximum term of one year. This extension or increase of the penalty shall be proposed to the Senate in the course of the sitting immediately following the one in which the incident took place and upon hearing the allegations put forward to the Bureau by the Senator who had been accused.

2. The same corrective measure consisting in a suspension for a minimum term of one month and a maximum time of one year shall be imposed, in pursuance of the same procedure, to the Senator who attacked another Senator or some member of the Government in the course of a sitting.

3. In such circumstances and upon hearing the report from the House on the increase of the penalty, no more than one speech during a maximum period of twenty minutes may delivered by another Senator in defence of the accused Senator, whereupon the Senate shall resolve the matter without any further ado. The incident shall be resolved in camera.
(See section 80 of the Spanish Constitution).

4. The suspensions referred to in the present section shall always entail the loss of the proportional part of the overall salary of the Senator being sanctioned.

Section 103

The Senators shall be called upon to return to the point whenever they are obviously digressing from the subject under debate or reverting to questions that have already been discussed and approved.

PART FOUR. Legislative Procedure

(See sections 5, 21 and 22 of the Act 50/1997, of 27th November, on the Government).

CHAPTER ONE. Ordinary Legislative Procedure

Subchapter 1. Legislative texts submitted by the Congress

Section 104

1. The Government and the non-governmental bills approved by the Congress and sent to the Senate shall be published and immediately distributed among the Senators. The additional documentation, if any, may be consulted at the Secretariat General of the House.
(See sections 87.1 and 90.1 of the Spanish Constitution and section 120 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

2. At the first sitting following their reception, the Bureau shall declare the competence of the Committee designated to study the Government or the non-governmental bill, and open the term valid for the tabling of amendments.

3. If the Bureau does not intend to meet within the three days following the receipt of the documents, the Speaker shall proceed as laid down in the foregoing paragraph.

Section 105

The examination of Government bills shall have priority over non-governmental bills.
(See section 89.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 106

1. The House has two months at its disposal, as from the day of the receipt of the text, to approve it expressly or, in a reasoned message, to veto and table amendments thereto.
(See section 90.2 of the Spanish Constitution and sections 123, 132 and 149.2 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

2. This term is understood to refer to the ordinary period of sessions. In the case that it went beyond the termination of the said period, the corresponding days of the next period of sessions would be counted up to the completion of the two months term.

3. The provisions of the foregoing paragraph are valid without prejudice to the possibility of convening extraordinary sittings.

Section 107

1. Within the ten days following the publication of the Government or the non-governmental bill, the Senators or the Parliamentary Groups shall have the right to table amendments or veto motions. Such a term may be extended, at the request of twenty-five Senators, up to a period lasting no longer than five days.

2. The amendments and the veto proposals shall be put down in writing and be duly reasoned and motivated.

3. Should no amendments or veto motions be tabled, the Government or non-governmental bill shall pass directly to the Plenary Sitting for consideration.

Subchapter 2. Legislative initiative of the Senate

Section 108

1. Bills emanating from the own initiative of the Senators shall be formulated in an articulated text and be accompanied by a reasoned account and, if advisable, by a memorandum assessing the economic cost thereof. They shall be signed by one Parliamentary Group or by twenty-five Senators.
(See sections 87.1 and 89.2 of the Spanish Constitution and section 125 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

2. Once a bill has been tabled, the Speaker of the Senate shall order its immediate publication and a term not longer than fifteen days shall commence whereby, and under the terms of the foregoing paragraph, other non-governmental bills substantially dealing with the same matters or issues of the bill first put forward may be tabled.

3. Upon termination of the term fixed by the Speaker, the non-governmental bill or bills tabled up to then shall be incorporated to the agenda of one of the next Plenary Sittings for initial approval.

4. Each of the non-governmental bills shall be debated in the order in which it was tabled and be defended by one of its sponsors, following which two turns in favour and two against shall be allowed, as well as a speech by each of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups. None of these turns shall last longer than ten minutes.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on turns for and against as provided in sections 108.4, 121, 129 and 155.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th April 1985).

5. The non-governmental bills shall be put to vote in the same order of their debate, either as a whole text or by grouping together their different sections. Once a bill is passed, it shall be understood to have been initially approved and the Speaker shall send it to the Congress for its further examination as such non-governmental bill.

6. If only one group of sections is approved, the remaining non-governmental bills shall be voted in order to fully cover, without contradiction to what has already been approved, the range of the text in the original non-governmental bill. In such a case, the entire text of the bill shall be put to vote and if this is affirmative, the bill shall be considered to have been initially approved.

Section 109

The sponsors of a non-governmental bill shall be entitled to withdraw it before it is initially approved.

Subchapter 3. Debate by the Committee.

Section 110

When the legislative text is submitted to the competent Committee, this Committee may designate a Reporting Body from among its members who shall prepare a report on the Government or the non-governmental bill subject to debate.

Section 111

The Reporting Body shall have fifteen days at its disposal to submit its report, a term that shall be counted as from the date of expiration of the term for the tabling of amendments.

Section 112

That report, together with the amendments put forward, shall be submitted to the Chairperson of the Committee to the effect of convening a meeting pursuant to section 61. The Committee shall hold a meeting within the maximum period of five calendar days.

The Reporting Body shall, well beforehand, submit its conclusions to the Senators at the Secretariat of the Senate. The members of the Committee, as well as the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups, shall also receive the report of the Reporting Body and a copy of the amendments and the remarks submitted thereto.

Section 113

1. The competent Committee shall prepare its report on the bill within fifteen days following the date of expiration of the term in which the Reporting Body has to surrender its report.

2. The said term shall be extended or reduced by the Speaker of the Senate, in accordance with the Bureau, when the progress being made with the legislative business of the House makes this advisable.

Section 114

1. The debate in Committee shall start by examining the veto proposals, if there are any.

2. The debate of the amendments shall next follow by the same order of their tabling, once the examination of the relevant section, paragraph or subsection comes up for discussion. Nevertheless, upon hearing the Bureau, and in order to facilitate the discussions, the Chairperson of the Committee shall be entitled to change the order of the debate.

3. The Chairperson of the Committee may limit the number and the duration of the speeches when so required by the due examination of the legislative text.

Section 115

During the discussion of a section, the Chairperson may admit for debate the amendments put forward in writing at that time and aimed at reaching an agreement between the amendments tabled and the legislative text. Also admitted for debate shall be such amendments that, once the same requisites have been observed, follow the purpose of correcting errors or terminological or grammatical mistakes.

Section 116

1. If a paragraph or a section is considered to have been sufficiently examined, the Committee, at the proposal of its Chairperson, of ten of its members or of a Parliamentary Group, may decide the termination of the debate. After hearing the Bureau, the Chairperson may resolve not to consider the proposal for the termination of the debate if it does not respond to the foregoing cause.

2. Once the termination of the debate has been agreed, the Chairperson shall put to vote the proposal submitted at that time by the Reporting Body. If its text is passed, it shall be included on the report; if rejected, the amendments maintained shall be put to vote in the same order of their debate and in the case that none of them were approved, the Chairperson shall be entitled to suspend the sitting so that the Reporting Body can, together with the sponsors of the amendments, draw up a new text for a new voting.

Section 117

1. Committee members or Senators who, having sponsored amendments, may be in disagreement with the Committee's resolution of not including them on the text, may formulate dissenting opinions and defend them before the Plenary Sitting.

2. If a modification is made to the text, the Senators may transform the foregoing text of the Government or the non-governmental bill into an amendment and, if appropriate, into a dissenting opinion.

3. The intention of defending a dissenting opinion before the Plenary Sitting shall be notified in writing to the Speaker of the Senate not later than the day following the termination of the debate at the Committee.

Subchapter 4. Debate by the Plenary Sitting

Section 118

The debate at the Plenary Sitting shall conclude before the expiration of the two months term referred to in section 106.
(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the development of the debates, of 14th February 1984).

Section 119

From such time as the Plenary Sitting is convened by the Speaker of the Senate, the reports of the Committee and the dissenting opinions to be submitted to the House shall be kept at the Secretariat General of the Senate at its members' disposal, without prejudice of the printing and distribution thereof.

Section 120

1. The debate at the Plenary Sitting shall begin with the submission of the report by the representative designated, if necessary, by the appropriate Committee, who should be confined to informing the House, for the proper knowledge and illustration thereof, as to the action taken and the reasons underlying the report submitted.

2. In any case, there shall be a turn pro and a turn against at the debate on the whole text, apart from the speeches of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups who may wish to take the floor.

3. None of the speeches referred to in the present section may last longer than ten minutes.

Section 121

1. Should there any veto proposals be submitted, the Senator or the Spokesman of the Group sponsoring them may take up their defence for a time lasting no more than fifteen minutes. Two turns pro and two turns against may, then, ensue be used, that shall be arranged, if necessary, in an alternate order, and be followed by speeches by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups, lasting no longer than fifteen minutes each.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on turns for and against as provided in sections 108.4, 121, 129 and 155.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th April 1985).

2. The Speaker may arrange for a joint debate on the veto proposals against a Government or a non-governmental bill having the same objective and underlying causes.

3. The debate on the veto motions shall preclude the debate foreseen in the second paragraph of the foregoing section.

Section 122

1. For the passing of a veto motion, it shall be necessary to obtain a favourable vote of the absolute majority of the Senators.

2. If the motion is passed, the Speaker of the Senate shall close the debate on the bill concerned and accordingly forward to the President of the Government and the Speaker of the Congress, the text of the motion.
(See section 90.2 of the Spanish Constitution and sections 121, 122 and 132 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

Section 123

1. The debate at the Plenary Sitting on each section of the report shall start, if necessary, by the examination of the dissenting opinions that may have been expressed at the Committee meeting. If there were several dissenting opinions, preference shall be given to the one which, in the view of the Speaker of the House, differs most from the report.

At the debate on each dissenting opinion two turns pro and two against shall be admitted and expressed, if needed be, following an alternate order. None of the turns shall last more than ten minutes and both shall be granted to Senators belonging to different Parliamentary Groups. Once the defence of all the dissenting opinions on one specific section is concluded, the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups asking for the floor may make their speeches for a time not exceeding ten minutes each.

2. If none of the dissenting opinions is approved, the text of the report shall be put to vote.
(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the development of the debates, of 14th February 1984).

Section 124

The Bureau of the Senate may, at the request of a Parliamentary Group, decide the voting of the whole text of the report or through groups of sections. It may also under the same conditions decide a separate voting of subsections or of whole paragraphs within the said sections.

Section 125

1. Before the debate on the appropriate section or text is started, motions for an amendment of Committee reports may be submitted, provided that one of the following requirements are met:

a). Such motions have been the object of dissenting opinions and subsequently endorsed by the majority of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups which in turn comprise the majority of the Senators.

b). They are endorsed by all the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups.

2. The debate or voting of the proposed motions shall require the disclosure beforehand and shall be governed by the same regulations as laid down for the examination of the dissenting opinions.

3. Any amendments which, upon compliance with the same requirement, pursue the objective of correcting errors or any terminological or grammatical mistakes shall also be admitted for debate.

Section 126

The Speaker may, after consulting with the Bureau of the House, close the debate if he or she deems that the paragraph or section under consideration has been sufficiently discussed, in which case he or she shall put it directly to voting.

Subchapter 5. Special rules

Section 127

Government bills may be withdrawn by the Government at any stage of their consideration, provided this occurs before their definitive approval by the House.

Section 128

1. The Government may, within ten days following its publication, argue that a Senate bill or an amendment is contrary to a legislative delegation currently in force.
(See section 84 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The Government proposal shall be formulated in writing with indication of the grounds on which it is based. The Bureau shall order its immediate publication and inclusion on the agenda of the next Plenary Sitting.

3. The examination of these proposals shall be performed in conformity to the provisions regulating the conflicts between constitutional bodies of the State. In any case and pending the final resolution thereof, the terms laid down for the legislative procedure shall be deemed to be in abeyance.

CHAPTER TWO. Special Legislative Procedures

Subchapter 1. Examination of a bill in a single reading

Section 129

1. Given the nature of a Government or a non-governmental bill put forward by the Congress, or if justified because of the simplicity of its formulation, the Plenary Sitting of the House shall, at the proposal of the Bureau and once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard, decide on its direct examination in a single reading.

2. To that effect, a debate on the whole text, with turns pro and against lasting no more than fifteen minutes, shall be undertaken following which the Parliamentary Groups shall determine their position in speeches of a maximum duration of ten minutes.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on turns for and against as provided in sections 108.4, 121, 129 and 155.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th April 1985)

3. Before the debate at the Plenary Sitting and within the term fixed by the Bureau of the House, only veto motions may be admitted and examined in pursuance of the provisions of section 121 of the present Standing Orders. If any of them is approved, the Speaker of the Senate shall terminate the debate on the relevant bill, whereupon he or she shall accordingly notify the President of the Government and the Speaker of the Congress and forward to them the text of the veto motion.

4. In the event that the Government or the non-governmental bill under examination failed to be approved by the Senate or did not reach the majority required according to the nature of the bill, it shall be considered to have been rejected by the House, a circumstance that the Speaker of the Senate shall accordingly notify to the Congress to all available purposes.

Subchapter 2. Delegation of the legislative competence to Committees

Section 130

1. The Senate, at the proposal of the Bureau, once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard, of a Parliamentary Group or of twenty-five Senators, may resolve that a Government or a non-governmental bill be approved by the corresponding Legislative Committee without calling for a further debate at the Plenary Sitting. Such a proposal shall be put forward within ten days after the publication of the text.
(See section 75.2 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The Plenary Sitting of the House may likewise decide at any given time that the ordinary procedure be complied with.

Section 131

Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing section, if any veto motion is tabled and approved by the Committee, the Plenary Sitting of the Senate shall be convened for the relevant ratification or rejection thereof.

Section 132

Upon receipt of the legislative text, the relevant Committee shall make use of the period remaining until expiration of the term referred to in section 106, for debating and voting thereon.

Subchapter 3. Urgent procedure

Section 133

1. For the bills declared urgent by the Government or by the Congress, the Senate shall be allowed a period of twenty calendar days in order to exercise its legislative powers.
(See section 90.3 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The Bureau of the Senate may, on its own motion or at the request of a Parliamentary Group or of twenty-five Senators, decide the application of the urgent procedure.

Section 134

The term of twenty calendar days is understood as referring to the ordinary period of sessions. In the event that the said term comes to expiration after the conclusion of that period, the necessary number of days of the next period of sessions shall be computed until the term of twenty days is completed.

Section 135

1. The period for tabling amendments and veto motions shall be of four days as from the date of the publication of the Government or the non-governmental bill.

The date of the publication of the text and the expiration of the term for the tabling of amendments shall be notified by telegram to all the Senators.

2. The relevant Committee shall meet within two days after the end of the term specified in the foregoing paragraph, in order to appoint the Reporting Body charged with drawing up the report, a task for which they shall have four days at their disposal.

3. The Committee shall meet within three days after the conclusion of the report by the Reporting Body, and issue its report two days thereafter at the latest.

4. The debates at the Plenary Sitting shall be governed by the same rules as those applicable to an ordinary legislative procedure. Nevertheless, the Bureau shall be free to modify the period of duration of the speeches when deemed advisable in view of the actual progress of the debates.

5. All the terms mentioned in this section are counted in calendar days. In the event that one of the terms expires on a non-business day, it shall be extended to the next business day.

6. The Bureau may decide to modify the terms when deemed advisable according to the circumstances of each bill.

Section 136

When the provisions of section 133 are not applicable, the Bureau of the Senate shall, at the proposal of the Board of Spokesmen, determine that the legislative bills be examined within one month and that the terms foreseen for the ordinary legislative procedure be reduced by one half.

Subchapter 4. Role of the Senate in the covenants and agreements between the Autonomous Communities and in the distribution of the Interterritorial Compensation Fund

Section 137

1. The covenants concluded between the Autonomous Communities for the administration and the provision of their own services shall be notified to the Parliament to such effects as established by the respective Statutes of Autonomy.
(See sections 74.2 and 145.2 of the Spanish Constitution and section 166.2 and 3 of the Standing Orders of the Congress)

2. Within five days next to the publication of the text of the covenant and the corresponding notification, a Parliamentary Group or twenty-five Senators may submit proposals to the purpose that the House itself or, if necessary, the Congress decides whether or not the covenant requires a parliamentary authorization.

3. Those proposals shall be referred to the General Committee on Autonomous Communities which shall, within the next five days, submit to the Plenary Sitting of the House a report on whether or not the covenant requires a parliamentary authorization.

4. The decision of the Senate shall be immediately notified to the Congress and to the corresponding Autonomous Communities to all relevant purposes.

Section 138

1. Draft co-operation agreements between Autonomous Communities shall be presented in the Senate and examined in pursuance of the ordinary legislative procedure except as otherwise provided in the following paragraphs.

2. The General Committee on Autonomous Communities shall release to the Plenary Sitting a report proposing in a reasoned manner either the granting of an authorization for the conclusion of the co-operation agreement, its rejection or the granting of an authorization under such conditions that may be deemed fit.

3. Once the Plenary Sitting of the Senate has approved the report, the Speaker shall refer it to the Congress.

4. If the decision of both Houses do not coincide, the Mixed Committee as provided for in section 74.2 of the Constitution shall meet. It shall rest with the Plenary Sitting of the Senate to designate the Senators who, in proportion to the numerical significance of each Parliamentary Group, must form part of the said Committee.

5. The text drawn up by the Mixed Committee shall be directly submitted to the Senate for debate and voting thereon and the results thereof shall be released to the Congress.

Section 139

In the cases contemplated in the two foregoing sections, the competent Committee may, through the intermediary of the Speaker of the Senate, request the relevant Autonomous Communities to send, within a prearranged term, all the background information, data and allegations they may deem fit, and, to these effects, designate, if convenient, their own representatives, who may be members of the Senate.

Section 140

1. The proposals for the distribution of the Interterritorial Compensation Fund shall be submitted to the Senate and examined in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, with the exception of the provisions of section 106 and other concordant sections and of the provisions of the following paragraphs.
(See sections 74.2 and 158.2 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The General Committee on the Autonomous Communities shall prepare a report with inclusion of the criteria that must govern the distribution of funds as well as a concrete proposal for the appropriation of resources among the various Autonomous Communities and, if necessary, the provinces and the territories not forming part of the provincial organization.

3. Upon approval of the report by the Plenary Sitting of the Senate, the procedure regulated by paragraph 3 and following of section 138 shall be applicable.

Subchapter 5. Laws harmonizing the provisions of the Autonomous Communities

Section 141

1. The Government, the General Committee on the Autonomous Communities or twenty-five Senators may propose the Senate to examine the necessity for the State to promulgate laws harmonizing the provisions issued by Autonomous Communities, as stipulated in section 150.3 of the Constitution.

2. The proposals shall indicate, in a concrete manner, the matter or matters to which they refer, and shall be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum or a reasoned justification.

3. The Bureau shall order the immediate publication of the proposals in the Official Parliamentary Bulletin (Boletín Oficial de las Cortes Generales). and send them to the General Committee on Autonomous Communities, which shall, within fifteen days, submit to the Plenary Sitting of the Senate a report thereon.

4. After consulting the Board of Spokesmen, the Bureau shall decide on the inclusion of the debate about the report prepared by the General Committee on Autonomous Communities on the agenda of the Plenary Sitting of the House. The debate shall take place as follows:

a). Submission of the report by the member of the General Committee on the Autonomous Communities designated by the latter to the effect.

b). Defence of the proposals submitted. Such a defence shall be incumbent, if the initiative comes from the Government, on one of its members, and if it comes from twenty-five Senators, on the first signatory or on a Senator delegated to the task.

c). Two turns pro and two turns against the proposals raised shall then be alternately granted.

d). One turn shall finally be granted to each of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups asking for the floor.

None of the speeches may last more than twenty minutes.
(See section 168.1 of the Standing Orders of the Congress)

Section 142

The Government and the non-governmental harmonization bills on the provisions of the Autonomous Communities, whose necessity has already been recognized by the Parliament, shall be examined in the Senate in accordance with the general provisions of these Standing Orders.
(Seesection 150.3 of the Spanish Constitution and section 168.2 of the Standing Orders of the Congress)

Subchapter 6. Statutes of Autonomy

(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the procedure to be followed for the examination of the reform of the Statutes of Autonomy, of 30th September 1993)

Section 143

1. The bills on Statutes of Autonomy examined in pursuance of the provisions of section 143 of the Constitution shall follow the ordinary legislative procedure.
(See sections 143 and 146 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The bills on Statutes of Autonomy examined in pursuance of section 151 of the Constitution shall be put to a vote of ratification as contemplated in paragraph 2, no. 4 of that section.

To that effect, the relevant bill, once received by the Senate, shall be published and directly submitted to the Plenary Sitting of the House for its ratification, but no tabling of amendments to the text shall be allowed. The debate at the Plenary Sitting shall consist in two turns pro and two turns against, with additional speeches by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups for a time not exceeding fifteen minutes each.

Subchapter 7. International Treaties and Covenants

(See section 22.1 of the Organic Act 3/1980, of 22nd April, regulating the Council of State)

Section 144

1. Motions for the non ratification, postponement or reservations concerning the International Treaties and Covenants requiring a parliamentary authorization shall be tabled in conformity with the provisions indicated in the following paragraphs. The text of the Treaties may not be subject to any amendment.
(See section 94.1 of the Spanish Constitution)

2. The tabling of motions for the non ratification of a Treaty shall be governed by the provisions related to the tabling of veto motions.

3. The proposals of reservations shall only be formulated to such Treaties and Covenants that contemplate this possibility or whose contents admit it. Such proposals, as well as the motions for a postponement, shall be governed by the provisions on the tabling of amendments in an ordinary legislative procedure.

4. The relevant Committee shall, in compliance with the general rules, adress to the Plenary Sitting a reasoned motion on whether the authorization requested should be granted or rejected.

Section 145

In the event that the decision of the Senate relating to any of the International Treaties and Convenants, referred to in section 94.1 of the Constitution, differs from the one previously adopted by the Congress, a Mixed Committee shall be created in conformity with the provisions of section 74.2 of the Constitution and of section 57 of the present Standing Orders. The text submitted by this Committee shall be put directly to the vote at the Plenary Sitting of the Senate. The decision adopted shall be notified to the Government and to the Congress to the relevant effects.
(See section 158 of the Standing Orders of the Congress)

Section 146

The communications from the Government regarding the conclusion of the International Treaties and Convenants contemplated in section 94.2 of the Constitution shall be referred to the competent Committees which, if necessary, shall inform thereof the Plenary Sitting of the House.

Section 147

The House, at the proposal of one Parliamentary Group or of twenty-five Senators, may request the Constitutional Court to declare whether a Treaty or a Covenant tabled for debate, is or not contrary to the Constitution. Once the said request is granted, the examination of the Treaty or the Covenant shall be suspended pending an appropriate resolution by the Court. If this resolution is negative, the procedure shall be resumed.
(See section 95 of the Spanish Constitution and section 78 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court).

CHAPTER THREE. Budget Procedure

Section 148*

1. The examination of the Budget Bill shall have priority over the other businesses of the House.The Bureau shall, upon hearing the Board of Spokesmen, approve the timetable for its examination.

(See section 4 of the Act 13/1994, of 1st June, on the autonomy of the Bank of Spain).

2. The ordinary legislative procedure shall be followed for the examination and the approval of the General State Budget, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(See section 134 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 149*

1. The Bureau shall, upon hearing the Board of Spokesmen, approve the timetable for its examination.

2. The amendments to the Budget Bill that may imply a credit increase, shall only be admitted for debate if, apart from complying with the general requisites, they propose a reduction for an equal amount in the same part.
(See section 134.6 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 150*

1. The debate on the Budget Bill shall comprise the examination of all its sections and of the authorization of expenses without prejudice to the study of other documents which, in conformity with the General Budgetary Law, must accompany it.

2. Once the deadline for the submission of veto motions has elapsed, any submitted motion will be subject to debate and voting at the Plenary Sitting. Should any such motion be approved, examination of the Budget Bill shall end.

3. Otherwise, examination of the Budget Bill shall continue in the appropriate Committee. The report of the Committee and the dissenting opinions maintained shall be debated at the Plenary Sitting, followed by the voting.

*Sections 148 to 150 drafted under Section 1 of the Reform of several sections of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted at the Plenary Sitting of the Senate on 5 June 2014 

Section 151

1. Any non-governmental bill tabled in the Senate shall be immediately referred to the Government so that, in pursuance of section 134.6 of the Constitution, it may agree or disagree to the examination of the said bill in the case that, in its opinion, it implied a credit increase or a reduction in the budgetary income.

2. Upon expiration of the term for the submission of amendments to a Government or non-governmental bill, these shall be immediately referred to the Government to the effects mentioned in the foregoing paragraph.

3. The relevant communication from the Government shall be entered in the Senate within a maximum period of ten days, as from the forwarding of the text in question, if it refers to a non-governmental bill, within five days if it concerns amendments presented to a Government or a non-governmental bill examined under an ordinary procedure, or two days when this is done through an urgent legislative procedure. The declaration of non conformity must be duly reasoned. Upon the end of those terms, the Government's silence shall be construed as its conformity with the pursuance of the examination procedure.

4. The communication from the Government shall be immediately made known to the Chairperson of the Committee where the Government or the non-governmental bill is being examined.

5. The Speaker of the Senate shall be charged with resolving the disputes thay may arise on the qualification of the bills and amendments, and of any relevant incidents concerning the procedure contemplated in the present section.

PART FIVE. Procedure for constitutional revision

CHAPTER ONE. Constitutional revision initiated by the Senate

Section 152

Fifty Senators not belonging to the same Parliamentary Group may table drafted motions for constitutional amendment.
(See section 166 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 153

Once a bill for constitutional amendment has been tabled, it shall be submitted to initial approval in pursuance of the provisions laid down in section 108. In any case, the terms, as well as the number and the duration of the turns of speech, shall be determined by the Speaker in agreement with the Bureau, and once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard.

CHAPTER TWO. Constitutional revision initiated by the Congress

Section 154

1. Whenever the Senate receives a bill for constitutional reform that has been previously tabled and approved by the Congress, the Bureau shall order its immediate publication and fix the term available for the tabling of amendments.
(See section 167 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The Constitutional Committee may designate a Reporting Body charged with reporting on the bill and on the amendments tabled thereto, and shall prepare the relevant report to be submitted to the Plenary Sitting for debate and subsequent voting. The Committee and, where necessary, the Reporting Body shall comply with the terms established by the Speaker, in agreement with the Bureau and after hearing the Board of Spokesmen.

Section 155

1. The debate at the Plenary Sitting shall start with a discussion on the whole report submitted by the Committee, with two turns pro and two turns against in an alternate order, followed by speeches of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups.

2. The amendments or the dissenting opinions on each section shall be debated thereafter by means of two turns pro and two turns against, followed by speeches of the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups.

3. The duration of the turns shall be fixed beforehand by the Speaker in agreement with the Bureau.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on turns for and against as provided in sections 108.4, 121, 129 and 155.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 17th April 1985).

Section 156

1. The approval of the constitutional reform shall require a favourable majority made up of three-fifths of the Senators as a result of a final voting on the whole text.

2. If the Senate passes the constitutional reform with the same text as adopted by the Congress, the latter shall be informed accordingly.

3. If the text passed by the Senate differs from the one previously approved by the Congress, the House shall elect the Senators who must represent it at the Paritary Mixed Committee whose task is to draw up a common text, which shall thereafter be voted by both Houses.
(See section 167.1 of the Spanish Constitution and section 146.3 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

4. The text prepared by the Committee referred to in the foregoing paragraph shall be approved by a majority of three-fifths of the Senate. If this proportion fails to be reached, but an absolute majority in favour of the text is obtained at the Senate, its Speaker shall inform the Speaker of the Congress accordingly to the effects provided for in paragraph two of section 167 of the Constitution.
(See section 146.3 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

Section 157

Once a constitutional reform has been approved by the Parliament, and within the term of fifteen days, a tenth of the members of the Senate may request in a written document addressed to the Speaker, that a referendum be convened for its ratification. In this case, the Speaker shall refer the written request to the President of the Government for the convening of such a referendum.
(See section 167.3 of the Spanish Constitution and section 7 of the Organic Act 2/1980, of 18th January, regulating the different types of referendums).

CHAPTER THREE. Constitutional reform under section 168 of the Constitution

Section 158

1. Whenever a full amendment of the Constitution or a partial one affecting its Preliminary Part, Chapter Two, subchapter one, of Part One or Part Two, is envisaged, the bill received from the Congress or the bill submitted to the Senate shall be referred directly to the Plenary Sitting.
(See section 168.1 of the Spanish Constitution and section 147.2, 3 and 5 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

2. The debate shall consist of two turns pro and two turns against, of thirty minutes each alternately, and of the speeches, also of thirty minutes each, by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups who ask for the floor.

3. The approval of the principle of a constitutional reform shall require a favourable vote by two-thirds of the number of Senators. If this majority is obtained, the Speaker of the Senate shall accordingly inform the Speaker of the Congress so that, if an equivalent result has been reached in the Congress, the dissolution of the Parliament may be adopted. Once the dissolution has been decided, the Speaker shall communicate this to the President of the Government for the purpose of convening elections.

Section 159

The new House that is elected shall ratify by an absolute majority of its members the proposed reform. A term for the tabling of amendments shall then be opened for which the same procedure as provided for in the foregoing sections shall be applied. The passing of the reform shall require a favourable vote by two-thirds of the number of Senators at a final voting on the whole text.
(See section 168.2 of the Spanish Constitution and 147.2, 3 and 5 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

PART SIX. Questions and Interpellations

CHAPTER ONE. Questions

Subchapter 1. General provisions

Section 160

The Senators may put questions to the Government through a written document addressed to the Speaker of the House.
(See section 111.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 161

Failing an express indication to the effect, it shall be understood that the Senator who puts a question is asking for a written reply, and that if he or she asks for a verbal answer and has not specifically express the desire that the oral answer be given at the Plenary Sitting, this shall be given at the appropriate Committee sitting.

Subchapter 2. Questions for oral reply

Section 162

1. When an oral reply at a Plenary Sitting is sought, the written document comprising the relevant question may only contain a succinct and plain formulation of one single question asking on a fact, situation or report, as to whether the Government has taken or shall take a resolution in connection with a specific matter, or if it is going to send to the Senate some document or intends to inform the latter of a concrete point.

2. No question involving an exclusive personal interest to the person asking it or to any other single person, or referring to a strictly legal issue, shall be admitted for debate.

3. The Bureau shall assess the question and admit it if its content complies with the provisions established in the present chapter.

Section 163

(See Supplementary Rule on the development of section 163 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 23rd May 2001).

1. The questions raised shall not be included in the agenda until two weeks elapse since their tabling. Notwithstanding that, the inclusion, for urgency purposes, of questions may be requested, irrespective of the term established, provided a minimum interval of twenty-four hours since their tabling is observed. The status of urgency must be recognized by the Government.

2. The questions shall be entered in the agenda following the order of their tabling, with due priority being given, following the same criteria, to those submitted by Senators who had not yet asked any questions at any Plenary Sitting in the course of the same period of sessions. Without prejudice to this, the Speaker, in agreement with the Bureau and once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard, shall fix the number of questions for inclusion on the agenda of each Plenary Sitting as well as the criteria for their distribution between the Senators belonging to each Group.

3. The Government may postpone the reply giving a justified reason therefore, in which case it shall determine the day, within the term of one month, when it is ready to answer.

Section 164

The questions shall be answered by a Minister.

Section 165

In each Plenary Sitting, the first sixty minutes at the most shall be devoted to asking questions, unless the agenda has been completely assigned to the consideration of other subjects. Once that period has elapsed, the Speaker shall postpone the questions not yet examined to the next sitting.
(See section 111.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 166

1. The Speaker of the Senate may compile and arrange for a joint debate of the questions included on the agenda concerning one specific subject or several subjects somehow linked to one another.

2. The Bureau, once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard, may decide not to admit for debate those questions that might be reiterative in respect to another question, interpellation or motion already examined during the same period of sessions.

Section 167

1. The oral question shall be formulated from the Senator's seat.

2. After the question has been shortly formulated by the Senator, the Government shall answer it. The Senator may in turn replicate to whereupon the Government may once again be entitled to rejoin. The Senator asking the question and the Minister due to answer it shall each have a maximum of three minutes for the two turns assigned to them, and the provisions of sections 84.4 and 87 shall not be applicable.

Section 168

1. The questions for which an oral reply is requested at a Committee meeting, may be included in the agenda once seven days have elapsed since the date of their publication.

2. The questions shall be considered in agreement with the provisions of paragraph 2 of the foregoing section, and the Secretaries of State may take the floor to answer them. The periods of speech allowed shall not exceed ten and five minutes, respectively.

Subchapter 3. Questions for written reply

Section 169 *

* Drafted in accordance with the reform of the section 169 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on 21st October, 2009.

1. The Government shall send the appropriate response to the written response queries within thirty days of their notification. The Senators will be informed of the receipt by the Government of their queries and the deadline to respond.

2. If the Government does not give a response within the period set in the previous section, the interrogating Senator will be able to apply for the inclusion of the query in the agenda of the next session of the competent Commission for that subject, where his verbal queries will be addressed.
(See:
Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate on the development of section 169.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 9th December 1998 considered in force in all aspects that have not been amended by the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 21st October 2009, amending Section 169, as set forth in its Additional Provision.
Agreement of the Senate Bureau adopted during its meeting of 1st December 2009, on the means to publish the questions with written response from the effective date of the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 21st October, 2009, amending Section 169).

CHAPTER TWO. Interpellations

Section 170

1. Any Senator has the right to make an interpellation to the Government and explicitly manifest the object of the interpellation.
(See section 111 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. The interpellation shall be submitted in a written document addressed to the Speaker of the Senate and deal with the policies of the Government in matters of a general interest.

3. The Bureau shall assess the interpellation and, in the case that its contents are not deemed such as established in the foregoing paragraph, refer it to its sponsor for conversion into a question demanding an oral or a written reply.

Section 171

1. The interpellations shall be entered in the agenda of the Plenary Sitting once two weeks after their lodging have elapsed and, unless this is prevented by the actual order of business of the House, not later than one month thereafter.

2. In case of urgency, the Bureau, upon hearing the Board of Spokesmen, shall shorten the term provided for in the foregoing paragraph for the debate of interpellations.
(See Supplementary Rule on the development of section 171.2 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, of 6th December 1984, modified by Rule of 23rd October 1985).

3. The Government may ask, in a motivated statement, the postponement of an interpellation for a period not exceeding one month.

Section 172

Once the criteria laid down in the foregoing sections have been fixed, the interpellations shall be entered in the agenda with priority being given to those submitted by the Senators who had made use of such a right less than the others during the corresponding period of sessions; whenever this circumstance applies on an equal basis to two or more sponsors, preference shall be given to the one belonging to the Parliamentary Group with a greater number of members, and if preference must be given within the same Group, the date of submission shall be a deciding factor, quite independently, in any case, of the criteria of urgency that the Bureau and the Board of Spokesmen may jointly apply on account of the matter being the object of interpellation. In no case shall more than two interpellations sponsored by the same Parliamentary Group be examined during the same sitting.

Section 173

1. On the day fixed to the effect and once the Senator sponsoring the interpellation has explained it, a member of the Government shall reply. None of the speeches shall exceed a limit of fifteen minutes, whereupon the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups may take the floor for a maximum time of five minutes each.

2. Whenever the interpellator does not feel satisfied with the explanations given by the Government, he or she shall be free to announce the lodging of a motion
(See section 111.2 of the Spanish Constitution and Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination of the motions resulting from an interpellation, of 30th November 1993).

PART SEVEN. Motions

(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination of the motions, of 30th November 1993).

Section 174

The motions shall pursue one of the following objectives:

a) That the Government makes a statement on a particular subject or send to the Parliament a bill regulating a matter of its competence.

b) To follow a particular procedure for the consideration of incidental matters that may arise as a consequence of a debate.

c) The conclusion of a debate and the submission, if necessary, of the issue under discussion to a voting procedure, in agreement with the relevant procedure.

d) The debate and the decision by the House on a non-legislative text.
(See Resolution of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination of the Annual Report of the General Council of the Judicial Power, of 23rd May 1984).

Section 175

1. The motions referred to in paragraphs a) and d) of the foregoing section shall be addressed in writing to the Bureau, for their inclusion on the agenda of the Plenary Sitting. Without prejudice to the provisions of sections 36.2 and 173.2, such motions shall be put forward by a Committee, a Parliamentary Group or a minimum of ten Senators. The inclusion in the agenda of motions of this sort identical to those already voted by the Senate during the same period of sessions may be rejected.

2. The motions referred to in paragraph d) of section 174 shall be lodged together, where appropriate, with an assessment on their financial cost.

3. The sitting assigned to the discussion of these motions shall not be held before forty-eight hours after the date of their submission.

4. The motions whereby an increase of the credits or a reduction in the budgetary income already approved is requested, shall be governed by the provisions of section 151.

Section 176

The debate of the motions mentioned in section 174, paragraphs a) and d), shall consist in a turn pro and a turn against, of twenty minutes of length each, and the speeches that the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups wishing to take the floor may make for a maximum period of ten minutes each.
(See Supplementary Rule of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination of the motions, of 30th November 1993).

Section 177

1. The Committees, within the strict framework of their competences, may approve motions for some of the objectives laid down in paragraphs a) and d) of section 174. They shall be put forward by a Parliamentary Group or by five Senators belonging to the corresponding Committee.

2. The Speaker of the Senate, in accordance with the Bureau, may order that the motions approved under the provisions of the foregoing paragraph be ratified by the Plenary Sitting of the House when deemed necessary on account of their significance or by any provision existing to that effect.

Section 178

1. The Speaker of the House shall immediately inform the Government or the appropriate body of the approval of the motions referred to inparagraphs a) and d) of section 174.

2. Within the next six months, the Government or the corresponding body shall report on the action taken in compliance with the said motion. The report shall be published by the House.
(See section 109 of the Spanish Constitution).

Section 179

1. If, under the provisions of section 174, paragraph a) , a motion that the Government make a statement on any specific subject is approved, the Bureau, upon hearing the opinion of the Board of Spokesmen, shall, in agreement with the Minister concerned, fix the date in which the said statement is to be made.
(See section 109 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. After the report or the statement made by the Government, a debate shall take place with the eventual participation of the first signatory of the motion or the Senator upon whom the former may deputize, as well as the Spokesmen of the different Parliamentary Groups, for a time not exceeding ten minutes each.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions laid down in the foregoing paragraph, the Bureau may, at the proposal of the Board of Spokesmen, resolve that the debate on the statement to be made by the Government takes place at a sitting following that of the statement itself.

Section 180

1. Incidental motions may arise in the course of any debate in order to resolve an incident or determine the relevant procedure to be followed concerning a specific matter. Such motions shall bear a direct relation with the issues under discussion.

2. These motions shall be supported by a minimum of ten Senators or by one Parliamentary Group. They shall be debated with a turn pro and another against, of ten minutes duration at the most, and speeches limited to five minutes each, made by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups wishing to take the floor, whereafter the motion shall be put to vote.

3. The issue so resolved may not be raised again during the same sitting through another motion of an analogous nature.

Section 181

1. The motion pursuing the conclusion of a debate and, if relevant, the lodging of a voting procedure on the issue under discussion, may be lodged in the course of any debate, to which object it shall be tabled to the Presidency of the Senate with the support of a Parliamentary Group, of twenty-five Senators at the Plenary sitting or of ten members at a Committee meeting. It shall be examined in a speech lasting a maximum of five minutes which may be followed in a reply by another speech of the same length at the most, whereupon a voting procedure shall ensue.

2. A motion on the same matter may not be repeated once it has been rejected by the House or by the relevant Committee.

3. The motions referred to in the present section shall have priority as regards their examination whenever they coincide with incidental motions or with motions of any other sort.

PART EIGHT. Communications or reports from the Government or from other State bodies

Section 182

1. The Government may submit communications and reports to the Senate for their debate therein. In that case and following the speech of a member of the Government, two turns pro and two against, of ten minutes each, shall be allowed, which shall be followed by speeches also of ten minutes by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups wishing to take the floor.

2. In pursuance of the debate on these communications, motions in conformity with the provisions of these Standing Orders may be lodged, notwithstanding that the Bureau, upon hearing the Board of Spokesmen, shall determine the sitting and the procedure for the debate and voting of the said motions.

Section 183

The reports that must mandatorily be referred to the Senate, shall be considered and be the object of debate in such a way as the Speaker, in conformity with the Bureau, and after hearing the Board of Spokesmen, may deem fit.
(See:
On the Reports of the Defender of the People:
Section 54 of the Spanish Constitution
Section 33.4 of the Organic Act 3/1981, of 6th April, on the Defender of the People
Resolution of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination by the Plenary Sitting of the Senate of the Reports of the Defender of the People, of 28th April 1992
Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate adopting the Rules of Organization and Functioning of the Defender of the People, of 6th April 1983
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the organization and functioning of the Mixed Committee on the Defender of the People, of 21st April 1992

On the examination of the Annual Report of the General Council of the Judicial Power:
Section 109 of the Organic Act 6/1985, of 1st July, on the Judicial Power
Resolution of the Presidency of the Senate on the examination of the Annual Report of the General Council of the Judicial Power, of 23rd May 1984

On the examination of the General State Account:
Rules of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the examination of the General State Account, of 1st March 1984

On the exercise of the duties of information and control of the activity of the RTVE Corporation:
Sections 4, 32, 37 and 39 of the Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on the State-owned radio and television corporation
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the exercise of the duties attributed to Parliament by Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on the State-owned radio and television corporation, of 12th November 2007

See also:

Additional provision of the Act of 18 June 1870 on requirements for the grant of the pardon

Section 38 bis of the Act 25/1964, of 29th April, on Nuclear Energy
Sections 1 and 11 of the Act 15/1980, of 22nd April, creating the Nuclear Security Council
Section 16.8 of the Organic Act 8/1980, of 22nd September, on the funding system of the Self-governing Communities
Section 9 of the Act 50/1981, of 30th December, regulating the Organic Statute of the Public Prosecutor

Sections 561, 563 and 564 of the Organic Act 6/1985, of 1st, on the Judiciary.
Sections 3, 27, 28, 44, eleventh additional provision and second final provision of the Act 7/1988, of 5th April, on the functioning of the Auditing Court
Sections 10.1, 21.1.c) and 27 of the Act 13/1994, of 1st June, on the autonomy of the Bank of Spain
Sections 4, 6 and 7 of the Act 39/1995, of 19th December, on the organization of the Sociological Research Centre
Sections 12.5.d) and 16 of the Act 5/1996, of 10th January, on constitution of certain public bodies
Sections 15, 20, 22.1, 22.4 and 24 of the Act 23/1998, on International Cooperation and Development
Sections 3 and 5 of the Act 33/1998, of 5thOctober, on total ban of antipersonnel mines and similar effect weapons
Eleventh additional provision of the Act 34/1998, of 7th October, on Hydrocarbons Sector
Act 50/1998, of 30th December, on financial, administrative and social order measures
Section 4 of the Act 11/2001, of 5th July, creating the Food Safety National Agency
Section 10.2 of the Act 22/2001, of 27th December, regulating the Interterritorial Compensating Funds
Sixth additional provision of the Act 34/2002, of 11th June, on the Information Society Services and Electronic Commerce
Second additional provision of the Act 44/2002, of 22nd November, on reform measures of the financial system
Sections 61.2 and 69.2 of the Act 16/2003, of 28th May, on cohesion and quality of the Health National System
Section 7 of the Act 17/2003, of 29th May, regulating the Fund coming from goods seized in drug trafficking and related crimes
Sections 11.5 and 14.5 of the Act 21/2003, of 7th July, on Air Safety
Section 6 and third additional provision of the Act 28/2003, of 29th September, regulating the Reserve Fund of the Social Security

Eleventh additional provision.7 of Act 39/2003, of 17 November 2003, on the Railway Sector
Sections 50.2, 56.5, 57.4 and 93.2 of the Act 47/2003, of 26th November, General on Budget
Section 14 of the Act 29/2005, of 29th December, on publicity and institutional communication
Second additional provision, paragraph 2, of the Act 9/2006, of 28th April, on the assessment of certain plans and programs impact upon the environment
Section 5.2 of the Act 16/2006, of 26th May, regulating the Statute of the Eurojust National Member and the relations with this body of the European Union
Seventh additional provision, paragraph 2, and ninth additional provision, of the Act 28/2006, of 28th July, on the State Agencies for the public services improvement
Ninth additional provision of the Act 36/2006, of 29th November, on measures to prevent tax evasion

First additional provision, paragraph two, of Act 38/2006 of 7 December 2006, regulating external debt management

Sixth final provision of the Act 39/2006, of 14th December, on promotion of the personal autonomy and attention to the people in dependency situation
Section 18 of the Organic Act 3/2007, of 22nd March, on equality between women and men
Sections 5.2 and 6.4 of the Act 5/2007, of 3rd April, on national parks network
Section 16.4 of the Act 8/2007, of 4th July, on funding system of political parties
Section 11.2 of the Act 15/2007, of 4th July, on the competition defence
Fourth final provision of the Act 20/2007, of 11th July, on self-employment Statute
Section 7.2 of the Act 23/2007, of 8th October, creating the Postal Sector National Commission
Sections 16.3 and 18.3 of the Act 39/2007, of 19th of November, on military career
Eighth additional provision of the Act 40/2007, of 4th of December, on social security measures
Section 15 of the Act 45/2007, of 13th of December, on sustainable development in rural areas
Sixth additional provision of the Act 49/2007, of 26th December, establishing infringements and sanctions system as regards equality of opportunity, no discrimination and universal access to disabled persons

Section 6 of Royal Decree-Law 6/2008 of 10 October 2008, creating the Fund for the Acquisition of Financial Assets  
Second additional provision Act of the 9/2009, of 6th October, on the extension of the validity of the paternal leave in case of birth, adoption or fostering
Eighth additional provision of the Act 12/2009, of 30th October, regulating the right of asylum and the subsidiary protection
First additional provision of the Act 14/2009, of 11th November, which regulates the provisional protection program in case of unemployment and integration
Seventh additional provision of the Organic Act 2/2009, of 11th December, on the reform of the Organic of the Act 4/2000, of 11th January, on rights and liberties of foreigners in Spain and their social integration
Section 58 of the Act 22/2009, of 18th December, regulating the financing system of the Self-governing Communities with common rules and Cities that have a Statute of Autonomy and amending several fiscal rules
Sections 8, 9 and third additional provision of the Act 27/2009, of 30th December, on urgent measures for the maintenance and promotion of employment and the protection of the unemployed
Sections 47.2 c) and d), and 53 of the General Act 7/2010, of 31st March, on audiovisual communication
Section 9 of the Act 11/2010, of 28th June, on the reform of the system of financial support to the internationalisation of Spanish companies
Section 2 of the Act 15/2010, of 5th July, on the amendment of theAct 3/2004, of 29th December, for the establishment of measures for fighting against defaults in payment in trade transactions
Ninth additional provision of the Act 35/2010, of 17th September, on urgent measures for the labour market reform
Sections 12, 17.2 and fifth additional provision of the Act 36/2010, of 22nd October, on the Promotion Fund for Development
Section 4.1 and 4.2 of the Act 37/2010, of 15th November, on the creation of the Budget Office of the Cortes Generales

First final provision of Royal Decree-Law 3/2011 of 18 February 2011, on urgent measures for the improvement of employability and the reform of active labour market policies  
Section 79.5 of the Act 2/2011, of 4th March, on the Sustainable Economy
Sections 6.2 and 7.2 of Act 14/2011, of 1st June, on Science, Technology and Innovation
Section 18 of Act 17/2011, of 5th July, on Food Safety and Nutrition
Section 54.4 and eleventh final provision, paragraph 2 and 3, of the Organic Act 9/2011, of 27 July, on the rights and duties of the members of the Armed Forces
Section 21.2 of the Act 22/2011, of 28th July, on waste and contaminated soil
Fourth provision supplementing of theAct 26/2011, of 1st August, on the adjustment of regulations to the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Fourth, fifth, nineteenth and twentieth provision supplementing of the Act 27/2011, of 1st August, on the update, adequacy and modernization of the Social Security system
Sections 18.2 and 39.4 of the Royal Legislative Decree 2/2011, of 5th September, approving the revised wording of the Act on State Harbours and Merchant Shipping
Unique provision supplementing of the Act 38/2011, of 10th October, of reform of Act 22/2003, of 9 July, Insolvency
Section 333.8 of the Royal Legislative-Decree 3/2011, of 14th November, passing the rewrite text of the Act on public sector contracts

Section 6 of Royal Decree-Act 6/2012, of 9th March, 14th November, regarding urgent measures to protect unsecured mortgage debtors

Sections 15 and 23 of the Organic Act 2/2012, of 22nd of April, on Budgetary Stability and Financial Sustainability

Ninth final provision of Act 5/2012, of 6th July, regarding mediation in civil and mercantile affairs
Section 54.5.c, 56, seventh additional provision.9 and nineteenth additional provision of Act 9/2012, of 14th November, regarding the restructuring and resolution of credit entities
Single additional provision of Act 13/2012, of 26th December, regarding the fight against unlawful employment and Social Security fraud
Second final provision of Royal Decree 385/2013, of 31st May, modifying Royal Decree 1886/2011, of 30th December, establishing Government Delegated Committees
Sections 5.2, 37.1.d, e, g and h; 37.3, 38.2 and 39 of Act 3/2013, of 4th June, creating the National Markets and Competition Committee
Section 51.4 of Act 14/2013, of 27th September, in support of entrepreneurs and their internationalisation
Sections 4, 21, 22 and 24.8 of Organic Act 6/2013, of 14 November, on the establishment of the Independent Authority with Tax Responsibility

Sixth and tenth additional provisions of Legislative Royal Decree 1/2013 of 29 November 2013, approving the Revised Text of the General Act on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on Social Inclusion

Sixth additional provision of Act 20/2013, of 9 December 2013, on guaranteeing market unity

Sections 10.7, 11.5, 14, 51.2, 56, 58 and 59.5 of the Act 22/2013, of 23rd de December, on the General State Budget for 2014

Third additional provision of Act 23/2013 of 23 December 2013, regulating the Sustainability Factor and the Revaluation Index of the Social Security Pension System

Section 4.2 of Act 24/2013, of 26 December 2013, on the Electricity Sector

Sections 35.5, 37.3 and44.7 of the Act 2/2014, of 25 March 2014, on the Action and the Foreign Service of the State

Articles 21.1.e and 25.1.i of Act 5/2014, of 4 April 2014, on Private Security

Article 7.2 of Act 8/2014, of 22 April 2014, on coverage by the State of the risks of the internationalisation of the Spanish economy

Third additional provision of the Organic Act 1/2015, of 30 March, which amends Organic Act 10/1995, of 23 November, on the Criminal Code
Article 22.1 of the Act 3/2015, of 30 March, governing the exercise of the high office of the General state administration

Paragraph three of the first additional provision of Act 4/2015, of 27th April, on the status of victims of crimes

Subsection 7 of the third additional provision of Act 9/2015, of 25th May, on urgent measures on insolvency

Section 56 of Act 11/2015, of 18th June, on the recovery and resolution of credit institutions and investment firms

Section 5 of Act 16/2015 of 7 July, which regulates the status of Spain's national member of Eurojust, conflicts of jurisdiction, international judicial cooperation networks and staff under the Ministry of Justice in Foreign  Countries.

Section 27 of Act 17/2015 of 7 July on the National Civil Protection System.

Sections 4.3, 13.1 and 24.3 of Act 36/2015, of 28 September, on National Security.

Section 50.2.e of Act 40/2015, of 1 October, on the Legal Regime for the Public Sector.

Third additional provision of Act 43/2015, of 9 October, on the Third Sector for Social Action.

PART NINE. Relations of the Senate with other constitutional bodies*

* Drafted in accordance with the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate modifying section 49.2 and Part Nine, adopted by the Plenary Sitting of the Senate on June 14th, 2000.

CHAPTER ONE. Nomination, appointment and election proposals*

*(Of Judges of the Constitutional Court:
section 159 of the Spanish Constitution
sections 16 to 23 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court

Of Members of the General Council of the Judicial Power:
section 122 of the Spanish Constitution
sections 112 to 116 of the Organic Act 6/1985, of 1st July, on the Judicial Power
Rules of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the renewal of the General Council of the Judicial Power, of 11th July 2006

Of Defender of the People and his Deputies:
section 54 of the Spanish Constitution
sections 2 to 5 of the Organic Act 3/1981, of 6th April, on the Defender of the People
Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate adopting the Rules of Organization and Functioning of the Defender of the People, of 6th April 1983
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the organization and functioning of the Mixed Committee on the Defender of the People, of 21st April 1992

Of Members of the Auditing Court:
section 30 of the Organic Act 2/1982, on 12th May, on the Auditing Court
sections 2, 22 and25 of the Act 7/1988, of 5th April, on the functioning of the Auditing Court

Of Members of the Board of Directors of the Public Entity Radiotelevisión Española:
section 11 of the Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on State-owned Radio and Television
Resolution of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate on the exercise of the duties attributed to Parliament by Act 17/2006, of 5th June, on the State-owned radio and television corporation, of 12th November 2007

Of Members of the Observatory of military life:
section 55.1 of the Organic Act 9/2011, of 27 July, on the rights and duties of the members of the Armed Forces).

Section 184

1. Whenever the Senate, according to the Constitution or the laws, is called to propose the nomination, appointment or election of individuals to fill public positions in constitutional bodies and other State bodies, the Bureau of the House shall open the term valid for the tabling of candidatures.

2. Every Parliamentary Group may table in writing and as a maximum as many candidates as positions to be filled.

3. Candidatures shall undoubtedly accredit that candidates fulfill all requirements established by the Constitution and the laws to perform the position. Candidatures will be tabled with a list of professional merits and other circumstances showing, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Group, the suitability of the candidate to the position.

4. The Bureau may ask the opinion of the Committee on the candiadate's fulfilment of the requirements established by the Constitution and the laws to perform the position. After the consultation, the Bureau will decide on the admissibility of the candidature.In case of rejection, notice will be given to the relevant Parliamentary Group, that may propose a new candidate in the term given by the Bureau of the Senate.

5. Once the term for tabling candidatures is over, the Bureau of the House will address those admissible to the Nominations Committee.

6*. The proposal to appoint six members of the General Council of the Judicial Power among judges and magistrates of all judicial categories that the House is called to put forward, will be done according to the following rules:

a) The presentation of candidates, up to a maximum of thirty-six, will correspond to judges and magistrates, according to the rules established in the Organic Act on the Judicial Power.

b) Candidates tabled according to paragraph a), except those previously elected by the Congress, will be directly submitted to a vote in Plenary Sitting, once the Bureau of the House has checked their fulfilment of the constitutional and legal requirements. Appearances established in section 185 shall not apply to this proceeding.

c) The debates and votings will follow the rules established in section 186 of these Standing Orders, except what paragraph 1 provides for the report of the Nominations Committee.

*Drafted according the reform of section 184 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on June 27th, 2001.

7*. The Senate nomination of the four Judges of the Constitutional Court, whose appointment must be proposed to the King in accordance with section 159 of the Constitution, shall be carried out by the procedure for which provision is made under this Chapter with the following particulars:

a) The Speaker of the Senate shall inform the Presidents of the Self-governing Communities Legislative Assemblies as to the opening of the period for the presentation of the candidacies. Each Legislative Assembly may present up to two candidates within this period, that which is set forth under Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this section being applicable.

b) The Nominations Committee introduces a proposal to the Plenary Session including as many candidates as the number of vacancies to be filled, these candidates necessarily having appeared previously before the Commission. Were an insufficient number of candidacies to have been presented, the proposal introduced to the Plenary Session may include other candidates.

*Paragraph included by the sole section of the Standing Orders of the Senate reform in amendment of section 184, passed by the Senate Plenary Session on November 21st, 2007.

Section 185

1. The Nominations Committee, presided over by the Speaker of the Senate, is composed by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups. Every Spokesman may be replaced by a Senator of the same Parliamentary Group through a written communication addressed to the Presidency that must be tabled before the beginning of the relevant sitting.

2. The Nominations Committee adopts it agreements according to the principle of weighted vote. The standard system of publicity set in section 75 will be applied to its sittings.

3. Once the fulfilment of the requirements established by the Constitution and the laws to perform the position has been checked, the Nominations Committee on its own initiative or at the request of a Parliamentary Group, may decide the appearance of the candidates.

4. During the appearance, members of the Committee may ask the candidate clarification on any question related to his professional career or personal merits. The Presidency will keep watch over the rights of the appearing candidate and will reject questions that might improperly, damage or endanger the honour or the right to privacy of the candidate.

5. Proposals of candidates that, having been called, do not appear before the Committee, will not be submitted to the Plenary.

6. The Nominations Committee will draft a report on the suitability of the candidates to fill the vacant positions. The report will be submitted to the Plenary.

7. The Presidency of the Senate, regarding the Committee's deliberations and the time elapsed from the beginning of the proceeding, may propose to the Bureau of the House the opening of successive terms for tabling candidatures. New candidatures will follow the same procedure.

Section 186

1. Deliberation in the Plenary will start with the presentation of the report by a member of the Nominations Committee, for a time lasting no more than ten minutes, followed by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups that so may wish, for a time lasting no more than ten minutes.

2. The voting shall be carried out by ballot papers on which the Senator may include as many names as the number of positions to be filled. The Bureau shall count down the votes and proclaim as elected the candidates having obtained more votes according to the number of positions to be filled, provided that the votes cover the majority established by the Constitution and the laws.

3. If, in the first vote, not all positions are filled because it has not been reached the established majority, there will be a new vote where the number of candidates will be double to the number of positions to fill, as a maximum. In this vote, candidates will be those who, not reaching that majority, have obtained the largest number of votes in the previous one.

4. Given a tie relevant to the proposal, appointment or election, the voting shall be repeated among those having obtained the same number of votes, and, if needed, among the following ones, in order to fill all vacant positions.

5. In the cases foreseen in the two preceding paragraphs, every Senator will be allowed to cast as many votes as positions remain vacant.

CHAPTER TWO. Constitutional Court

Section 187

Appearance and lodging of allegations in connection with appeals on grounds of unconstitutionality and with previous proceedings aimed at ensuring the constitutionality of International Treaties which refer to cases affecting the Senate, shall be examined by the Legislative Committee considered competent on the matter concerned.
(See sections 31-34 and 78 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court).

Section 188

The proposal for the Plenary Sitting of the House to consider a conflict of powers with other constitutional bodies of the State shall be tabled in a duly-reasoned document by one Parliamentary Group or by twenty-five Senators.
(See sections 59, 73, 74 and 75 of the Organic Act 2/1979, of 3rd October, on the Constitutional Court).

CHAPTER THREE. Autonomous Communities

Section 189

1. If the Government, in the cases contemplated in section 155.1 of the Constitution, requires the Senate's approval for the adoption of the measures referred therein, it shall have to submit to the Speaker of the House a document indicating the contents and the scope of the proposed measures, as well as justify that the relevant petition to the President of the Autonomous Community has been made and further that the latter has failed to comply with the petition.

2. The Bureau of the Senate shall refer this document and the supporting documentation to the General Committee on Autonomous Communities, or else, shall create a joint Committee under the provisions established in section 58 of the present Standing Orders.

3. The Committee, without prejudice to the provisions of section 67, shall request, by the intermediary of the Speaker of the Senate, from the President of the Autonomous Community, the submission, within a term to be fixed, of all past records, data and allegations it may consider fit and, if deemed advisable, the appointment of the person who shall deputize to these effects.

4. The Committee shall table a reasoned proposal on whether it is advisable or not to grant the approval requested by the Government, with the conditions or the modifications which should be made, if necessary, in connection with the envisaged measures.

5. The Plenary Sitting of the House shall submit to debate the said proposal, with two turns pro and two turns against, of twenty minutes each, and speeches, lasting also twenty minutes, to be made by the Spokesmen of the Parliamentary Groups who wish to take the floor. Upon conclusion of the debate, a counting of the votes on the proposal in question shall be made, and the approval of the resolution shall only be granted if the result is a favourable vote by the absolute majority of the Senators.

PART TEN. Publicity of the business of the Senate

(See Agreement of the Bureaus of the Congress and the Senate adopting the Rules on Official Publications of the Cortes Generales, of 17th January 1991).

Section 190

The speeches and the resolutions adopted at the Plenary Sittings of the House, at the Permanent Deputation and at the Committees, when approving the final version of acts or holding informative sittings with members of the Government, shall be printed in the Journal of Sittings (Diario de Sesiones) where all the incidents taken place shall also be noted.

The Bureau of the Senate may, at the request of a Committee of Enquiry, decide on the shorthand recording of the witnesses' statements. The Committee may, if necessary, resolve upon the inclusion of these statements into the report due to be submitted to the House.

Section 191

1. In the form established by the Bureau of the Senate, all the notices of meetings, the additions and deletions from the lists of the Senators, the composition of the Parliamentary Groups to be formed, as well as their changes, the Government and the non-governmental bills, the amendments, the reports of the Reporting Bodies, the reports of the Committees and the dissenting opinions, the motions, the interpellations, the questions, the reasoned messages that must accompany the texts referred to the Congress with the amendments approved by the Senate, and any other texts whose publication may be compulsory under the provisions of the present Standing Orders, shall be published.

2*. If the proponent of an initiative presents the initiative in Castilian and also in any of the languages having the status of an official language in an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and the relevant Statute of Autonomy.
* Drafted in accordance with the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on July 21st, 2010.

PART ELEVEN. Petitions

Section 192

The petitions to be addressed by the Spaniards, in the exercise of their right of petition, to the Senate, shall abide by the procedure and other requisites set up by the law.
(See section 77 of the Spanish Constitution and first additional provision of the Organic Act 4/2001, of 12nd November, regulating the right of petition).

Section 193

1. The Committee on Petitions shall examine the petitions, whether individual or collective, put forward to the Senate and, after their consideration, it shall resolve:

1.º To refer them to the Committee deemed competent on account of the matter concerned.

2.º To refer them to the Parliamentary Groups so that, if they see fit, they may sponsor some parliamentary initiative.

3.º To refer them, by the intermediary of the Speaker of the Senate, to the Congress, the Government, the Courts of Justice, the Prosecutors, the Autonomous Community, the Deputation, the Insular Council, the Municipality or to other relevant authority. If the body to which the petition is referred pronounces itself competent on the matter, it shall, unless a legal provision rules to the contrary, immediately advice on the measures having been adopted or to be adopted concerning the question raised.
(See section 49.2.3º of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

4.º To file them without any further action.

2. The Committee or, in its default, any Parliamentary Group may also table to the Plenary Sitting of the Senate a motion assuming the contents of one of these petitions.
(See Rule of Interpretation of the Presidency of the Senate with regard to section 193 of the Standing Orders, of 10th October 1984).

Section 194

Whenever the petitions are admitted for debate, the relevant reports of the Committee shall be entered in one of the official publications of the House.

In any case, the Committee shall acknowledge receipt of the petition and communicate to the petitioner the resolution adopted.

Section 195

In each ordinary period of sessions, the Committee on Petitions shall inform the Senate on the number of petitions received, the decisions adopted with respect to them, and, if necessary, on the resolutions taken by the authorities to which they may have been referred. The text of the report shall be entered in one of the official publications of the House and examined at a Plenary Sitting.

PART TWELVE. Reform of the Standing Orders

Section 196

1. As regards the submittal of proposals for the reform of the Standing Orders the provisions contained therein concerning non-governmental bills shall be complied with.
(See section 72.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

2. Once these proposals have been admitted for debate by the Plenary Sitting of the House, they shall be referred to the Committee on Standing Orders for their study and subsequent report.

3. The Plenary Sitting shall deliberate and express itself on the said report and on the dissenting opinions in the same manner as in the ordinary legislative procedure. There shall be a final voting on the whole report that requires a favourable vote of the absolute majority of the Senators for its approval.

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

First

Upon dissolution of the Senate or expiration of its mandate, all the matters pending consideration and decision by the House shall be cancelled except those that, for constitutional reasons, must be referred to the Permanent Deputation.

(See:
Section 69.6 of the Spanish Constitution
Section 14 of the Organic Act 3/1984, of 26th March, regulating the popular legislative initiative
Section 172.2 of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

Second

With regard to all matters concerning the Parliament or requiring the holding of joint meetings or the setting up of mixed bodies of the Congress and the Senate, the procedure to be followed shall be as laid down by the Standing Orders of the Parliament referred to in section 72 of the Constitution, without prejudice to the application of this Standing Orders in all matters not contemplated in those rules or in those matters where a separate examination or voting by the Senate is required.
(See section 5 and third additional provision of the Standing Orders of the Congress).

Third

The rights, duties, situations, functions and competences of the civil servants employed by the Senate shall be such as laid down in the Personnel Statute of the Parliament.
(See section 72.1 of the Spanish Constitution).

Fourth

The citizens and the institutions may address the Senate in writing in any of the Spanish languages which, together with the Castilian, rank as official in its Autonomous Community. In this circumstance, the House shall render the translation of the text so that it may be properly examined.

Fifth*

The Senate, as a territorial chamber, supports the normal oral and written use of any of the languages having the status of an official language in an Autonomous Community in the following activities of the Chamber:

In the initial address by the President of the Senate before the Plenary Sitting of the Chamber.

When Senators speak at meetings of the General Committee on the General Autonomous Communities.

When Senators speak in Plenary Sittings for the debate of motions.

In the publication of initiatives whenever these are submitted, in addition to in Spanish, in any other of the aforementioned official languages.

In the submission of documents by Senators through the Registry of the Chamber.

In the documents which citizens and institutions address to the Senate.
* included in the reform of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adopted by the Plenary Sitting on July 21st, 2010.

Sixth*

1. The budgetary allocations of the Senate shall be delivered quarterly, in advance and on a final basis, and in its name, by the Treasury.
2. The surplus resulting from the liquidation of the Senate Budget shall constitute own financial resources of the House, application of which, for the purpose of meeting the needs of the latter, shall correspond to its Bureau.

*Provision introduced by Section 1 of the Standing Orders of the Senate, approved at the Plenary Sitting of the Senate on 5 June 2014

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

First

The parliamentary businesses that may be in progress at the moment of the entry into force of the current Standing Orders shall, in as much as possible, adapt their procedure to their regulations.

Second

The Bureau, once the Board of Spokesmen has been heard, shall create a task force charged with the preparation of a report on the setting up of a pension and benefit scheme in favour of the Senators within six months following the date of the entry into force of the present Standing Orders.

FINAL PROVISION

This restated text shall come into force on the day next to its publication in the Official Parliamentary Bulletin of the Senate (Boletín Oficial de las Cortes Generales, Senado), whereupon the Standing Orders of 26th May 1982 and their amendments of 11th November 1992, of 6th October 1993 and of 11th January 1994 shall be derogated, while the Rules of interpretation and the supplementary Rules laid down for their development shall remain in force provided they do not stand in opposition to this restated text.

Palace of the Senate, 3rd May 1994.- The Speaker of the Senate, Juan José Laborda Martín.- The First Secretary of the Senate, Manuel Ángel Aguilar Belda.