Until recently, Andorra's political system had no clear division between the legislative, executive and judicial systems. Andorran Constitution, ratified in 1993, establishes the Andorran government as a parliamentary democracy and formal the French and Spanish co-princes are heads of state. However, the head of Government holds the executive power. The two princes share the limited power that does not include the right to veto government legislation. They are represented in Andorra by each delegate.
The main judicial bodies in Andorra are:
The High Council of Justice is the body of representation, government and administration of the judicial organization in Andorra, which ensures the independence and functioning of justice. The High Council of Justice appoints the Magistrates and Court Clerks and Magistrates exercise disciplinary functions. Since 1st of July 2004 this authority also names the officials and agents of the Administration of Justice.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in Andorra. The Supreme Court is competent to judge all appeals against the judgments adopted in the first instance by the Bailiwick of Andorra in civil and administrative cases, in the limits set by law, and in criminal matters by the Criminal Court.
The Supreme Court is divided into three rooms: civil penalties, criminal cases and administrative and social security.
The Supreme Court consists of a President and eight judges. Each of the rooms in the session consists of three magistrates. The President of the Court is also the President of one of the three rooms.
The Criminal Court is competent to judge in the first instance the major crimes as well as to carry out the execution of its judgments and other decisions.
Exercised by the President, the duties of the Criminal Court are to maintain the function of jurisdiction of penitentiary vigilance and the application of penalties.
The Criminal Court solves the appeals filled against the decisions issued by the Magistrates.
Currently, the Criminal Court consists of a President, a Vice-Chairman, a Deputy Judge and two magistrates.
The Public Prosecutor's Office has the main purpose of ensuring the protection and implementation of the legal order, as well as the independence of the courts, and to promote the application of law in order to safeguard the rights of citizens and to defend the general interest, by acting in accordance to the principles of equality, unity and internal hierarchy.
The Magistracy (Batllia), structured in civil, penal, administrative and a special instruction field, is the judicial body with jurisdiction of first instance and instruction in all the jurisdictional cases.
The Magistracy has competence to judge criminal affairs of major offences.
In civil cases, claims that don’t exceed 12,000 euro are judged by a single Magistrate and in claim exceeding 12,000 euro the case is examined in a Magistrates’ Court.
A single Magistrate hears the cases of administrative matters and affairs related to contentious matters of Social Security. Any other case in this jurisdiction is solved by a collegiate court.