Notaries are considered a free profession but also fulfill a state function. They may not choose their clients in relation to their public function. Article 1 of the law of 1862 as amended states:-
"The notary is the public official who is authorised to certify, according to the law, contracts and other extrajudicial acts. There will only be one class of these officials in the whole Kingdom."
The Notarial regulations define the scope of the functions of the notary and are so clear that Article 1 is hereafter set out in full. According to the regulations of the organisation and rules of the body of notaries in Article 1:
"The Body of Notaries is constituted by all of the Notaries of Spain, with identical duties and rights and obligations that are determined by the laws and regulations.
The notaries are both professional men of Law and public officials, and the organisation of the Body of Notaries corresponds to this dual function.
As professionals of the Law they have the mission of giving legal counsel to those people who require their services and of advising them of the juridical means most appropriate for the attainment of the lawful objectives that the former wish to achieve.
As public officials they make public notarial attestation, which has and protects a double content:
a) In the sphere of facts, the preciseness of which the Notary sees, hears and perceives with his senses.
b) In the sphere of the Law, the authenticity and evidential force of statements of volition of the parties in the public deed drawn up according to the laws.
The Body of Notaries will enjoy full autonomy and independence in its operation, and in its hierarchical organisation it will depend directly on the Ministry of Justice and the Executive Direction of Registers and the Body of Notaries.
Without prejudice of this dependence, the regulations of the Body of Notaries will be considered decentralised, by means of Colleges of Notaries, governed by Boards of Directors with jurisdiction over the Notaries of their respective territory.
Each Notarial College will comprise the provinces assigned to the same, and will be
divided into Districts, whose extent and boundaries will be determined by the National
Last updated - 12th October 1999