History of Spanish law. – The history of Spanish law opens with the publication of Recesvindo ‘s Liber iudiciorum (654). Starting from this date, it can be divided into five clearly distinct periods: 1. Visigothic period, up to the Muslim conquest (654-711), characterized by the predominance of the Roman-canonical element over the Germanic; 2. period of the ” fueros “, which arrives at the end of the first half of the century. XIII, and stands out for the reaction of the Germanic element and for the prevalence of local rights (fueros, statutes) over common law (Liber iudiciorum) and territorial law; 3. period of reception common and canonical Roman law (bodies of law) which struggle with the predominantly Germanic law of the fueros, especially local ones (XIII-XIV centuries); 4. period of territorial rights and their compilation, which is distinguished from the previous one by the preponderance of the territorial rights of the different regions over local rights and by the achieved harmony of the indigenous, Roman and canonical elements, which contributes to defining the earlier law definitively to the codes (16th-18th centuries); 5. constitutional period or codifications, which brings juridical unity in all fields of law, except civil law, and in this constitutes the common Spanish law, which, while recognizing the juridical autonomy of regions with particular law, tends to limit it (19th, 20th centuries).
Visigothic period (654-711). – From the beginning of the Visigothic conquest (408) until it became stable and complete with the destruction of the Swabian monarchy (584) at the time of Leovigildo (568-586), the two Hispano-Roman and Visigothic races lived in the peninsula each under its own laws. The Lex Romana (Breviarium) had been codified by Alaric II (506) in the Frankish period and formed the law of the Romans in their internal relations. The Visigoths had had the first code from Euricus (469-475) then revised and increased (Codex revisus) by Leovigildo (around 572). This code was the law of the Visigoths, but also the common law in public matters and in relations with the Romans.
According to sunglassestracker.com, the abolition of the prohibition of marriages between the two races, the conversion of the Visigoths to Catholicism (589) and other circumstances favored national union. This union not only manifested itself, but was also largely accomplished, through the approach and gradual fusion of the two rights, Hispano-Roman and Visigothic. Approach, first. In fact, Visigothic law, in its first two receptions of Eurychus and Leovigild, had felt the Roman influence intensely. Almost half of the chapters of Eurico (21 out of 45) and a third part (65 out of 200) of the chapters added by Leovigildo contain Roman doctrines (see Larraona-Tabera, El Derecho ustinianeo en España, in Acts of the Congress of dir. rom., II, BolognaPavia 1935, pp. 20-21, 100-101). It also seems possible that under the influence of Visigothic law the lived law of the Hispanic-Romans deviated quite a bit from the written law of the Breviary. Gradual merger later. In fact, the new laws given by the Visigoth monarchs, from Leovigild onwards to Recesvindo, preserved in the Lex Visigotorum and which add up to a hundred, as well as the ecclesiastical and civil legislation of the concilîcortes of Toledo, were common, like the courts. Index secure the progress of this interesting fusion are the notes Visigothic formulas (end sec. VI and VII of the ingredient) that fully capture the phenomenon (see. Zeumer, Formulas Merovingian et Karolingici Aevi, in Mon. Germ. Hist., 1886). The Liber iudiciorumis the completed, recast and Romanized Visigothic collection, in form (in imitation of the Justinian code), and also in matter. In 170 of the 526 chapters that compose it, there are citations, sometimes textual, other times, if not textual, sure of Roman law. This collection is invaluable for the reconstruction of Visigothic law. It is known that the constitutions subsequent to Leovigild bear the name of the legislator from which they come and the previous ones, either Leovigildian or Eurycian, are indicated with the initials Antiqua. The collection had a profound influence on all Germanic law; undoubtedly it is the most perfect and extensive of his leges. The Liber iudiciorum di Recesvindo can be considered as the birth certificate of Spanish law. It canceled the Breviarium entirely, of which, with the exception of the León palimpsest and some rare Ripoll codex, there is no handwritten trace in Spain. The regions bordering France probably got it back after the Arab invasion. This first truly Spanish collection, like the others, civil and canonical later, was continued and completed uninterruptedly, before the Arab conquest (Ervigio 680-681; Egica 694-698) and even after. Until the modern age, it was the ideal basis of national law. However, it should be noted that the law contained therein was perhaps better accepted by the Hispano-Romans than by the Visigoths. It seems that this right was too high and Romanized for the Visigoths, in very lively conflict with Germanic customs (cf. T. Melicher, Der Kampf zwischen Gesetzes – und Gewohnheitsrecht im Westgotenreiche, Weimar 1930).