Valencian Courts


July 6, 2022

Les Corts or Corts Valencianes (officially with both denominations) is the legislative body of the Generalitat Valenciana and, therefore, of the Valencian Country. They are based in the Palau de Benicarló (or Palau dels Borja), in the city of Valencia, but they can meet anywhere in Valencia.


After the conquest and during the reign of James I, the economic and military needs of the Crown motivated some meetings of the king with representatives of the three estates: the nobility, the clergy and the urban groups of the royal towns (controlled by the bourgeoisie ), in order to obtain military or economic benefits. The economic needs motivated these meetings, and at the beginning of the fourteenth century we can already speak of a stable and definitive constitution of the Cortes of the Kingdom of Valencia. However, of those of the reign of James I, the most important of these meetings was that of 1261 in Valencia, in which the king swore and promulgated the Fueros. As a sign of the economic importance for the crown of the Cortes, the king swore the fueros in exchange for 48,000 sous, which the city of Valencia, the places and towns of the orchard of Valencia that belonged to clergymen made him and nobles, and the towns of Castellón de la Plana, Vilafamés, Onda, Llíria, Corbera, Cullera and Gandia. In these Cortes, King James I imposed on his successors the obligation to hold a General Court in Valencia at the beginning of each reign, within a month of having arrived in the city. This rule was repeated in other courts in 1271, also held by James I, and later by his son, Peter the Great, who limited the convening of the courts in the first month of each reign. These were the only mandatory meetings, but the king convened the Cortes on other occasions, when he needed to. In 1302, James the Just established that it should be held every three years. Later, Pere el Cerimoniós, in the Cortes de València in 1336, confirmed this triennial celebration, stating that it was to be held for All Saints' Day (November 1). It was during the thirteenth century and the beginning of the fourteenth when the other towns and places of the Kingdom of Valencia were added, until the courts of 1329, where a complete territorial representation was achieved, being already the courts of all the kingdom. From that moment on, the most important cities and towns did not always meet, but one or the other met according to the topics covered. However, the representation was generally large. For example, in the Courts of Valencia, in 1510: Ademús, Alicante, Alcoy, Alpont, Alzira, Biar, Bocairent, Burriana, Cabdet, Castellón de la Plana, Castielfabib, Cullera, Llíria, Morella, Ontinyent, Orihuela, Penaguila, Peñíscola, Valencia, Vila Joiosa, Vila-real, Xàtiva, Xérica and Jijona. The Corts of Valencia in 1418 created the Generalitat, with a term of office of three years. It is in the middle of the 15th century when the Valencian institutions are fully consolidated. With the unification of the crowns of Castile and Aragon, the Cortes of the kingdom of Valencia gradually lost power and were convened less frequently during the sixteenth century. The decline became apparent in the seventeenth century and, in fact, the last meeting of the Valencian Parliament was held in Valencia in 1645. Finally, after the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1707, with the Decrees of Nova Planta, the Valencian rights (the fueros) and, with them, the kingdom are abolished. The Cortes were no longer convened or held until their new implementation by the Statute of Autonomy of 1982. Since the entry into force of the Statute of Autonomy, the Cortes have a modern operation as a representative legislative chamber. with universal suffrage. The chamber has met several times outside the city of Valencia, a fact that has been promoted in recent legislatures. In 2017 they reduced to 65,000 euros the cost of death insurance for d