31th ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
Portugal ~ Duoro River Cruise ~ Spain
~ extension to Barcelona
Academy President Thomas I. McKnew, Jr. (Jan)
Judge Raymond Choate (Jeanette)
Judge Richard Frazee (Elaine)
Judge William B. Keene (Pat)
Judge Malcolm Mackey
Judge Philip K. Mautino (Barbara)
Judge Thomas R. Murphy (Patricia)
Judge Tully Seymour (Jan)
Judge Robert Soares (Punky)
Executive Secretary Diane Bowen
Mr. Aldo Fattarelli (Sheila)
Mrs. Jean Godfrey (Judge Otis H. Godfrey, deceased)
SATURDAY: The group arrived in Lisboa and transferred to the Palacio
de Sottomayor. In the evening the Welcome Dinner was held. Dr. Luís António Noronha do
Nascimento, Justice of the Lisboa Supreme Court and an Honorary Fellow in the Academy since
1995, and his wife, Clara, attended the dinner.
SUNDAY: The group took a city sightseeing tour of Lisboa and visited the
Lisboa Sé [Cathedral]. The group continued to Sintra, the summer resort of Portugese Royalty, and
toured the National Palace, which passed into the possession of the Crown in the 12th Century. The
group also visited the Cabo Roca Lighthouse, located at the western-most point in Europe.
MONDAY: In the morning Academy members visited the Supremo
Tribunal de Justiça and were met by Honorary Fellow Dr. Luís António Noronha do Nascimento
and members of the Supreme Court, including:
Vice-President Jooee Moura Nunes da Cruz
Vice-President Jooee António Mesquita
Justice Jooee Carlos Moitin ho de Almeida
Justice António da Costa Neves Ribeiro
Justice Manuel Pinto Ferreira Mesquita
Justice Eduardo de Melo Lucas Doelho
Portugal is presently governed under the Constitution of 1976 providing for a democratic
parliamentary system with political parties, elections, a parliament and a prime minister. In 1982
amendments were made, including creation of a Constitutional Court to review the constitutionality
of legislation. Ten of its 13 judges were chosen by the Assembly of the Republic. The amendments
reduced the president’s power by restricting presidential ability to dismiss the government, dissolve
parliament, or veto legislation. The Constitution was further amended in 1989 to remove many
economic restrictions which were nationalized in the mid-1970s, and in 1994, the electoral system
was amended.1 The judicial system is based on Roman civil law influenced by the French model.
The Supreme Court of Justice is designated as the “highest court of law.” There are presently
60 Supreme Court justices (Conselheiros). The Court is “constituted” of four Civil Chambers, two
Criminal Chambers, one Labour Chamber and one Disputed Claims Chamber. The President of
the Supreme Court assigns judges to each Chamber and may also give permission for justices to
change Chambers or to exchange places between themselves. The Supreme Court functions as a
trial court in criminal cases involving a penalty of five years or more, and civil cases “above a
When a case is referred to the Supreme Court of Justice, the judge to whom it is assigned,
the “rapporteur,” evaluates the evidence to decide if the Court will “review” it. The trial of the
“appeal of review” is usually performed by three judges, one of them having the task of
“rapporteur.” More judges may be summoned in certain cases, and the President of the Court may
also determine that the trial of the appeal be heard by the entire Chamber. The “rapporteur” judge
introduces “verbal procedure and makes a summary introduction on the object of the appeal, during
which he sets out questions the Court deems as needing examination.” Once deliberations are
concluded, the rapporteur draws up a judgment which is signed by all the judges.
There are also courts of “second instance” which function as courts of appeal (Tribunal de
Relação). The juízes-desembargadores (judges of appeal), examine the decisions by the courts of
“first instance,” both as to the application of the law and the determination of the facts. The court
of appeal can operate en banc or in a chamber division. The courts of first instance are municipal
and district courts, which hear criminal and civil cases of “lesser importance.”
The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic establishes the general principle that “access
to Law and courts is ensured so that everyone may defend their legally protected rights and interests,
and that justice cannot be denied on the basis of insufficient economic means.” Therefore, the
ordinary law establishes a system of appeals against judicial decisions, divided into two main
categories: appeals in ordinary, and exceptional review procedures. “Appeals in ordinary” allow
a higher court to review decisions issued by the court immediately under it. An appeal from a first
instance court must be reviewed within 10 days, within 20 days for an appeal in labour proceedings,
or within 15 days in the case of criminal proceedings. The time is counted “from the date of official
acknowledgement” by the interested party. “Exceptional review” appeals may be filed on the
grounds of “formal or substantive law defects, factual defects or questions of a procedural nature.”
In certain cases a decision of the Court of Appeal may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
There is no cassation appeal (a voiding judgment), which nullifies the decisions of lower
courts or “re-sends” the case to the court of origin or to another court to be retried. Since 1926, the
Portuguese system of appealing has adopted a replacement model, which “replaces the lower court,
and decides the case according to its own interpretation of the applicable law.” There are occasional
cassation cases in some civil proceedings, and certain types of civil and labour matters are handled
as revisão (revision) and opposição de terceiro (opposition against a judgment).
In criminal cases there is also another “exceptional review” which may be filed against
judgments which ended a case based on the falsity of evidence or a crime committed by a judge or
member of the jury.
Most of the judges of the Supreme Court are appointed from the lower courts after 30 years
or more of experience. There is one woman on the Supreme Court at the present time, however,
enrollment in law schools in Portugal is now about 50% women. Mandatory retirement is at age 70.
Nominations to the Supreme Court are made by parliament and the President of the Court.
After the meeting, the Academy members voted to offer Honorary Membership to Vice-
President Jooee Moura Nunes da Cruz and Vice-President Jooee António Mesquita.
The group departed Lisboa for Porto, Portugal’s second largest town, with sightseeing in the
cities of Tomar, Coimbra and Aveiro. The group embarked upon the French river ship the Magellan,
and after a welcome dinner, some members enjoyed a night tour of “Oporto,” including the train
station where they admired its famous Azulejos (Portugese tiles).
TUESDAY: In the morning there was a city tour of Oporto, one of the most
ancient towns in Europe, including a tour of the Sé (cathedral), and the historical stock exchange
building, after which the group was taken to visit and sample port wine at one of the “greatest port
cellars” in the region, the Villa Nova de Gaia wine cellar. The group enjoyed the afternoon
watching the scenery as the Magellan sailed on the Duoro River to Regua. The ship passed through
the locks of Crestuma and Carapatello, one of the highest in Europe at 35 meters. In the evening
the group enjoyed a walk into town and a fado show aboard ship.
WEDNESDAY: In the morning the group toured Pinhao, including a
guided tour of Lamego, where the group viewed the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios (Our Lady of
Cures) sanctuary, a baroque shrine which sits at the top of the town. The approach to the shrine is
an elaborate stairway of 700 steps, which the devoted pilgrims climb on their knees during the yearly
Great Pilgrimage. Some Academy members walked down the 700 steps, passing devotional chapels,
statutes and fountains, and blue and white Azulejos along the way. The group enjoyed free time in
town to visit the medieval castle, the Church of Almacave and the Lamego Sé (cathedral). In the
afternoon the Magellan sailed back to Pinhao where it docked overnight by the “Metallic Bridge,”
a 19th Century bridge designed by Eifel. This bridge is a main landmark for the town.
THURSDAY: In the morning the Magellan cruised through the high hills
in the port wine area with terraced vineyards climbing the hills sometimes to a height of 2,300 feet.
The ship passed through the lock of Pocinho and arrived at the town of Ferradosa. In the afternoon,
the group toured the region by bus, arriving at a vineyard where the group enjoyed a wine tasting
in the quinta, and watched the grape harvest being crushed in the old manner, by workers stepping
on the grapes. Along the way the group visited Vega de Terron, a mountain shrine.
FRIDAY: The group enjoyed an excursion to the 14th century Sé in Villa
Real, and a tour of the Solar de Mateus Palace and grounds. In the evening there was a Farewell
dinner and fado.
SATURDAY: The group disembarked and was met by the tour guide, Iris
Vasquez, for departure to Salamanca, Spain, and a city tour, including Plaza Majors, one of the most
famous Plazas in Spain.
SUNDAY: The group left for a full day’s sightseeing to Ávila, an ancient
walled city of “mysticism and history, art and heroic chivalry,” and enjoyed a Spanish luncheon at
El Fogon de Santa Teresa. The group returned to Salamanca for a free evening.
Annual Business Meeting
The Annual Business Meeting was convened at 6:00 p.m. at the Hotel Catalonia in
Salamanca, Spain, with all members in attendance. President Tom McKnew called the meeting to
order and stated he hoped everyone was having a good time. He complimented Tom Kuhn and
Diane Bowen, IATJ Executive Secretary, on the tremendous job with the trip arrangements, and
Tully Seymour for helping set up the contacts at the American Embassy in Spain.
Upon motion by Judge Seymour, second by Judge Mautino, the minutes of the 2003 New
Zealand meeting which took place from October 26 to November 9, 2003, were unanimously
approved as written.
The Treasurer’s Report submitted by Judge Keene reflected a beginning balance of
$2,013.82; income from dues, initiation fees, scholarship donations and a $4,600 bankruptcy
settlement from the 2001 trip, totaling $12,838.82; expenses of $9,216.92, leaving a balance on hand
as of 9/14/04 of $3,621.90. Motion to approve the 2004 Treasurer’s Report by Judge Soares, second
by Judge Mackey, unanimously approved.
The Delinquent Dues Report reflected one member who had not paid 2003 and 2004 dues.
It was the consensus of the judges that that member will be contacted and shall have 60 days from
the time he is contacted to pay his dues. If he does not pay the dues within that time, he will be
dropped from the membership roll. There were four judges who did not pay 2004 dues. They will
be contacted during 2005 dues collection and advised of their delinquency for 2004. Notices of dues
collection were sent three times during the year, with the last notice asking for a response and
advising that their membership could be terminated for nonpayment of dues. The pending
nominations were discussed and members will contact some of the nominees to encourage them to
join. There was discussion regarding the present nomination fee of $200, and replacing the
membership plaques, which are now costing $150 each, with certificates which may be framed.
Motion by Judge Seymour to eliminate membership plaques and replace them with a certificate and
drop the initiation fee to $50 plus the first year’s dues, for a total initiation fee $100; second by
Judge Soares, passed.
The Nominating Committee, chaired by Judge Keene and including all past presidents of the
Academy in attendance at the meeting, met and unanimously voted to propose the following slate
of officers for 2005. As the Academy letterhead depicts four judges, so are there four elected
officers of the Academy each year. The proposed slate will be Tom Murphy as President, Tully
Seymour as President-elect, and Dick Frazee as Chancellor. Judge Keene will remain Secretary-
Treasurer at the convenience of the Academy. Nominations moved closed by Judge Soares,
seconded by Judge McKnew, unanimously approved.
Judge McKnew noted Vice-President Jooee Moura Nunes da Cruz and Vice-President Jooee
António Mesquita of the Lisboa Supremo Tribunal de Justiça had been elected as Honorary
Members of the Academy. The Academy would also like to elect one of the judges from Madrid,
and will keep this in mind during the Madrid meetings. Judge McKnew gave a brief overview of
the meetings planned in Salamanca, Burgos and Madrid, and emphasized the importance of the aid
given by the American Embassy in Madrid in referring the Academy to contacts in Spain. The
President, Judge McKnew, was authorized to make a scholarship donation to Salamanca University
School of Law, not to exceed $1,000. Motion by Judge Mautino, second by Judge Frazee, passed
Judge Murphy discussed his plans for the 2005 meeting, including the Galapagos Islands,
Brazil, Argentina, and the Amazon. South America is a good buy right now, and the group seemed
very interested in Rio, Iguassu Falls, and Amazon cruise or Amazon lodge, and possibly Buenos
Aires as an extension. Members will be notified by letter as soon as possible of the location,
approximate cost, and dates selected. [A letter was sent to the entire membership announcing the
2005 trip on December 6, 2004.]
At 8:00 p.m. the meeting was adjourned. The evening was free and most members enjoyed
strolling around the Plaza Majors, and some had “tapas” for dinner in the bars and taverns.
MONDAY: In the morning the group visited the Salamanca University
School of Law, which is located outside of the city center. The group was met by Richard A.
Figueroa, the First Secretary for Public Affairs at the United States Embassy in Madrid, and his
assistant, Macarena Moreno, who had helped arrange the meetings in Spain. The group was
introduced to Vicedecana of the Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Salamanca (Vice-dean)
Inmaculada Sánchez Barrios. Eight years ago the faculty of law moved to this new location from
the old University in town.
There are presently 2,500 students attending the law school. Each fall the opening of the
Universidad is celebrated at the Old University, which was occurring on this date. The IATJ group
was invited to observe the ceremonies after the law school visit with Vicedecana Sánchez Barrios.
Presently, students enter law school directly from high school. Prior to entry, there is an
entrance exam similar to a SAT, and then two years of undergraduate work has to be completed
before the student takes another examination to advance to law school classes. About 80% of the
students pay tuition of about 600€ per academic year, the other students are on scholarships. The
law school has 300 professors, 150 of which are full-time and tenured, the rest are “part time
attorneys who teach.” The judges were given a tour of the school, including the conference where
doctoral candidates “defend their thesis” after five to six years of study. If a candidate is successful,
they become a Doctor of Laws, which is the equivalent of a J.D. degree. The European Union (EU)
is trying to develop core requirements for all legal studies in Europe, which would allow for a
degree within three years. This has a 2010 target date.
IATJ President McKnew presented Vicedecana Sánchez Barrios with a check for $1,000 as
a donation to the School of Law, and a Academy logo wine coaster. The Vicedecana indicated the
donation would be used to purchase more audio-visual and power point equipment, and thanked the
The Vicedecana presented each judge with a copy of her published thesis, Las Atribuciones
del Consejo General del Poder Judicial, and a copy of Guía Académica Facultad de Derecho 2004-
2005, which listed law school curriculum and curricula vitae on all the professors, and Universidad
posters and bookmarks.
The group then went back to the Old City where they were allowed to enter the old
Salamanca University founded in 1218. The Vicedecana gave members a tour of the historic
building. Former visitors and students of Salamanca University included Ælio Antonio de Nebrija,
author of the first grammar of a “Vulgar” language printed in Salamanca in 1492, Christopher
Columbus, who discussed his “proposals with the city’s erudite,” and many more who were famous
for their “discoveries.” The judges observed the procession of professors, whose colored scarfs
denoted which area of study they represented. The judges were also shown the historical room
where opening ceremonies were held. Later, the group was invited to attend the reception for this
The group departed Salamanca for Valladolid, a city founded in the 11th century and once the
center of the Castilian Crown. Today Valladolid is the capital of the Castile and León provinces.
Dinner was held at El Yugo de Castilla wine cellar, where members enjoyed a typical Castilian
dinner and were each presented a bottle of wine from the cellar.
TUESDAY: In the morning the group visited the National Sculpture
Museum in Valladolid before departing for Burgos. The building itself is an example of Spanish
Renaissance architecture, and houses a collection of intricately carved and painted religious
sculptures. The group stopped in the town of Peñafiel and toured the Wine Cellar Castle Museum.
The Castle is perched on a cliff above the city. It was built in the 11th century and rebuilt several
times over the centuries. It has double defensive walls with views of the Castilla y León Region and
the Duoro River. After the tour the group enjoyed tasting the wine of this region. After lunch in
the valley, the group continued to the Torremilanos wine cellar in Aranda de Duero, a privately
owned estate which has been turned into a hotel. The owner took the group into the vineyards and
discussed the growing of grapes. The group also enjoyed a tour of the wine cellar where wine
barrels were being built, and sampled recent vintage from Torremilanos.
The group arrived in Burgos in the evening and were met at their hotel by Judge José Luis
de Pedro Mimbrero, the Presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Burgos, who spent some
time speaking to the judges through an interpreter. Judge Membrero attended law school in
Valladolid. He has been a judge for 42 years in the province and has seen many changes in the
region and the law over the years.
WEDNESDAY: In the morning the group enjoyed a city tour of Burgos
and a visit to the Gothic Cathedral, a building of exceptional beauty and one of the largest cathedrals
in Spain. The tomb of “El Cid” is in this cathedral. The group then continued to Madrid, and took
a private tour of the Prado Museum. The Prado is renowned for being the largest art gallery in the
world. It exhibits sculptures, drawings, coins and other works of arts. It owns a large collection of
more than 8,600 paintings, of which only 2,000 are exhibited at one time because of lack of space.
THURSDAY: Members enjoyed a full day of sightseeing to Toledo, the
capital of the province. Toledo is divided by the River Tagus, and is one of the richest cities in
Spain, historically and culturally. Upon returning to Madrid, members toured the Spanish Royal
Palace. In the evening dinner was at the Restaurant Rio Frio.
FRIDAY: The group visited the Consejo General del Poder Judicial, the
administrative body of the Supreme Court of Spain. Mr. Figueroa and members of the Madrid
American Embassy staff also attended the meeting. The group was met by Llmo. Sr. D. Francisco
de Paula Puig Blanes who spoke to the Academy members regarding the Spanish Judicial System
and the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ).
The GCPJ is a constitutional body organized to guarantee the independence of the Judiciary.
The current judicial system was established in 1985 under the Organic Law (Ley del Poder Judicial)
which ensures the independence of the judiciary.
The CGPJ is composed of 20 members which include the president, 12 judges and
magistrates, 6 each elected by the Congress and the Senate of Spain, and 8 “prestigious jurists,” 4
each elected by the Congress and the Senate. The structure of the CGJP consists of legal
committees (standing, disciplinary, classification) and regulatory committees (budget, international
relations, studies and reports) and information technologies (judicial school). The CGPJ is involved
in selection, training and promotion of Supreme Court justices and Constitutional Court judges.
It also prepares reports on laws related to judicial activity and publishes case-law collections of the
The Spanish Civil Court System consists of the Supreme Court located in Madrid, which
handles Cassation and Revision from lower courts, and First Instance cases against High State
Authorities. Superior Courts of Justice of the Autonomous Communities, located in Regional
capital cities, handle cassation and revision on regional civil law, procedural review on “future”
procedures and First instance cases against “High Regional Authorities.” Provincial Courts, located
in Provincial capitals and some major towns, handle the same matters as Superior Courts, in addition
to appeals from the First Instance Courts in their province. The First Instance Courts handle civil
cases, voluntary jurisdiction, Peace Courts appeals, enforcement of foreign judgments and include
a civil registry. There are Commercial Courts in all Provincial Capitals which handle trademarks
(alicante), insolvencies, industrial and intellectual property, unfair competition, publicity, transport,
Maritime Law and contracts. Peace Courts, which are located in municipalities, handle claims
below 90€ and civil registries.
The Spanish Penal Court system consists of the Supreme Court in Madrid which handles
cassation and revision, and investigation and decision on cases against State Authorities. The
Superior Courts of Justice of the Autonomous Communities located in Regional capitals which
handle investigation and decision on cases against magistrates, judges and regional authorities. The
National Criminal Court in Madrid which handles appeals against decisions of Central Investigation
Courts and Central Penal Courts, and decisions on “big specific crimes” such as terrorism and “big
economic crimes.” The Central Penal Courts and Central Investigation Courts, all located in Madrid,
handle investigation and decision on “big” crimes. The Provincial Courts in Provincial capitals
handle appeals against decisions of Investigation Courts and Penal Courts. There are also Penal
Courts located in Provincial capitals and major towns, Investigation Courts in judicial areas and
Peace Courts in municipalities, each handling lesser crimes. There are minor (juvenile) courts in
all Provincial Capitals, and Penitentiary Surveillance Courts which handle matters pertaining to
The Spanish criminal process provides that an examining judge will be in charge of
investigating criminal offenses, the prosecutor being in charge of the accusatory functions only. The
process begins when police know that an offense has been committed based on preliminary
evidence. The police then must report to an examining judge who will direct the police’s
investigation of the case. The prosecutor can also request the police to make specific investigations
on a case. Once the case is received by the examining judge, before any action, the case is passed
to the prosecutor for an opinion. The prosecutor must file a report supporting or opposing the
criminal complaint. The system allows for private individuals, either victims of the offense of
anyone who can present evidence of having interest in the investigation, to bring and support
criminal charges against defendants. Thus, private individuals are given the status by law of private
prosecutors and participate in the criminal investigation of a case at the same level as a public
prosecutor.4 There has been no death penalty in Spain since 1978, and Spain will not extradite
suspects to any country which enforces the death penalty.
There are Administrative Courts which review decisions taken by municipalities and other
local entities regarding personnel, taxes, tributes, licenses, sanctions up to 30,050€ and
administrative liability up to 60,000€, decisions by local delegations of the State in matters under
60,000€ and local electoral administration.
There are Labour Courts which handle all cases related to labour law except those belonging
to the social section of the National Court.
Academy members were shown regional maps of the location of Superior Courts of Justice
of the Autonomous Communities, the Provincial Courts, and the Courts of First Instance. At this
time the Presidente de la Comisión de Relaciones Internacionales, of the Consejo General, Excmo.
Sr. D. Juan Pablo González González, arrived to meet with the group and the judges were served
refreshments while Excmo. González González talked with the judges through an interpreter.
Excmo. González González is a very well known and respected judge in Spain. He has been the
“presiding” judge in the Basque Region, a very volatile region for many years.
After the visit to the CGPJ, the Academy group walked to the Tribunal Supremo de Justica
and were met by Sr. D. José Luis Buitrón Vega, the Secretario del Gabinete Técnico. Academy
members were given a tour of the court building which was built in 1750 and refurbished in 1920.
The ceremonial courtrooms in this building are used once a year by the members of Parliament and
representatives from each regional court to “make annual memories.”
President McKnew presented the judges of the CGPJ and the Secretario with wine coasters
of the Academy as a thank you gift.
In the afternoon, the Academy judges visited the American Embassy in Madrid where they
were met by Mr. Figueroa, Ambassador Robert Lapsley was not in the country at this time. Mr.
Figueroa welcomed the Academy judges and said he was delighted they had come to Madrid. He
thanked the group for their donation to the University of Salamanca Law School and said these kind
of visits and gifts by Americans “make his job easier.” He also learned a lot while visiting the
University with the Academy judges and felt it was very significant that the group was invited to
the opening ceremonies in the old University, as it is very unusual for people not connected to
academics to see these ceremonies.
Jim Manzanares, the Deputy Chief of Mission advised the judges that Mrs. Whitney Baird,
the Embassy Economic Counselor, who had planned to give an economic overview to the judges,
had been held up at a luncheon event that was running overtime. Three hour lunches in Spain are
very common and it is the Spanish time to do business.
The political situation in Spain is different from Western Europe after WWII when Spain
was a socialist republic under Franco, who was chief of state, national chief of the Falange Party and
premier and caudillo (leader). In 1947 the Spanish people approved a Franco-drafted succession
law declaring Spain a monarchy again, but Franco would remain as chief of state. In 1969, Franco
and the Cortes (states) designated Prince Juan Carlos to become King of Spain when the provisional
government headed by Franco came to an end. Franco died on November 20, 1975 and Juan Carlos
was proclaimed king on November 22. In 1982 Prime Minister Felipe González Márquez was
overwhelmingly elected representing the Spanish Socialist Workers Party. His government was
filled with corruption and scandal and caused much unhappiness among the people. In 1996 the
conservative Popular Party led by Prime Minister José María Aznar was elected, and had strong ties
to America. Aznar’s backing of the U.S. war in Iraq was highly unpopular with the people as 90%
of the Spaniards opposed the war.
On March 11, 2004 Spain’s most horrific terrorist attack occurred at the Madrid railway
station, and 202 people were killed and 1,400 injured. Many Spaniards blamed Aznar’s staunch
support of the U.S. and the war for making Spain an Al-Qaida target. Days after the attack elections
were held and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of the Socialist Party was overwhelmingly elected
prime minister. In May the 1,300 Spanish troops in Iraq were recalled, making good on Zapatero’s
Mrs. Baird briefly made an appearance. She has been in the State Department over 20 years
and has served in different countries. Her last assignment was in Washington, D.C. where she ran
the State Department’s Operation Center, a 24-hour crisis center. She was working there on
September 11th. Kathy Fitzpatrick, Political Counselor, spoke briefly to the judges. Spain entered NATO in
1982 and a treaty admitting Spain and Portugal to the European Economic Community, now the
European Union [EU], took effect in 1986. Spain is one of the smallest of the larger countries in
the EU, but one of the largest of the smaller countries. At the present time the EU is considering
an enlargement and ten new countries will be coming into the EU, all poorer than Spain, and this
will change Spain’s position.
Spain’s major trading partners are France, Germany, UK, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands and
the U.S. Last year trade between Spain and the U.S. was $14.1 billion. Mrs. Baird’s luncheon was
with representatives of the new government. It is very important for the Embassy to establish good
relations with the new government. The Embassy staff’s mission is to protect America’s interests
abroad. This very important luncheon generated many questions about U.S. policy and it was
important for Embassy staff to hear the new government’s views about the U.S. Spain is still very
much against the war in Iraq; Spain had troubles with Afghanistan and supported the Gulf War since
it was supported by the United Nations.
Elsie Frelick of the Embassy’s Counsel General’s office spoke. The Embassy issues
passports to Americans abroad, and issued 27,000 American visas to 130 different nationalities in
the last fiscal year. Since September 11th visa applications have been much more complex and more
vigorous background checks are done through Interpol and the FBI. The Embassy also issued 500
immigrant visas last year. Over 1 million Americans have visited Spain in the last year, 100,000
Americans live in Spain, and there are 20,000-25,000 American students studying abroad in Spain
each year. The Embassy also helps with missing children, abuse, repatriated citizens, absentee
voting, lost or stolen passports, and Americans in need. There are six consular offices throughout
At this time most of the Embassy staff left the briefing to attend a staff ceremony to recognize
the valuable contributions to the Embassy of the employees during “a very tense time during the
recent elections following the bombing of the Madrid train station.”
Mr. Randall Bennett, Regional Security officer, gave an overview on crime and counterterrorism
in Spain. He is a special agent in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Service
and recently served in Karachi, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. He spoke about the attacks at the Madrid
train station and states these type of activities are going on around the world. The Al-Qaida group
has bases in many countries and supports itself by selling drugs, weapons, explosives and
prostitution. Now that so many countries are actively hunting down Al-Qaida cells, they cannot
amass as much money and therefore cannot be as proactive as they were before so many countries
began to pursue them. Spain has a problem with Batasuna, a political wing of the Basque terrorist
organization ETA. This group was originally thought responsible for the attacks at the train station,
before Al-Quida links were discovered. Suspects were arrested a month after the bombings, most
of them Moroccan and several blew themselves up during a police raid to avoid capture.
Mr. Bennett believes United States citizens and employees abroad have become targets for
terrorism, and gave the group hints on “protecting your territory.” He talked about pick-pockets,
grab and run, tap and steal, distraction techniques, body bumping. He advised that members should
pay attention when they are traveling, “be proactive and reactive.”
In the evening members enjoyed a Farewell Cocktail party at the hotel. President Tom
McKnew was presented with a hand-carved Don Quixote figure to thank him for his leadership
during the last year in planning the trip. A Farewell Dinner was held at the Las Cuevas del Duque
SATURDAY: Members departed for home with some members departing for
the travel extension to Barcelona.
Diane Z. Bowen, Executive Secretary
I hereby certify that the members listed in attendance are true and correct, and that each
member participated in all professional meetings at the 2004 Annual Business Meeting of the
International Academy of Trial Judges.
Thomas I. McKnew, Jr., President