Español jurídico: Fundamentos jurídicos (o) Fundamentos de Derecho

These expressions are often translated broadly as “legal grounds” or “legal basis,” which may be appropriate renderings in certain contexts. But it should be noted that they have very specific meanings when used in Spanish court opinions. In Spain judgments (sentencias) are commonly divided into two sections, Antecedentes de Hecho and Fundamentos Jurídicos or Fundamentos de Derecho. The former refer to the facts that the court deems proved, the “facts as found,” while the latter refer to the legal grounds or points of law on which the court is basing its final ruling (fallo). Following the terminology of US procedure, in this context Antecedentes de Hecho might be appropriately translated as “Findings of Fact,” while Fundamentos Jurídicos or Fundamentos de Derecho may be rendered as “Conclusions of Law.”

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