Real Audiencia

The Real Audiencia (Spanish pronunciation: [reˈal auˈðjenθja]), or simply Audiencia (Catalan: Reial Audiència, Audiència Reial, or Audiència), was an appellate court in Spain and its empire. The name of the institution literally translates as Royal Audience.[1] The additional designation chancillería (or cancillería, Catalan: cancelleria, English: chancellery[2]) was applied to the appellate courts in early modern Spain.[3] Each audiencia had oidores (Spanish: judges, literally, "hearers").

Audiencias in Spain

The first audiencia was founded in the Kingdom of Castile in 1371 at Valladolid. The Valladolid Audiencia functioned as the highest court in Castile for the next two centuries. Appeals from the Castilian audiencias could only be made to the Council of Castile after its creation in 1480.

After the union of the crowns of Castile and Aragon in the Kingdom of Spain and the subsequent conquest of Granada in 1492, the audiencia was divided in two, with the Audiencia of Valladolid taking cases originating north of the Tagus River, and the Royal Audiencia of Ciudad Real (1494) taking cases from south of the river. The second audiencia was moved to Granada in 1505.[3]

Under Charles V and Philip II, the audiencia system was extended first in Spain proper, with the Royal Audiencia of Aragon (1528) and then to the rest of the Spanish Empire. Audiencias in cities and provinces that belong to Spain today included Seville (1566), Las Palmas (1568), Majorca (1571), Asturias (1717), and Extremadura (1790). The audiencias and viceroys of the Crown of Aragon were overseen by the Council of Aragon, which had been established in 1494.

Members of the Real Audiencia of Lima, the presidente, alcaldes de corte, fiscal and alguacil mayor. (Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno, p. 488)