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  • Lecturer at the UC3M, Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo, has been awarded the Pelayo Award for Prestigious Jurists

Lecturer at the UC3M, Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo, has been awarded the Pelayo Award for Prestigious Jurists


The emeritus professor of Administrative Law at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo Fernández del Castillo, has been awarded the 26th Pelayo Award for Prestigious Jurists from King Philip VI of Spain, at an event held at the Cybele Palace in Madrid. The event had a limited capacity in order to be able to respect safety and distancing measures recommended by the Spanish health authorities.

Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo y el rey Felipe VI

The jury, chaired by Antonio Garrigues Walker, decided to award the former minister and UC3M professor this recognition “for his intense and broad career dedicated to Administrative Law, exercised brilliantly from different State institutions”. The awardwinnerwas President of the General Codification Commission, Minister of Territorial Administration from 1982 to 1985, Minister of Justice from 1991 to 1993, and President of the State Council from 1985 to 1991. In addition to this, he was a member of a Committee of Experts in 1981, appointed by the Government to issue reports and make recommendations about the development of the autonomous process in Spain and to draft a new law on forced expropriation in 2003.

King Philip VI of Spain, who presided over the event and closed the award with a speech, congratulated Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo for receiving the award and highlighted his commitment to public and social service, and the Constitution. He also noted the commendable work of jurists in our society by emphasising the importance of the Rule of Law.

José Boada, President of the Pelayo Group, dedicated a few words to the awardwinnerwho “belongs to a generation of politicians, with different ideologies, who, with wisdom, generosity and foresight, were able to fix the progress of our society as a common objective”.  Joaquín Tornos, a member of the awards’ jury gave a speech about Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo, in which he defined him as “a socially committed person, a public servant, a brilliant academic, and without a doubt, a great jurist, different perspectives which, when united in the same person, form an exceptional being".

Tomás de la Quadra-Salcedo also dedicated a few words to the victims of the pandemic and shared a special thought for Landelino Lavilla, who was President of the Pelayo Prize Jury for many years, because of his human quality and his dedication to serving the country. In his speech, he highlighted the importance of the openness and generosity of all political forces to the constitutional pact in view of the common objective of achieving a representative democracy, by highlighting the Magna Carta as a guarantee of a future open to hope. De la Quadra-Salcedo warned of the risks of society being lost in populist and demagogue discourses and referred to the Spanish Constitution as an agreement to build “our regime of coexistence - the best in our history - with extraordinary support from the Spanish people. It is, therefore, essential to continue to maintain this regime of coexistence and strive for the full respect and realisation of our Magna Carta as a way to guarantee that the future is always open to hope”.

The Pelayo Prize for Prestigious Jurists, which is now in its twenty-sixth year, is awarded with 30,000 Euros and a commemorative statuette. There is a significant representation from the legal world among its previous winners, such as: Eduardo Torres-Dulce, the former State Attorney General and current member of the Garrigues Counsel; Fernando Ledesma, former Minister of Justice and Permanent State Counsellor; Gregorio Pérez-Barba, one of the writers of the Spanish Constitution; or Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez, the First Spanish Ombudsman. The last two editions of the award were awarded to  Encarnación Roca Trías, Vice-President of the Constitutional Court and Professor of Civil Law, and Antonio Garrigues Walker, honorary Chairman of Garrigues.