- Issue date: 28/05/2012
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,85 €
- Print run: 300.000 sellos
- Dented: 13 ¾
The Law of Notaries, signed into law by Queen Isabel II, was published on the 28th May 1862, unifying the regulations which had been in force up to that date. To celebrate the date a commemorative stamp has been issued reproducing the official logo of the 150th Anniversary (1862-2012).
The Law’s first article reads as follows: “The notary is the public functionary who is authorised to attest to contracts and other extra-judicial acts in accordance with the law”. Thus the public figure of the notary was officially established, fulfilling the double function of being a law professional and a public functionary at the same time. The post may be obtained through sitting civil service exams and it is synonymous with the guarantee of legitimacy and security, both for individuals and the State. Notaries work in competition with one another and one of their functions is to create public deeds in order to provide the maximum legal safeguard. They write wills, marriage contracts, sale-purchase agreements, mortgage loans, companies’ articles of association and probate, amongst other types of documents.
Spanish notaries are to be found all over the country, including small towns, in order to guarantee the service to the society as a whole. They are organised in Notaries’ Associations, which provide functional support as well as monitoring their activities. From an organisational point of view within the civil service they are part of the General Registry and Notarial Department, with the Minister for Justice at its head in his official capacity as Senior Notary of the Kingdom.
The origin of the notary system appears to be ancient Egyptian scribes and Roman tabelliones. In Spain there are references to it in the different jurisdictions of the medieval era, such as the Liber Judiciorum, the Royal Jurisdiction and in the Seven Divisions of King Alfonso X, “the Wise” (13th century), in which the necessary requisites for performing the function were stipulated.
The 1862 Notarial Law, currently in force, defines the figure of the notary as a symbol of guarantee for individuals of their liberties and ownership rights against state powers. From its beginnings it has been consolidated as a necessary feature of democratic societies and market economy, and is a highly prestigious profession.