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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Eduardo García de Enterría

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 1984

Eduardo García de Enterría, one of the most outstanding Spanish jurists of 20th century and one whose research work has left a decisive mark upon the world and the institutions of Public Law in which we now move, was born in Cantabria in 1923.

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He studied at the Universities of Barcelona and Madrid, with special prizes for his Degree and Doctorate in Law, which he further studied at the Universities of London and Tubinga.

Legal advisor to the Council of State in 1947, he then took a sabbatical in Valladolid (1947) and, thereafter passed the selection examination for the Complutense University of Madrid, in which he has been Director of the Department of Administrative Law since 1970. Made an Emeritus Professor in 1988, he has been, since then, a member of the "Free College of Emeritus Professors" of Madrid.

Director (and, before that, Executive Secretary) of the "Revista de Administración Pública" (since its foundation in 1950) and of the "Revista Española de Derecho Administrative" (since its foundation in 1974), he belongs to the Advisory Committee or Scientific Committee of the most important Spanish and international scientific journals on Public Law.

The first Spanish Judge on the European Court of Human Rights, with its seat in Strasbourg (April 1978 to February 1986), he was the President of the "Fédération Internacional pour le Droit Européen" (FIDE), Founder and President of the Spanish Association for the Study of European Law and Founder Member and President of the Free School of Law and Economics, as well as a member of numerous international European legal organizations and associations.

Numerary member of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation (1970), President of the IX Conference on European Law (Council of Europe, 1979), he has been a Lecturer of the "Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé" of Strasbourg (1988) and Honourary Lecturer in many Universities in Spanish America, having been distinguished, among many other academic and scientific honours, with the Medal of the Free University of Brussels (1985), and of the Universities of Bologna, on the occasion of their IX Centenary (1988). He has been a doctor "honoris causa" of the Universities of Sorbonne, Paris (1977), Zaragoza (1983), Mendoza (Argentina, 1986), Nuevo León (Monterrey, México, 1987), Benito Juárez de Durango (México, 1987) and Valladolid (1990).

García de Enterría has participated in many official commissions drawing up draft legislation (of the Constitutional Tribunal (General) Act, the Compulsory Purchase Act, the Taxation (General) Act, the State Heritage Act, etc.) chairing, in 1981, the Expert Committee for the development the new system of Spanish Regional Government, whose work resulted in the Regional Pacts which gave rise to the drafting of the last 12 Autonomous Regions´ Statutes. In 1988 and 1989 he formed part of the Louis Committee, which drew up the plans of provision for the European Economic and Monetary Union (published in Brussels, 1989), being also the Director of the Spanish team which took part in the Inter-European Community Project: The 1992 Challenge at National Level. A Community-wide joint research on the realization and implementation by national government and business on the internal market program, European University Institute (Florence, 1989- 1992).

A habitual participant in international scientific congresses and meetings, and a lecturer in great demand at many Spanish and foreign universities, he has been the author of an impressive scientific work, without equal in the panorama of Spanish Public Law, whose rigour, brilliance and originality have completely renewed the very basis of Spanish Public Law, re-thinking the matter in a new way and exercising extraordinary influence upon contemporary Spanish legal thought, in which he was an unavoidable point of reference.

García de Enterría died on September 17, 2013.

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