Comité Nacional

MEMBERS OF THE FRANCISCO DE VITORIA JUDGES ASSOCIATION NATIONAL COMMITTEE

 

Raimundo Prado Bernabéu

My second surname rather gives away the fact that I’m a Real Madrid fan. Thirty years (practically from the time when I was still innocent) teaches you a lot. I’ve encountered and given verdicts at different jurisdictions and levels. I value the village judge just as much as the Supreme Court of Justice Judge. We are Judges and that’s it.  I was born in Seville but grew up in Extremadura. To have received the Cruz de San Raimundo honour, proposed by the Judges of Cáceres, is a great source of pride for me. In truth, almost all of us deserve it. I must admit, however, that it was an even greater honour to be made a free man of my village, Valencia de Alcántara, where I spent such a happy childhood. I know that our Association is changing many things for the better and, above all, I’m sure that those of you who are young now are going achieve what generations of judges before you were unable to achieve. I’m certain. Sursum corda.

RAIMUNDO PRADO BERNABÉU. National Spokesman

Born in Zaragoza in 1969, I came through the Graduation Class 49, the first from the Escuela Judicial de Barcelona. I started at the Mixed Courts at La Almunia de Doña Godina, Tudela, Granollers and Santa Coloma de Gramenet before being assigned to Court of First Instance No. 57 of Barcelona in 2006. I’m a judge because the world made me this way, and I’m thankful because it’s the only way I can conceive of maintaining my pragmatic idealism in spite of the years and difficulties and think that yes, I can contribute to improving things. The Association got its claws into me some 15 years ago, when I met colleagues from different parts of the country, of different ideologies, circumstances and jurisdictions, unorthodox and passionate, but always united to defend the Profession, its independence and its dignity.

EVA ATARÉS GARCÍA
Eva Atarés García
Natalia Velilla Antolín

I’m a third generation Madrileña, born in 1973. From Graduating Class 54, it was with our group (and some of Graduating Class 53) that the devaluation of the work of judges began with the introduction of the “Judge Awaiting Destination” designation. Today I am a judge assigned to the Madrid region, providing support for the Social Courts, although my true passion lies in civil law and family law in particular to which I hope to return soon. Previously I served in Arganda del Rey, Majadahonda, Villena and Torrejón de Ardoz. I spent four years in the Technical Cabinet of the Supreme Court, First Chamber and as analyst for the Judicial Documentation Centre (CENDOJ). For me, being a judge is about giving back to society something of what it has given me. I believe in our social work, even if it is only possible under the prism of authority of the authority of a State Power. I’m a Vitorina because of the Association’s practical sense, its sense of possibility, its independence, its modernity, the Vitorino sense of humour and the camaraderie. I never choose the easy path. I’m always thinking about a new project.

NATALIA VELILLA ANTOLÍN

I was born in Zaragoza in 1962. I was Appeals Court Judge in Zaragoza from 1999, before spending three years as President of the Provincial Court of Tarragona and seven at the Mixed Court in Reus. For me, a judge should be fair, while always acting within the Law, brave without the need to be heroic and rational without ceasing to have feelings. A Vitorino is all of this and also somebody committed to the Profession, cheerful, ready for both the hard work and enjoyment and free and independent in their way of thinking and acting.

JAVIER ALBAR GARCÍA
Javier Albar García
José Pérez Gómez

A Madrileño and a Granadino, I’m a fan of both Atlético de Madrid and the bullfighter Curro Romero. I joined the legal profession in 2011 through the call for jurists of recognised competence. Previously, I worked as Counsel for Granada City Council, having qualified by examination in 1997. I’m currently assigned to Appeals Court No. 9 of Seville. I previously served in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Appeals Chamber of the Higher Courts of Justice of Andalusia in Granada, on services commission, and in Algeciras. I have special memories of all these places, and in particular of the colleagues with whom I shared my work. Being a judge means exercising an essential function to ensure peaceful coexistence, but it also allows you to really enjoy the Law, freely, with the only limitation being the legal system itself. I believe that of all the legal professions this is the most rewarding.  For me it is an immense honour to be among the judges of Spain. Jurists who in their immense majority are extraordinary, vocational and committed to the common good. The women and men who make up this big family that is the Francisco de Vitoria Judges Association practice and live this profession with responsibility, with dedication, complete independence, pride in our mission and at the same time with joy and camaraderie. It is a way of understanding the life of a judge that coincides with what I believe Justice needs in these times we live in.

JOSÉ PÉREZ GÓMEZ

I was born in Santiago de Compostela Galicia one 25 July. My first destination as a judge was as Mixed Court No. 2 of Tuy, where I discovered the beauty of the River Miño. Since then I have always been a Court of Instruction Judge: first in A Coruña, then Barcelona and now Madrid. From 2009 to 2014 I lectured at the Escuela Judicial de Barcelona. It was during this time that I rediscovered my confidence in the Profession, seeing the generosity and dedication of my colleagues, tutor judges, and the hope and ambition of the youngest judges in spite of the conditions they were faced with. Criminal investigation aside my two passions in the world of law are mediation and international cooperation in criminal matters. Francisco de Vitoria and the Vitorino spirit motivate me to work for the respect, dignity and independence of the entire legal profession.

ROSA MARÍA FREIRE PÉREZ
Rosa Freire Pérez
Jorge Riestra Sierra

A Madrileño by birth (1964), I’m a Murciano by marriage and a Canarian every day the sun rises. And Spanish, obviously! I started out in 1992 and I’ve certainly given my robe plenty of wear over years since. First I was assigned to the Mixed Courts, in Mollet del Vallés, Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava, and after six years I was promoted to the Criminal Court of Las Palmas. I then spent ten years in the Social Court (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and was then assigned to the Appeals Court (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) in 2009, where I still serve today. Every order has taught me a lot and has given me a unique perspective. Being a judge demands that you learn every day and never take anything for granted. I believe in the satisfaction of duty fulfilled without expecting awards or recompense. Being a Vitorino is about having the serenity to expect nothing, the independent attitude, the positive vision, and the disposition to share good conversation with colleagues.

JORGE RIESTRA SIERRA

A Madrileño from the vintage of 86, I was just about young enough to study the ESO secondary school cycle. I obtained my Degree in Law and Business Administration and Management from Complutense University of Madrid in 2010 before joining the Legal Profession in 2012, knowing that becoming a Judge had been the best decision I had ever made in my life; something I still stand by today, despite the difficulties I’ve gone through, along with my colleagues from more recent graduating classes. I was Judge Awaiting Destination, as support to the Regional Territorial Judge of the Comunidad de Madrid for two years, providing support for vacancies in Coslada, Torrejón de Ardoz, and Madrid City, before finally becoming a fully appointed judge of Criminal Court 1 of Melilla, where I remain today. A Vitorino almost since I effectively joined the service, I believe firmly that this Association is essential today to fight for all that I believe in: independence, public service, pluralism, transparency, non-conformism, effectiveness and combativeness. Cheerful by nature I try to make my own little contribution every day, focussing in particular on the problems faced by younger judges.

CARLOS VIADER CASTRO
Carlos Viader Castro
Mario Alonso Alonso

I was born in 1962 in Burgos, although my Castilian roots have long since been uprooted to the south, where all my postings have been, with the exception of a period at the Criminal Courts of Barakaldo. I have been Judge in Ibi, Órgiva, Motril, Melilla (Mixed, Juvenile and Social Courts) and Granada (Instruction) and I am currently assigned to the First Section (Criminal) of the Provincial Court of Granada. As you can see, I have done everything in almost thirty years in the Legal Profession (I joined in 1989) because I have also served as Counsel for the General Council of the Judiciary (2012-2014) and I oversee the support cabinet of the Supreme Court of Justice of Andalusia. I’m a Judge because that’s what I wanted to be; I’ve always thought of the possibility of helping others, deciding and resolving problems and disputes, to try to be just and to do so with a sense of independence. There is nothing close to it in any other area of the legal sector. It may sound somewhat quixotic, but in this Profession the cause is never far away and ideals are too often dispelled. Perhaps this is why I’ve been a Vitorino since the day I became a Judge and I remain one to this day, determined to make these goals we share a reality in order to serve others better. That’s why it is an honour to be part of this group of women and men who work to make our society freer and fairer, despite not expecting much in return.

MARIO ALONSO ALONSO