8 julio, 2024

Criminal warrant: what it is, classification, content, compliance

What is a criminal warrant?

A criminal warrant It is a procedure carried out by the judicial bodies, judge or criminal court of different jurisdiction, but of the same hierarchy, in order to procedurally request the performance of certain acts related to the process. that is held. It is a collaboration between the different judicial bodies.

The requirement is that they must be carried out outside your constituency (or area/location of exercise) in which you perform your duties.

Basically, a judicial body in use of its functions, requests help from another so that through this «judicial aid» some legal action necessary for the continuation of the litigation by the judge who sent the warrant can be carried out.

It must include a letter to request them to carry out certain acts or proceedings, and it can also be carried out inside or outside the country where the procedure is being carried out.

They are very similar to “trades”. The difference is that in the case of letters rogatory, the judge who receives it is required to carry out the request that the exhorting judge is delegating, while in the official letter the procedure is carried out by the judge who sent it.

Generally, the criminal warrant is made to obtain testimonial evidence or expert opinions.

Classification of criminal warrants


It is when it is addressed to a judicial authority belonging to the same country.


When it is addressed to a judicial authority belonging to another country.

Of mere procedural procedure

This type of exhortation is carried out when the exhortante only needs the exhorted judicial body to carry out simple procedures, such as notifications, evidence, expert reports.

Execution of provisional decisions of patrimonial nature

The execution of provisional decisions of an asset nature with executive jurisdiction can only be demanded.

Content of a warrant

Although it is true that all legal procedures vary somewhat depending on the country where they are carried out, the similar characteristics that a criminal warrant and any other type of warrant must contain are:

It specifies the designation of both courts, both the exhortante and the exhortado.
Indicate the matter that causes the issuance of the warrant.
Specification of the different actions that the exhorted judge must carry out.
If there is a term that must be complied with, it must be explicitly specified denoting the date on which it ends.
In the event that some specific documents are needed to carry out the warrant, express mention will be made of all of them.

Requirements of international criminal warrants

Respect for the supremacy of treaties, satisfying the requirements previously stipulated by national legislation and international treaties.
Comply with the formal requirements, necessary inserts, stamps, detailed information and other formalities.
Legislated by the competent body and authorized to deal with such matters in the territory where they are located.
Deadlines must be met.
They must be approved, transmitted diplomatically and legalized.
Commend yourself to diplomatic assistance if necessary.
In the event that the exhorted judge determines that the documents sent do not meet the necessary requirements to process it, you are entitled to return it to its source specifying the reason for the rejection.


It depends on the special procedures of each country, but in general they will be sent in person by the requested body, unless there is some computer means available for this purpose, and proof of receipt must always be guaranteed.

Compliance of the parties

After the warrant was sent and that act is recorded, the body warranted will be responsible for carrying out all the necessary steps to carry out the requirements specified therein within the indicated period.

In the event that the exhorted judge (the one who received the exhortation) does not comply with the duty to carry out the actions under the terms and deadlines set forth, the exhorting judge has the right to make a request in the higher instance, placing the court in order. case and demand sanctions on the recipient judge for the damage caused by the lack of action on the cause.

Return of the warrant

Once all the required requirements have been completed, the judicial body must send the exhorting judge the results of the same through the channels designated for this procedure.

For example: the judicial computer system or any other that is capable of guaranteeing the proof of receipt.

Disadvantages that can arise at the time of a warrant

Taking into account that the procedure will be carried out by someone else and not by the judge primarily in charge, several inconveniences may occur, especially related to testimonial evidence or expert opinions.

As the questions must be made in writing and must subsequently be approved by the judge, the following drawbacks arise:

It is not possible to control the direction that the answers take, especially if in the case of obtaining the expected answer, it does not prove anything or that it is very generic, without foundation or basis.
It may be the case that the question is not fully understood, and since they are already established, it is not possible to reformulate them.
There is no right to reply, there may be a need to ask new questions after obtaining the answers from the witness or expert, but it will not be possible to do so because they were already predetermined.

Other means of judicial communication in criminal matters and the difference between them

There is the coexistence of various means of communication between judicial bodies, courts and jurisdictions. Some of them are: exhortation, office or order (letter – order) and letter rogatory or request.

The difference is that the warrant is a communication through which the judge requests another judge of the same rank, but in a different jurisdiction, to comply with a certain procedure that can only be carried out in that jurisdiction.

(For example, if a person residing in Madrid witnessed an assault in Granada during his vacation. So that this person does not have to travel to Granada, the judge in charge of the case in this city asks a Madrid judge to take the statement).

The office is a communication between a court of higher hierarchy to one of lower hierarchy and the letter rogatory (supplication) is a means of communication between a court of lower hierarchy to one of higher hierarchy.


Resendiz, J. «Exhortations in the criminal area.» Taken from derechointerpriv607.blogspot.com.
Sancho Durán, J. «Notification, summons, summons, requirement, mandate, official letter and letters rogatory.» Taken from javiersancho.es.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *