An oidor (Spanish pronunciation: [oiˈðoɾ] ) was a judge of the Royal Audiencias and Chancillerías, originally courts of Kingdom of Castile, which became the highest organs of justice within the Spanish Empire. The term comes from the verb oír, "to hear," referring to the judge's obligation to listen to the parts of a judicial process, particularly during the phase of pleas.
The Cortes of Alcalá of 1348 asked that King Henry II of Castile publicly hear cases at least once or twice a week along with his advisors, because under medieval Castilian jurisprudence the king was to personally hear all cases that fell under his jurisdiction, but the caseload was becoming too great. The Cortes also asked the King to delegate some of his powers to his advisors, so that they "could judge in his name."The documents of the Cortes of Alcalá began to refer to these delegates as oidores and the new institution they formed as the audiencia . This early audiencia was still closely tied to the king's personal right to judge. In reviewing the cases before them, oidores relied on summaries prepared by court lawyers known as relatores.
As the Crown of Castile found its territories rapidly expanding half a world away during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Spanish Philippines, it found it necessary to grant its overseas oidores functions and powers, which in the mother country normally fell to other officials. Thus, the oidores of the overseas audiencias functioned not only as judges of the audiencia, but also as magistrates overseeing the sale of the Holy Crusade indulgences (juez de la Santa Cruzada), mortgages and ground rents (juez de censos), probate issues (juez de bienes de difuntos), and legal separation (oidor juez de casados). In the audiencias in which the criminal judges (alcaldes del crimen) met as a separate chamber, as those of Mexico City and Lima, it was not uncommon for one person to serve as both oidor (civil judge) and an alcalde del crimen. Moreover, upon the death or incapacity of a governor or viceroy, either the senior oidor (oidor decano) or the audiencia as a whole would serve as the interim governor or viceroy, depending on the specific law of the territory.
The oidor de casados was a special type of judge that arose to deal with the de facto separation of many married couples during the colonization of the New World and the fact that many married men abandoned their lawful wives upon leaving Spain and entered into informal relationships with either native or European women. In order to deal with this, the crown felt it was necessary to create this office to compel, through legal coercion, the reconciliation of the marriage couple. An example of this problem is the notorious case of Pedro de Valdivia. The Audiencia of Lima, under the direction of President (and acting viceroy) Pedro de la Gasca forced Valdivia to repudiate his mistress, Inés de Suárez, and to bring his wife Marina Ortíz de Gaete to Chile. Over time, the powers of the oidor de casados evolved to cover all types of lawsuits between a married couple.
Due to the general use of the word oidor, the term was also applied to the clerics who served as judges in ecclesiastical courts, although they had nothing to do with the audiencias.
Blasco Núñez Vela y Villalba was the first Spanish viceroy of Peru. Serving from May 15, 1544 to January 18, 1546, he was charged by Charles V with the enforcement of the controversial New Laws, which dealt with the failure of the encomienda system to protect the indigenous people of America from the rapacity of the conquistadors and their descendants.
The Real Audiencia, or simply Audiencia, was an appellate court in Spain and its empire. The name of the institution literally translates as Royal Audience. The additional designation chancillería was applied to the appellate courts in early modern Spain. Each audiencia had oidores.
Luis Merlo de la Fuente Ruiz de Beteta was a Spanish colonial official who briefly served as the Royal Governor of Chile, in 1610–11.
Francisco Ceinos was one of five oidores (members) of the second Audiencia of New Spain. This group governed the colony from January 10, 1515 to April 16, 1535. Ceinos was also in the Audiencias that served as interim governments of New Spain from 1564 to 1566 and from approximately July 1568 to November of that year. In the latter two periods he was president of the governing Audiencia.
Doctor Diego Núñez de Avendaño was oidor (judge) of the Royal Audiencia of Lima, and for a brief period in 1607, interim viceroy of Peru.
Doctor Juan Jiménez de Montalvo was an oidor (judge) of the Royal Audiencia of Lima, and briefly in 1621 and 1622, interim viceroy of Peru.
Francisco Antonio de Echávarri was a Spanish colonial official in New Spain. He was president of the Audiencia of Mexico City in 1760 when Viceroy Agustín de Ahumada died in office. In that capacity, Echávarri served as acting victory until the arrival of Francisco Cajigal de la Vega, Ahumada's successor. He served from February 5, 1760 to April 28, 1760.
Francico Romá y Rosell was a Spanish royal official in Valladolid and New Spain. He was the first regent of the Real Audiencia of Mexico. In this capacity, after the death of Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa and before the arrival of his successor, Martín de Mayorga, Romá served as interim governor of the colony from April 9, 1779 to August 23, 1779.
The Real Audiencia of Charcas was a Spanish audiencia with its seat in what is today Bolivia. It was established in 1559 in Ciudad de la Plata de Nuevo Toledo and had jurisdiction over Charcas, Paraguay and the Governorate of the Río de la Plata, today Uruguay and northern Argentina. This court oversaw the incredible silver output of the mines at Potosí. It was part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1776, when it was transferred to the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and began to be referred to as Upper Peru.
Bernardo de Iturriaza was a Spanish judge and colonial official. In his capacity as president of the Audiencia of Lima he twice served as governor of Peru.
Doctor Miguel Núñez de Sanabria was a Spanish official in Peru and an oidor (judge) of the Audiencia of Lima. Twice he was interim viceroy of Peru, in virtue of his office as president of the Audiencia.
Mateo de la Mata Ponce de León was a Spanish colonial official in Peru. He was president of the Audiencia of Quito from 1691 to 1699. From March 2 to August 15, 1716 he served as interim viceroy of Peru.
The Real Audiencia of Quito was an administrative unit in the Spanish Empire which had political, military, and religious jurisdiction over territories that today include Ecuador, parts of northern Peru, parts of southern Colombia and parts of northern Brazil. It was created by Royal Decree on 29 August 1563 by Philip II of Spain in the city of Guadalajara. It ended in 1822 with the incorporation of the area into the Republic of Gran Colombia.
The Real Audiencia of Mexico or high court was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in the Kingdom of New Spain. The Audiencia was created by royal decree on December 13, 1527, and was seated in the viceregal capital of Mexico City. The First Audiencia was dissolved by the crown for its bungling and corruption and the crown established the Second Audiencia in 1530. Another Audiencia was created in Guadalajara in western Mexico in 1548.
The Real Audiencia of Guadalajara, was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in what is today northern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was created by royal decree on February 13, 1548, and was originally located in Compostela and permanently seated in Guadalajara in 1560. Its president was the chief political and executive officer of the district, subordinated only to the Viceroy.
The Real Audiencia de Manila was the Real Audiencia of the Spanish East Indies, which included modern-day Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Micronesia and the Philippines. Similar to Real Audiencias throughout the Spanish Empire, it was the highest tribunal within the territories of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, a dependency of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
The Real Audiencia and Chancery of Lima was a superior court in the New World empire of Spain, located in the city of Lima, capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. It was created on November 20, 1542 as was the viceroyalty itself, by the Emperor Charles V. The Audiencia began functioning in 1543 and initially had jurisdiction over the entire viceroyalty—virtually all of Spanish-controlled South America and Panama. Later other audiencias were established in the Viceroyalty. The Audiencia functioned until 1821 when the forces of José de San Martín entered Lima.
The Royal Audiencia and Chancellería of Valladolid was a judicial body established by Henry II of Castile in 1371, with jurisdiction over the entire territory of the Crown of Castile, except for the characteristics of the Hall of Justice of the Council of Castile. The building was originally called El Palacio de los Vivero.
The Royal Audience and Chancery of Panama in Tierra Firme was a governing body and superior court in the New World empire of Spain. The Audiencia of Panama was the third American audiencia after the ones of Santo Domingo and Mexico. It existed three times under various guises since it first creation in 1538 until its ultimate abolition in 1751.
The Real Audiencia of Santiago de Guatemala, simply known as the Audiencia of Guatemala or the Audiencia of Los Confines, was a superior court in area of the New World empire of Spain, known as the Kingdom of Guatemala. This area included the current territories of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Mexican state of Chiapas. The Audiencia's presiding officer, the president, was the head of the government of the area. The Audiencia was initially created by decrees of November 20, 1542 and September 13, 1543, and had its seat in Antigua Guatemala.