The Real Audiencia and Chancery of Panama in Tierra Firme (Spanish: Audiencia y Cancillería Real de Panamá en Tierrafirme) 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.
Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
The executive is the organ exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.
In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases. A superior court is "superior" relative to a court with limited jurisdiction, which is restricted to civil cases involving monetary amounts with a specific limit, or criminal cases involving offenses of a less serious nature. A superior court may hear appeals from lower courts.
The first Audiencia of Panama was created by Charles V by a royal decree of February 26, 1538. Its initial jurisdiction included the provinces of Tierra Firme (Castilla de Oro and Veragua), all land from the Strait of Magellan to the Gulf of Fonseca, Nicaragua, until 1543 when most of the South American territories were assigned to a new audiencia in Lima. A decree of May 23, 1539, removed the entire province of Nicaragua from the Audiencia of Santo Domingo and placed under the Panama one.
Charles V was Holy Roman Emperor (1519–1556), King of Germany (1520-1556), King of Italy (1530-1556), King of Spain (1516-1556), King of the Indies (1521-1556), Lord of the Habsburg Netherlands (1506–1555), and head of the House of Austria (1519-1556). Charles V revitalized the medieval concept of the universal monarchy of Charlemagne and travelled from city to city, with no single fixed capital: overall he spent 28 years in the Habsburg Netherlands, 18 years in Spain, and 9 years in Germany. After four decades of incessant warfare with the Protestants, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of France, Charles V abandoned his multi-national project with a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556 in favor of his son Philip II of Spain and brother Ferdinand I of Austria. The personal union of his European and American territories, spanning over nearly 4 million square kilometres, was the first collection of realms to be defined as "the empire on which the sun never sets".
Castilla de Oro or del Oro was the name given by the Spanish settlers at the beginning of the 16th century to the Central American territories from the Gulf of Urabá, near today's Colombian-Panamanian border, to the Belén River. Beyond that river, the region was known as Veragua, and was disputed by the Spanish crown along with the Columbus family. The name "Castilla de Oro" was made official in May 1513 by King Ferdinand II of Aragon, then regent of the Crown of Castile.
Veragua or Veraguas was the name of five Spanish colonial territorial entities in Central America, beginning in the 16th century during the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
The Audiencia began functioning in Panama City in 1539 with the arrival of the Oidores Francisco Pérez de Robles, Lorenzo Pérez de la Serna, Pedro de Villalobos, and Attorney Alonso de Montenegro. Pérez de Robles served as the first audiencia president and replaced Governor Pedro Vásquez de Acuña. Pérez de Robles carried out his duties until 1543, when the Audiencia was decreed abolished and replaced with an Audiencia of the Confines in Guatemala. During this period the Audiencia supervised various voyages of exploration. Ultimately, the administration of Pérez de Robles proved to be corrupt, resulting in several charges that led to a trial and destitution from office. The investigation and trial ( juicio de residencia ) were carried out by Pedro Ramírez de Quiñones, who had been appointed corregidor of Panama and Nombre de Dios.
Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama. It has an urban population of 880,691, with over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area. The city is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, in the province of Panama. The city is the political and administrative center of the country, as well as a hub for banking and commerce.
Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.
A corregidor was a local administrative and judicial official in Spain and in its overseas empire. They were the representatives of the royal jurisdiction over a town and its district.
On September 8, 1563, Philip II decreed the return of the Audiencia from Guatemala to Panama. The Province of Guatemala was transferred to the Audiencia of Mexico. The work of moving the Audiencia was overseen by Lope García de Castro. The Audiencia began functioning again on May 15, 1565, under interim president Manuel Barrios de San Millán, before the arrival of its permanent president, Alonso Arias de Maldonado. The jurisdiction of the new Audiencia of Panama consisted of territories between Buenaventura in the New Kingdom of Granada and the Gulf of Fonseca.
Philip II of Spain was King of Castile and Aragon (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.
Lope García de Castro was a Spanish colonial administrator, member of the Council of the Indies and of the Audiencias of Panama and Lima. From September 2, 1564 to November 26, 1569 he was interim viceroy of Peru.
Buenaventura is a coastal seaport city on the department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Buenaventura is the main port of Colombia in the Pacific Ocean.
Law IV (Audiencia y Chancillería Real de Panamá en Tierrafirme) of Title XV (De las Audiencias y Chancillerias Reales de las Indias) of Book II of the Recopilación de Leyes de las Indias of 1680—which compiles the decrees of February 30, 1535; March 1537; February 26 12, 1538; September 8, 1563, November 19, 1570; February 6, 1571; and September 10, 1588—describes the borders and functions of the Audiencia.
The Laws of the Indies are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for the American and the Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social, political, religious, and economic life in these areas. The laws are composed of myriad decrees issued over the centuries and the important laws of the 16th century, which attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives, such as the Laws of Burgos (1512) and the New Laws (1542).
In the City of Panama, in the kingdom of Tierrafirme, shall reside another Royal Audiencia and Chancery of ours, with a president, governor and captain general; four oidores , who shall also be judges of criminal cases [alcaldes del crimen]; a crown attorney [fiscal]; a bailiff [alguacil mayor]; a lieutenant of the Gran Chancellor; and the other necessary ministers and officials, and which will have for district the province of Castilla del Oro until Portobelo and its territory; the City of Natá and its territory; the Governorate of Veragua; and by the South Sea towards Peru until the port of Buenaventura, exclusive; and from Portobelo towards Cartagena until the Darien River, exclusive, with the Gulf of Urabá and Tierrafirme; bordering its district in the east and south with those of the Audiencias of the New Kingdom of Granada and San Francisco of Quito, in the west with that of Santiago de Guatemala, and in the north and south with the North and South Seas. And we order that the governor and captain general of said provinces and president of the Royal Audiencia of these, have, use and exercise by himself the government of said Province of Tierrafirme and of all the district of the Royal Audiencia, in the same manner as the viceroys of the Provinces of Peru and New Spain have, and attend by himself all matters and business which arises, regarding the government, and that the oidores do not interfere with these regards, nor that said President interfere in those matters of justice and that he sign with the oidores all that they sentence and decree. We also order that when our viceroys of Peru, as such, decree in certain matter of government, war and administration of our royal treasury, and direct certain dispatches on this to the president and oidores of our Royal Audiencia of Panama, they keep it and make it be kept and fulfilled completely by all, in all the ways and manners in which they have been ordered, without any delay.
In addition a decree of Philip III of July 19, 1614 reiterated, "that the president of Panama obey the viceroy of Peru and have with him regular communication." The Audiencia was abolished once again in 1718 due to bad conduct of its members. This time the Isthmus was placed under the authority of the viceroy and Audiencia of Peru.
Nevertheless, this arrangement resulted in problems and poor government for the region, so the crown once more established the Panama Audiencia in a decree of July 21, 1722. From 1739 on, the area of the Panama Audiencia formed part of the recently created Viceroyalty of New Granada. Due to economic problems in Tierrafirme, the crown ordered the final abolition of the Audiencia in a decree of June 20, 1751. A government headed by the regional military commander, the Comandancy General of Tierra Firme, was created in Panama, which was dependent on the viceroy of New Granada in administrative matters. The Comandancy General was originally to be dependent on the Audiencia of Lima in judicial matters, but in 1752 they were transferred to the Audiencia of Bogotá.
The Viceroyalty of New Granada was the name given on 27 May 1717, to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire in northern South America, corresponding to modern Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. The territory corresponding to Panama was incorporated later in 1739, and the provinces of Venezuela were separated from the Viceroyalty and assigned to the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777. In addition to these core areas, the territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada included Guyana, southwestern Suriname, parts of northwestern Brazil, and northern Peru.
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.
The territorial dispute between Ecuador and Peru was the source of the longest-running international armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere. This dispute was a consequence of each country's interpretation of what Real Cedulas Spain used to precisely define its colonial territories in the Americas. After independence all of Spain's colonial territories signed and agreed to proclaim their limits in the basis of the principle uti possidetis juris which accepts the Spanish colonial borders of 1810 as the borders of the new republics. Thus the borders of Gran Colombia which included Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela would follow the borders of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, and Peru the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1810. However, Peru was not satisfied with this and tried to set the date of her Uti Possitedis to 1824- a time when Peru was officially independent with territories Peru militarily occupied since 1820. Tumbes and Jaen de Bracamoros, to which Peru had no colonial titles, were territories that declared their independence in 1820 and were militarily occupied by Peruvian patriot forces that convinced the people in these territories to join Peru. Because of this, Peru claims that part of its western territorial borders where it lacks title is derived from free determination of its people in the border areas after independence. In the eastern section known as Maynas or Mainas, which was the sparsely inhabited and entirely Amazon Basin, Peru bases its legal claims on the disputed Real Cedula of 1802. Gran Colombia which declared independence 2 years earlier in 1819 and helped to liberate Peru in the Battle of Junin and Ayacucho bases its rights on the clear and undisputed Real Cedulas of 1717, 1739 and 1740 and declares that the Real Cedula of 1802 is not political in nature, but was meant only for ecclesiastical and military jurisdiction.
The Spanish East Indies were the colonies of the Spanish Empire in Asia and Oceania from 1565 until 1899. At one time or another, they included the Philippines, Marianas, Carolines, Palaos and Guam, as well as parts of Formosa (Taiwan), Sulawesi (Celebes) and the Moluccas (Maluku). The King of Spain traditionally styled himself "King of the East and West Indies".
The Council of the Indies; officially, the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies, was the most important administrative organ of the Spanish Empire for the Americas and the Philippines. The crown held absolute power over the Indies and the Council of the Indies was the administrative and advisory body for those overseas realms. It was established in 1524 by Charles V to administer "the Indies," Spain's name for its territories. Such an administrative entity, on the conciliar model of the Council of Castile, was created following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521, which demonstrated the importance of the Americas. Originally an itinerary council that followed Charles V, it was subsequently established as an autonomous body with legislative, executive and judicial functions by Philip II of Spain and placed in Madrid in 1561. The Council of the Indies was abolished in 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes, briefly restored in 1814 by Ferdinand VII of Spain, and definitively abolished in 1834 by the regency, acting on behalf of the four-year-old Isabella II of Spain.
The Royal Audiencia of Santiago was an Audiencia Real or royal law court that functioned in Santiago de Chile during the Spanish colonial period. This body heard both civil and criminal cases. It was founded during the 17th century and abolished in 1818.
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.
The Captaincy General of Venezuela also known as the Kingdom of Venezuela was an administrative district of colonial Spain, created on September 8, 1777, through the Royal Decree of Graces of 1777, to provide more autonomy for the provinces of Venezuela, previously under the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo and then the Viceroyalty of New Granada. It established a unified government in political (governorship), military, fiscal (intendancy) and judicial (audiencia) affairs. Its creation was part of the Bourbon Reforms and laid the groundwork for the future nation of Venezuela, in particular by orienting the province of Maracaibo towards the province of Caracas.
The New Kingdom of Granada, or Kingdom of the New Granada, was the name given to a group of 16th-century Spanish colonial provinces in northern South America governed by the president of the Audiencia of Santa Fe, an area corresponding mainly to modern-day Colombia, Panama and Venezuela. The conquistadors originally organized it as a captaincy general within the Viceroyalty of Peru. The crown established the audiencia in 1549. Ultimately the kingdom became part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada first in 1717 and permanently in 1739. After several attempts to set up independent states in the 1810s, the kingdom and the viceroyalty ceased to exist altogether in 1819 with the establishment of Gran Colombia.
Benito Pérez Brito de los Ríos y Fernández Valdelomar was a Spanish military officer and colonial official. From March 21, 1812 to November 1812, he was viceroy of New Granada.
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 Santo Domingo was the first court of the Spanish crown in America. It was created by Ferdinand V of Castile in his decree of 1511, but due to disagreements between the governor of Hispaniola, Diego Colon and the Crown, it was not implemented until it was reestablished by Charles V in his decree of September 14, 1526. This audiencia would become part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain upon the creation of the latter two decades later. Nevertheless, the audiencia president was at the same time governor and captain general of the Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, which granted him broad administrative powers and autonomy over the Spanish possessions of the Caribbean and most of its mainland coasts. This combined with the judicial oversight that the audiencia judges had over the region meant that the Santo Domingo Audiencia was the principal political entity of this region during the colonial period.
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 Buenos Aires, were two audiencias, or highest courts, of the Spanish crown, which resided in Buenos Aires. The authority of the first extended to the territory of the Governorate of the Río de la Plata and operated from 1661 to 1671. The second began to function in 1783 and had as its territory the areas of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata not covered by the Audiencia de Charcas, that is to say the intendancies of Buenos Aires, Córdoba del Tucumán, Salta del Tucumán and Paraguay. In 1810, after the May Revolution, it was suspended, and in 1813 the Assembly of the Year XIII permanently disbanded it. The Audiencias resided in the city's cabildo building.
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 Captaincy General of Yucatán was an administrative district of colonial Spain, created in 1617 to provide more autonomy for the Yucatán Peninsula, previously ruled directly by a simple governor under the jurisdiction of Audiencia of Mexico. Its creation was part of the, ultimately futile, Habsburg attempt in the late 16th century to prevent incursion into the Caribbean by foreign powers, which also involved the establishment of Captaincies General in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and neighboring Guatemala. With the addition of the title of captain general to the governor of Yucatán, the province gained greater autonomy in administration and military matters. Unlike in most areas of Spanish America, no formal corregidores were used in Yucatán, and instead the governor-captain general relied on other subordinate officials to handle the oversight of local districts. The Captaincy General remained part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, with the viceroy retaining the right to oversee the province's governance, when it was deemed necessary, and the Audiencia of Mexico taking judicial cases in appeal. The province and captaincy general covered the territory that today are the States of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán, and nominally the northern areas of Petén and Belize.
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 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.