Founded on April 1, 1997, the aim of the Garrigues Foundation is to serve the general interests of civil society through three core mainstays: applied legal research, scholarship and award programs, and community outreach initiatives. The Foundation therefore pays particular attention to researching the values which must underpin legal practice in the 21st century and the training of young lawyers, while making an active contribution to the social welfare of society’s most disadvantaged groups.
Research: collaborating with Spanish and foreign research institutions and teams, the Foundation’s priority research objectives are global law and new areas of the law such as bioethics and the impact of new technologies on society.
Training: the program of awards and scholarships has been set up as a means to encourage excellence among young lawyers in the study of the law and the skillful application of their knowledge.
Community Outreach: the majority of the firm’s community outreach initiatives are performed through the Foundation, which has set itself the goal of applying operational principles in order to clarify and strengthen its activities. To this end, it focuses on small groups, carefully selecting projects to ensure the most direct impact.
::afterLetter from the chairman, Antonio Garrigues
“We live in times as troubled as they are fascinating, in which four fundamental revolutions – in science, technology, culture and ethics – have been simultaneously set in motion, interacting and feeding off each other with high levels of synergy. The discoveries of quantum physics have shattered all distinctions between matter, mind and spirit and may serve to symbolize our era, which will be dominated in all areas and to an extreme degree by an ever-quickening pace of change, relativity and, above all, complexity. This phenomenon will have a far-reaching impact on both the public realm and citizen behavior, and the duties and objectives of all levels of society, barring none. The legal class in particular – which includes academia, the world of education, the courts and the legal profession – will have to ask itself questions as to the nature of its new mission, the fundamental tasks to be dealt with, and wherein lie the problems, difficulties and barriers which must be faced and overcome. In an era in which the legal domain holds immense sway over society, it is crucial to develop research centers to actively study and analyze general interest subjects for the good of civil society. The Garrigues Foundation aims to be just such a center of research, anticipating problems and proposing practical solutions, in two clearly defined areas:
The globalization of law: analysis of the current legal shortcomings in the globalization process, the fundamental need to strengthen global institutions and the creation of a global law. A global law that is separate from, and superior to, international law, taking the personality principle as its core belief and leading us to the principle of universality, challenging the notion of territoriality which forms the bedrock of international law. While this may now seem a utopian aim, in reality it is not. Furthermore, even if this were the case, it would be worth fighting for as, in the end, utopian ideals often end up becoming a reality. We need an ius novum universale, a legal system anchored by the emerging global civil society and solid global institutions with universal jurisdiction, informed by the principle of solidarity.
The new fields of law that have emerged as a result of the impressive strides made in the fields of science and technology, above all in the fields of information technology (e.g. the impact of the Internet on society) and in medical science (e.g. bioethics, which has become the most attractive and interesting branch of modern-day science). In this regard, one need only mention the possibilities and risks presented by genetic engineering – including cloning – to realize the veritable Pandora’s Box that will be opened and which we will have to know how to interpret and, insofar as this is possible, supervise and manage.
The Foundation’s other main area of activity is handling the majority of the Community Outreach initiatives of both the staff of Garrigues and the firm itself, through three courses of action: pro bono work, volunteer initiatives and projects.
These are marvelous challenges to which all of us here at the Garrigues Foundation intend to devote the greatest of dedication and enthusiasm”.
The purpose of the Garrigues Foundation is to contribute to social welfare and to develop and promote science, education and culture. In pursuing such aims, the Foundation can act either directly or through other prestigious entities in the fields of social or welfare initiatives, education and culture.
The Foundation’s activities will essentially be performed through action plans drawn up by the Board of Trustees, either in collaboration with entities of a similar nature, or by taking part in the activities of other foundations or charitable, cultural, educational or research institutions.
Applied legal research, a program of awards and scholarships, and social initiatives constitute the three core mainstays of the Foundation. The Foundation pays particular attention to researching the values which must underpin legal practice in the 21st century, to the training of young lawyers, and to contributing to social welfare.
Pioneering spirit : to remain at the cutting edge in the field of legal research, offering practical solutions to meet the wide-ranging, unavoidable and immediate needs borne out of globalization and new technologies.
Ethics : to have a commitment to the truth as our overriding responsibility.
Global mentality : to keep an open mind and seek enrichment through knowledge and a respect for all cultures in every field: cultural, social, scientific, economic and political.
Positive outlook : to understand that, while success can never be taken for granted, utopian ideals can nevertheless become a reality and we must strive towards furthering the sum of human knowledge and sentiment, to raise the individual rate of “happiness per capita.”
Civic responsibility : to provide open access to the results of the Foundation’s research activity, which must always be aimed at finding solutions to general interest problems.