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carácter básico

English translation: to constitute basic legislation [with optional TN]

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:tener carácter básico
English translation:to constitute basic legislation [with optional TN]
Entered by: David Swain
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14:32 Aug 28, 2014
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Government / Politics / Jurisdictions (Spain)
Spanish term or phrase: carácter básico
As I understand it, this is a term used in Spain to describe legislation applicable in all the autonomous communities, as set out in article 149 of the Spanish Constitution (http://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-1978-31229); this article (http://www.unioviedo.es/constitucional/miemb/requejo/aranzad... gives an idea of what the term means. I am looking for suggestions as to a suitable English translation of this term. (Please note: I am aware that it is already in the ProZ glossaries as "primary enforcement provision", but I am not convinced by that and am looking for other options.) There follows the text including this term that I am translating, for context purposes.

[lengthy piece of cited legislation]

De este artículo se derivan las siguientes reflexiones. En primer lugar, como ya indican Barrero et al. (2014), el artículo 9 no tiene carácter básico. Al no tener carácter básico el punto tercero, pues los otros dos es lógico que no lo tengan, la posible sanción por incumplimiento se deja a la decisión de cada autonomía, que podría no establecer ninguna sanción para su administración y para las administraciones locales que de su normativa dependan.
David Swain
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:09
does not constitute / have the status of basic legislation [with optional TN]
Explanation:
This concept is really peculiar to Spanish constitutional arrangements. The term normally employed by those who discuss the issues in English, in relation to Spain, is the literal "basic". However, I think that if you simply "of a basic nature", people not very familiar with Spanish law will not catch the specific sense of "básico", which is why I have suggest the formulation above, using the whole term "basic legislation".

The term "legislación básica" is used in the Spanish constitution, specifically in Article 149 itself:

"1. El Estado tiene competencia exclusiva sobre las siguientes materias:
[...]
17.ª Legislación básica y régimen económico de la Seguridad Social, sin perjuicio de la ejecución de sus servicios por las Comunidades Autónomas. [...]
23.ª Legislación básica sobre protección del medio ambiente, sin perjuicio de las facultades de las Comunidades Autónomas de establecer normas adicionales de protección. La legislación básica sobre montes, aprovechamientos forestales y vías pecuarias."
http://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-1978-31229

The official English translation, on the Tribunal Constitucional website, calls this "basic legislation":

"xvii) basic legislation and financial system of the Social Security, without prejudice to the implementation of its services by the Autonomous Communities; [...]
xxiii) basic legislation on environmental protection, without prejudice to the powers of the Autonomous Communities to establish additional protective measures; basic legislation on woodlands, forestry, and livestock trails;"
http://www.tribunalconstitucional.es/es/constitucion/Paginas...

"Leyes de base" is translated as "basic laws", for example in Article 83.

This doesn't of itself mean that we must use the word "basic", but I think it's an argument in favour.

The point, as these sections of Article 149 make clear, is that "basic" legislation is national state law whose regulatory implementation is left to the autonomous communities. This point is made in the following OECD report on Spanish government:

"In many other areas central government remains as a general policy-maker, setting the basis for the action of other administrations and ensuring that certain minimum standards are met and some degree of co-ordination is attained. Implementation is then left to the regions and, as the case may be, to municipalities. In a large number of matters central institutions issue basic legislation which is then developed by the regions into their own set of laws and regulations, going far beyond mere implementation of national mandates. This is the case in areas such as environmental policy, land use and physical planning, forestry, transportation, cultural heritage and economic development."
http://www.oecd.org/governance/budgeting/1902255.pdf (p. 391 [5]).

"4.7.1.3 Basic laws (leyes de base) [...]
4.7.1.4 Framework laws (leyes marco) [...]
These laws are of similar rank to ordinary laws. As a kind of basic law, they outline the objectives and principles underlining legislation on matters which the state is willing to delegate or transfer to the autonomous communities (7.7.3.1).
4.7.1.5 Basic legislation (legislación básica)
Basic legislation is comparable to the framework laws and refers to areas of competence shared between the state and the autonomous communities (7.7.2)."
Michael T. Newton, Institutions of Modern Spain: A Political and Economic Guide, 65
http://books.google.es/books?id=K_ii-Rx5tBgC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA6...

"The regulation of industrial pollution falls under the competence of the central state for 'basic legislation' (legislación básica) on environmental protection pursuant to Art. 149 (1) no. 23 CE. [...] The concept of basic legislation is a peculiarity of the Spanish Constitution. It is based on the idea that, in certain policy areas, the central government regulates the basic aspects in the national interest while the autonomous communities specify and complement the national law from a regional perspective."
Eherhard Bohne, The Quest for Environmental Regulatory Integration in the European Union, 337.

________________

This is such a specific concept that I feel the well-established term "basic legislation" should be used. However, since this term can mean different things in different countries, I would be rather inclined to add a translator's note the first time it appears, saying something like: "Basic legislation, in Spain, is national law whose regulatory implementation is left to the discretion of the autonomous communities."

Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 02:09
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +1does not constitute / have the status of basic legislation [with optional TN]
Charles Davis
4intrinsically/ essentially limited in scopeOliver Toogood
3applied generically
njweatherdon
2Article 9 is not of broad applicationRobert Forstag
Summary of reference entries provided
other contextliz askew

Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


37 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
el artículo 9 no tiene carácter básico
Article 9 is not of broad application


Explanation:
Or: is not broadly applied

Just an idea.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 52 mins (2014-08-28 15:24:52 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You might think of something along the lines of "Article 9 is not applicable across all Autonomous Communities" (but any such wording would be more of a *definition* rather than a translation of the term in question--which, I should note, is itself inherently "broad," and which does not make explicit reference to Spain's constitutional arrangement).

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 20:09
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 261
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks Robert. This is a little broad - I'm looking for something more directly related to the Spanish constitutional arrangement.

Asker: I agree that it is an inherently broad term, so I withdraw my criticism of your suggestion.

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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
intrinsically/ essentially limited in scope


Explanation:
Article 9 is intrinsically/ essentially limited in scope;

( 'essentially' here meaning "of/by its essence", rather than ' necessarily';)

Oliver Toogood
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:09
Does not meet criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
applied generically


Explanation:
or, "applied in a generic manner"

I.e., it is designed in a way that there is flexibility in the way that it is applied according to specific circumstance and/or changing times.

If correct, the approach could be criticized, but at the same time, I think it is generally desirable for a constitution to not be worded in a way which amounts to micromanagement, but rather provides general principles which can be applied according to the spirit and/or needs of the times (ideally not to be abused ... but that's what all those other important aspects of democracy are for ...)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2014-08-28 17:24:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------


so, in the context of the paragraph, that the article is not applied generically, or perhaps, that it is not applied in a strictly uniform manner. I think it's OK to drop the "caracter" part

njweatherdon
Canada
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 14
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
does not constitute / have the status of basic legislation [with optional TN]


Explanation:
This concept is really peculiar to Spanish constitutional arrangements. The term normally employed by those who discuss the issues in English, in relation to Spain, is the literal "basic". However, I think that if you simply "of a basic nature", people not very familiar with Spanish law will not catch the specific sense of "básico", which is why I have suggest the formulation above, using the whole term "basic legislation".

The term "legislación básica" is used in the Spanish constitution, specifically in Article 149 itself:

"1. El Estado tiene competencia exclusiva sobre las siguientes materias:
[...]
17.ª Legislación básica y régimen económico de la Seguridad Social, sin perjuicio de la ejecución de sus servicios por las Comunidades Autónomas. [...]
23.ª Legislación básica sobre protección del medio ambiente, sin perjuicio de las facultades de las Comunidades Autónomas de establecer normas adicionales de protección. La legislación básica sobre montes, aprovechamientos forestales y vías pecuarias."
http://www.boe.es/buscar/doc.php?id=BOE-A-1978-31229

The official English translation, on the Tribunal Constitucional website, calls this "basic legislation":

"xvii) basic legislation and financial system of the Social Security, without prejudice to the implementation of its services by the Autonomous Communities; [...]
xxiii) basic legislation on environmental protection, without prejudice to the powers of the Autonomous Communities to establish additional protective measures; basic legislation on woodlands, forestry, and livestock trails;"
http://www.tribunalconstitucional.es/es/constitucion/Paginas...

"Leyes de base" is translated as "basic laws", for example in Article 83.

This doesn't of itself mean that we must use the word "basic", but I think it's an argument in favour.

The point, as these sections of Article 149 make clear, is that "basic" legislation is national state law whose regulatory implementation is left to the autonomous communities. This point is made in the following OECD report on Spanish government:

"In many other areas central government remains as a general policy-maker, setting the basis for the action of other administrations and ensuring that certain minimum standards are met and some degree of co-ordination is attained. Implementation is then left to the regions and, as the case may be, to municipalities. In a large number of matters central institutions issue basic legislation which is then developed by the regions into their own set of laws and regulations, going far beyond mere implementation of national mandates. This is the case in areas such as environmental policy, land use and physical planning, forestry, transportation, cultural heritage and economic development."
http://www.oecd.org/governance/budgeting/1902255.pdf (p. 391 [5]).

"4.7.1.3 Basic laws (leyes de base) [...]
4.7.1.4 Framework laws (leyes marco) [...]
These laws are of similar rank to ordinary laws. As a kind of basic law, they outline the objectives and principles underlining legislation on matters which the state is willing to delegate or transfer to the autonomous communities (7.7.3.1).
4.7.1.5 Basic legislation (legislación básica)
Basic legislation is comparable to the framework laws and refers to areas of competence shared between the state and the autonomous communities (7.7.2)."
Michael T. Newton, Institutions of Modern Spain: A Political and Economic Guide, 65
http://books.google.es/books?id=K_ii-Rx5tBgC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA6...

"The regulation of industrial pollution falls under the competence of the central state for 'basic legislation' (legislación básica) on environmental protection pursuant to Art. 149 (1) no. 23 CE. [...] The concept of basic legislation is a peculiarity of the Spanish Constitution. It is based on the idea that, in certain policy areas, the central government regulates the basic aspects in the national interest while the autonomous communities specify and complement the national law from a regional perspective."
Eherhard Bohne, The Quest for Environmental Regulatory Integration in the European Union, 337.

________________

This is such a specific concept that I feel the well-established term "basic legislation" should be used. However, since this term can mean different things in different countries, I would be rather inclined to add a translator's note the first time it appears, saying something like: "Basic legislation, in Spain, is national law whose regulatory implementation is left to the discretion of the autonomous communities."



Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 02:09
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 256
Notes to answerer
Asker: This is a truly excellent answer Charles. Thank you so much - the research for this clearly took some time. I will take your advice and use "basic legislation", including some sort of translator's note.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AllegroTrans: "primary" legislation perhaps?
1 hr
  -> That's a term I considered, but on investigation I decided it was too broad; this is one particular kind of primary legislation. Thanks, Allegro.
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Reference comments


25 mins peer agreement (net): -1
Reference: other context

Reference information:
Sinopsis artículo 149 - Constitución Española
www.congreso.es › Inicio › Constitución española
Translate this page
Por ejemplo, la legislación, la legislación básica, la legislación de desarrollo, .... el carácter básico de una normativa no tiene rasgos formales sino sustanciales, ..

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 34 mins (2014-08-28 15:07:07 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

last suggestion

= basis

Administrative Procedure Act
www.archives.gov › Federal Register › Laws › Administrative Procedure
(b) General notice of proposed rule making shall be published in the Federal Register, ... in the rules adopted a concise general statement of their basis and purpose. ... (d) The required publication or service of a substantive rule shall be made ...

liz askew
United Kingdom
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 147
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thanks for that


Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
disagree  AllegroTrans: This doesn't seem relevant to the context, i.e. definition of specific type of Spanish legislation; I don't think you can "convert" this to a UK term such as "substantive rule"
6 hrs
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