Yuste Foundation Proposes the Creation of the “School of Guadalupe” in Order to Promote Knowledge of History and Law as Instruments of Coexistence

The member of the General Council of the Judiciary, Juan Martínez Moya; the director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno; the dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Seville, Alfonso Castro Sáenz; the professor of the University of Extremadura and co-director of the sessions, Sixto Sánchez-Lauro; the mayor Guadalupe, Felipe Sánchez Barba, and the Guardian and Custodian of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, Friar Guillermo Cerrato, have inaugurated the 1st Guadalupe in America Sessions “The Jurist from Guadalupe, Lorenzo Lebrón de Quiñones and His Time: The Forging of New Spain in the 16th Century”, which will take place until tomorrow at the Mudéjar hall of the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe. (04/04/2022)

These sessions aim to highlight the figure and work of the magistrate from Guadalupe who lived at the time when Europe connected with the new American world, an event that caused an inflection of planetary scope. “In this context – Sánchez-Lauro claimed – Lebrón de Quiñones served the Hispanic monarchy from different angles, highlighting the judicial function as a permanent one of power since the beginning of times”.

The co-director of the sessions explained that the Guadeloupean magistrate was an oidor in New Spain, an American territory of relevance to the Spanish monarchy at a time when the American territories were being forged. “Lebrón took Law to a new court, to Nueva Galicia, with the utmost loyalty and rigour, controlling the performance of other colleagues as a visiting judge and protecting the weakest as was the case of the indigenous population”, he pointed out.

The dean of the Faculty of Law of Seville recalled the formative origin of Lebrón de Quiñones at the University of Seville and, in his opinion, he stated that he was the first great student of the University of Seville’s Law Faculty, a fact that has come to light thanks to the research work carried out by the Labour Law and Social Security Professor of the University of Seville and co-director of the sessions, Cristina Sánchez-Rodas.

Castro Sáenz stated that he was pleased to participate in this academic and institutional tribute to one of the great “legal sons of Extremadura”, and added that these sessions also serve to share a moment where we pay tribute to one of our “children of culture and education because our faculty survived and could expand because our graduates found a natural place of expansion in the juridical destinies of the New World”.

The mayor of Guadalupe, Felipe Sánchez Barba, for his part, announced that the City Council of the town intends to work on the celebration of an event in order to give recognition to the figure of Lebrón de Quiñones in the near future. The event will serve to articulate different collaborations with the entities that he was part of, such as the University of Seville. The City Council will also work to consolidate the Sessions “Guadalupe in America”.

The director of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, defended the celebration of such sessions, where the figure and work of historical figures is revalued because “in the face of situations as hostile as those in Europe, we humans have two resources: history and law. History – a weapon loaded with a future that helps us understand the present and venture into the future – and law – understood as a social ordering of life with binding force – are two absolutely necessary instruments, and this is the case today more than ever”, he said.

According to the director of Yuste Foundation, Guadalupe must become a pivot between Europe and Ibero-America and in order to achieve this, he pledged to enhance the activities that take place in the town, and more specifically at the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe.

Finally, the director of Yuste Foundation proposed to perpetuate the celebration of these sessions in order to create the “School of Guadalupe”, in the likeness of the School of Salamanca, which gave way to new paths for human understanding in the 16th century. In this sense, he invited those present to forge “a historical and juridical doctrinal corpus that helps human understanding in times as difficult as those in the present”.

The opening of the session was also attended by Friar Guillermo Cerrato, who offered the Monastery of Guadalupe as a meeting place and as a space for dialogue, learning, discernment and above all, “for the cultivation of what is most humanistic in the heart of all human beings”.

The member of the General Council of the Judiciary, Juan Martínez Moya, closed the round of speeches explaining that the institution he represents defends the issues, the spirit, the latent ideas and the interinstitutional character of the sessions. “Lebrón de Quiñones was a public servant and we judges are, above all, public servants. In order to convey a current message with the figure of Lebrón de Quiñones, Martínez Moya stressed that historians have agreed that freedom of expression of the 16th century was total, “that Lebrón de Quiñones defended the right to the protection of the indigenous people and anticipated the concept of what effective judicial protection should be”.

These sessions, which help to explain the work of this distinguished Guadeloupean and the time that he lived in and transformed with his training as a great jurist, count with the contribution of interesting papers that have been submitted by jurists, American historians and Lorenzo Lebrón de Quiñones specialists. All the research that has been submitted will be collected in a publication.

The sessions have been attended by the President of the Superior Court of Justice of Extremadura, María Félix Tena Aragón; the Chief Prosecutor of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, Francisco Javier Montero Juanes; the President of the Provincial High Court of Cáceres, Joaquín González Casso; and the member of the General Council of the Judiciary, José Antonio Ballestero Pascual.