UK Court Declines Jurisdiction Over Juan Carlos I

UK Court Rejects Former King's Trial

King Juan Carlos pictured in 2014. Credit: Gil Corzo/

A decision has been announced today concerning claims against Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos.

On Friday, October 6, the High Court of England and Wales announced its decision regarding the alleged harassment claims made by Corinna Larsen against King Juan Carlos I, seeking damages of approximately €146 million, according to OK Diario.

Jurisdictional Challenges

Judge Collins Rice said: ‘My main conclusion is that the High Court of England and Wales lacks jurisdiction to hear this claim.

‘This is because it has not been brought against the defendant in his country of domicile, as is its default right; and the claimant has not persuaded me that she has a strong and arguable case that her claim falls within an exception to that default rule,’.

The judge further noted that Juan Carlos I had, through his actions in this litigation, effectively submitted to the jurisdiction of the High Court.

Legal Grounds And Brexit Implications

Juan Carlos I’s defence, represented by the British firm Velitor Law, had previously argued in July that the UK courts were not the appropriate venue for this case.

They cited Article 4 of the EU regulation on jurisdiction, which mandates that individuals domiciled in an EU member state should be sued in their home country’s courts. This regulation, they argued, was still applicable as the case began before the Brexit transition period ended on December 31, 2020.

A Complex Relationship

After Juan Carlos I’s abdication on June 14, 2014, Larsen had publicly expressed her admiration for him, describing him as ‘a man of deep humanity and courage, a loyal and always attentive friend’, and a ‘giant of history’.

However, the defence voiced concerns over allegations suggesting an abuse of power that contradicted the former king’s significant role in Spain’s democratic transition.

Immunity And Allegations

Sources reported Press that the main focus of the hearing was to address preliminary issues, particularly the extent of the former king’s immunity. On December 6, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales ruled that Juan Carlos I had immunity for actions taken before his 2014 abdication.

This meant that Larsen’s claims, which spanned from 2012 to 2020, could only be considered for events post-2014 in UK courts.

Larsen alleges that after ending their relationship, Juan Carlos I harassed her, initially to reconcile and later to sabotage her business. She sought compensation for mental health treatment costs, personal security measures, and hiring experts to counteract the alleged harassment.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.