Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Fuero, in Spain, a word used in the sense of a collection of laws. It was applied to the Visigothic code (Fuero Juzgo), when it was translated from the Latin, but it usually denoted a charter granting municipal privileges, a meaning which was afterwards extended so as to cover all forms of local self-government. Some fueros, or at least the rights confirmed by them, seem to date from the Roman period, and to have remained undisturbed during the Visigothic occupation. The earliest fuero in the form of a written charter - that granted to Leon in 1020 - comprises both a fuero general for the province and a fuero municipal for the town, both embodying much earlier rights. With the progress of monarchy in Spain, and the concentration of all power in the king's hands, most of the fueros disappeared, but those of Navarre and the Basque provinces were preserved till within a recent period. A fuero always provided for some form of self-government by means of a freely-elected assembly, such as the Cortes of Navarre and the Juntas of the various Basque provinces, subordinated to a Junta General, which met under the oak of Guernica in Biscay. In the Basque provinces the administrative body consisted of a corregidor, who represented the king, and two deputies and six regidors, appointed in the Junta General. The privileges of these provinces, which in the main resembled those of other districts possessing fueros, included self-taxation, an independent system of jurisdiction, almost complete freedom of trade, and the control of their own military forces, with exemption from liability to serve in the Spanish army. The Basque fueros were suppressed in 1833, and, though restored by Isabella in 1839, were finally abolished after the Carlist rebellion in 1873-76. The word fuero has yet another sense, denoting the customs regulating land-tenure, inheritance, etc., which varied greatly in different localities.