Gitanos are the Roma, otherwise known as Gypsies, of Spain that are predominantly concentrated in the southern province of Andaluda. Although the Roma are Europe's largest transnational minority, very little efforts have been made to understand their legal systems. Additionally, due to their long histories of oppression in Europe and internal legal codes that discourage sharing details of their legal systems with outsiders, their legal systems are particularly difficult to understand and for the most part, remain enigmatic and misunderstood. This Article analyzes the historical factors affecting the development of the Gitano legal system by using a horizontal axis metaphor, and the present-day effects of other legal jurisdictions and social factors on the Gitano legal system through a vertical axis metaphor. Through this analysis, the author offers suggestions as to how Gitanos may gain representation of their legal system without compromising tenets of their legal codes, and hopes that a similar mode of analysis may be applied to both Roma and other stateless communities. Critical analysis is crucial in brainstorming for solutions in dealing with the Roma's dire social situations, often described as "Europe's worst human rights abuse." Spain is in a unique position to lead efforts in this arena because of the relatively more assimilated social situations of Gitanos compared to other Roma. Also, as an established European Union member with the largest population of Roma in Western Europe, Spain also stands in a position to influence European Union policy towards all Roma of European Union states. This is particularly important as Eastern European states with high Roma populations are now slowly entering the European Union.
Jennifer H. Corriggio,
Gitano Legal Codes: Social Change, NGO's, and External Legal Systems' Influence on Governance of Spanish Roma Communities,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol13/iss1/1