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María José Balda Medarde


Originally from Logroño, María José Balda Medarde studied law at the University of Zaragoza and was admitted to the bar in Huesca in 1982. In the early 1990s she was appointed Coordinator of the Huesca Bar Association and of Aragon's Women's Institute for the counselling of female victims of gender-based and domestic violence, a position she held until her election as Dean of the Huesca Bar Association.

The Council of Bar Associations of Aragon was set up during her term of office, of which she was a member and later president.

She has been a member of the General Spanish Bar Council (CGAE) and sat on its Free Legal Aid Committee, as well as being the first chair of the Subcommittee on Violence against Women. Her work was decisive in the creation and organisation of specific legal aid for gender-based violence in bar associations after the approval of Spain's Organic Act of Protection Measures against Gender Violence. Through this new Subcommittee, she laid the foundations for the coordination of legal aid among bar associations and analysed their deficiencies with the aim of optimising their performance, thereby strengthening the role of the legal profession in this area, as well as promoting the need to coordinate with other legal agents in the area of gender-based violence.

She was also the CGAE's first representative in the Observatory against Domestic and Gender-Based Violence of Spain's General Council of the Judiciary.

In 2006 she was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit for Service to the Legal Profession by the CGAE and the Grand Cross for Service to Aragon's Legal Profession by the Council of Bar Associations of Aragon.

Update: 27 August 2021

Has participated in

Breaking the silence

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women