The Legal Medicine Institutes are configured by the Organic Law 6/1985, July 1 of the Judiciary, in its wording given by the Organic Law 16/1994, of November 8, as the essential instrument in which forensic medicine is structured. . Through Royal Decree 386/1996, of March 1, the Regulation of the Institutes of Legal Medicine was approved, constituting themselves as bodies whose mission is to assist the Courts, Tribunals, Prosecutors and Civil Registry Offices through the practice of medical expert tests , both thanatological and clinical and laboratory, as well as carrying out teaching and research activities related to forensic medicine.
The Institutes of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences are constituted as specialized bodies that centralize the functions formerly carried out by the Anatomical-Forensic Institutes, Anatomical-Forensic Clinics, Forensic Groups and Forensic Doctors assigned to the different judicial districts. In their technical functions they are independent and issue their reports in accordance with the rules of scientific investigation that they deem appropriate.
In the provincial capitals in which a Superior Court of Justice has its seat, as well as in those in which Chambers of the Superior Court of Justice with jurisdiction in one or more provinces have their seat, an Institute of Legal Medicine will be created, through Order of the Minister of Justice, after hearing the General Council of the Judiciary.
By Decree 37/2006 of May 4 of the Governing Council of the Community of Madrid, the Institute of Legal Medicine is created, later modified by Decree 50/2015 of May 21, approving its Regulations.
Through Order 12/2020, of January 21, of the Ministry of Justice, Interior and Victims, the entry into operation of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of the Autonomous Community of Madrid is arranged. Therefore, the geographical scope of action of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences is the entire Autonomous Community of Madrid, structured into two areas, area I corresponding to the Judicial District of Madrid and area II for the Judicial Districts of the rest of the the Region, all within the legal framework already explained, with total independence and under strictly scientific criteria.