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Law of Argentina


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The Legal system of Argentina is a Civil law legal system. The two pillars of the Civil system are the Constitution of Argentina (1853) and the Civil Code of Argentina (1871).

The Argentine Constitution of 1853 was an attempt to unite the unstable the young country of the United Provinces of the River Plate under a single law, creating as well the different organisms needed to run a country. The constitution was finally approved after failed signatory attempts in 1813 (see Assembly of 1813), 1819 and 1831 (Pacto Federal).

The Civil Code was written by Argentine jurist Dalmacio Velez Sarsfield, and started being effective on January 1, 1871. Beyond the influence of the Spanish legal tradition, the Argentine Civil Code was also inspired by the Draft of the Brazilian Civil Code, the Draft of the Spanish Civil Code of 1851, the Napoleonic code and the Chilean Civil Code among others.

The sources of this Civil Code also include various theoretical legal works, mainly of the great French jurists of the 19th century. It was the first Civil Law that consciously adopted as its cornerstone the distinction between i. rights from obligations and ii. real property rights, thus distancing itself from the French model.

Judicial system

Justice is administered by both federal and provincial courts. The former deal only with cases of a national character or those to which different provinces or inhabitants of different provinces are parties. The Supreme Court, which supervises and regulates all other federal courts, is composed of nine members nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Other federal courts include nine appellate courts, with three judges for each; single judge district courts, at least one for each province; and one-judge territorial courts. The federal courts may not decide political questions.

Judges of the lower courts are appointed by the president.

Provincial courts include supreme courts, appellate courts, courts of first instance, and minor courts of justices of the peace (alcaldes) and of the market judges. Members of provincial courts are appointed by the provincial governors. Trial by jury was authorized by the 1853 constitution for criminal cases, but its establishment was left to the discretion of congress, resulting in sporadic use.

A 1991 law provides a fund for compensating prisoners who were illegally detained during the 197683 military dictatorship. In 1992, a system of oral public trials was instituted in order to speed up the judicial process while improving the protection of procedural rights of criminal defendants.

In practice, there is not a truly independent judiciary. The courts lack power to enforce orders against the executive and federal judges who actively pursue charges of police or military corruption. In 1989, President Menem, in a court-packing maneuver, expanded the number of Supreme Court justices from five to nine. In 2003, shortly aft er taking office, President Nestor Kirchner signaled his intention to remove some of Menems appointees and to strengthen the judiciary by undoing some of Menems moves that turned the Supreme Court into a political ally of the president

rather than an autonomous power of the state. Formal and informal constitutional accusation against Menem-appointed Supreme Court justices between 2003 and 2005 allowed Kirchner to appoint new justices who were considered friendly to his regime. Thus, the autonomy and independence of the Supreme Court continued to be weakened by the executives decision to influence the appointment and tenure of justices.

The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence. The government respects these provisions. The constitution prohibits torture; however, police brutality remains a serious problem. The judicial system is subject to delays, resulting in lengthy pretrial detention.

Structure of the Law in Argentina

;Constitution of Argentina

Bill of Rights

Form of Government

Delegation of Powers to the National Government - Codes

Precedence of Laws - International Treaties

Provincial Constitutions

;Civil Code of Argentina

Preliminary titles

On the laws

On counting intervals of the right

Books of Law

Of the persons

Of the personal rights in the civil relations

Of the possessions and real rights

Of the personal and real rights

Complementary Title

Of the application of the civil laws

;Argentine sources of law

Statutory Law

Case Law


General Principles of Law



;Argentine interpretation of legislation

Methods of Interpretation

Sources of Interpretation

Special Rules of Interpretation

;Argentine law jurisdictions



Levels of Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction of the Argentine Courts in the International Sphere

See also

Legal systems of the world

Politics of Argentina

External links

The Legal System in Argentina

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Law of Argentina

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