UPDATE: An Electronic Guide to Mexican Law

 

By Francisco A. Avalos and Elisa Donnadieu
Update by Francisco A. Avalos

 

Francisco Avalos has been Foreign and International Law Librarian at the University of Arizona College of Law Library. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 1971 and his Masters of Library Science in 1976. He is the author of several books and articles dealing with the legal system and history of Mexico. He has served as past President and Secretary of AALL FCIL- SIS and has made several presentations on the Mexican legal system at national conferences and conventions. He was a special consultant to the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade for over ten years.  William Hein Publishing has recently released the third edition of his work, “The Mexican Legal System: A Comprehensive Research Guide”. William Hein Publishing will soon release his new book, The Legal History of Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Present.  He has also just updated the Mexico section of the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citations for the 19 th edition. Francisco is now retired and does consultant work.

 

 

Published September 2014
( Previously updated by Francisco A. Avalos in November 2009, August 2011, and September 2012 )
Read the Archive Version!

Table of Contents

          I.      A Brief History of the Mexican Legal System

        II.      Federal Government and the Federal Constitution

A. Organization of the Federal Government

B. The Executive Branch

C. Legislative Branch of Government

                  1. Chamber of Deputies

                  2 . Chamber of Senators

D. Judicial Branch of Government
                  
Amparo                                     

 

      III.      Major Primary Federal Legislation

A. Legislative Process

B   Federal Laws

C.  Precedent

D. Federal Regulations

      IV.      Legislation Sources

        V.      Official Mexican Government Websites

      VI.      Political Parties

    VII.      State Governments

  VIII.      NAFTA

      IX.      Overall Coverage of Mexico

        X.      Mexican Publishers of Legal Materials

      XI.      Free Translation Sites

 

I. A Brief History of the Mexican Legal System

One of the key factors that greatly influence the legal system of a nation is the unique history all nations enjoy. Another factor is the international political thought of the times. The Mexican legal system has historical roots that go back to 16th century Spanish law and to Pre-Colombian indigenous law.  After the Spanish conquered the Aztec Empire, they found an advanced indigenous legal system in place.  The Spanish crown did not rid itself of the indigenous legal system completely; instead, it kept those indigenous laws and legal institutions that did not go directly against the Spanish customs or against Church Doctrine.  The Spanish Crown also introduced its own laws and legal institutions that were intended solely for Colonial Mexico. Spain ruled Mexico for over 300 years and consequently left its mark on the legal system of Mexico. The Mexican nation has lived through three constitutions. The first Constitution of Mexico (October 4, 1824) was the Constitution that followed the independence of Mexico from Spain and the ouster of Agustin de Iturbide who had set himself up as the first Emperor of the Empire of Mexico. The second constitution (February 5, 1857) was the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States. The third and current Constitution is the Constitution of 1917 which was the product of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The 1917 Constitution defines and articulates democratic political rights and duties, but the 1917 Constitution goes on to include economic, social, and cultural rights. The 1917 Constitution calls for a federal government that has a moral obligation to take an active role in promoting the social, economic, and cultural well-being of the people.

The 1917 Mexican Constitution calls for a "federal, democratic, representative Republic composed of free and sovereign States." All public power is derived from the people. The Mexican Constitution is based on seven basic principles: a declaration of human rights; national sovereignty; division of powers; the representative system; a federal structure; constitutional remedy and the supremacy of the state over the Church. It is seen as an instrument to be used to bring about social change. The government is very active in the national economy and promotes change through ownership, regulations and legislation. The Federal Constitution is the source and origin for all Mexican law. The hierarchy of sources of law in the civil law tradition to which Mexico's legal system belongs are, "constitution, legislation, regulation, and custom.The constitution will override all legislation, legislation will override all regulation, and regulation will override all custom.The hierarchy of sources of law in the civil law tradition to which Mexico's legal system belongs are, "constitution, legislation, regulation, and custom. The constitution will override all legislation, legislation will override all regulation, and regulation will override all custom.

Article 49 of the Constitution establishes the organization and division of the powers of the federal government. The federal government is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Each branch is independent of the other, and "two or more of the powers shall never be united in one single person or corporation." The executive is empowered to assume sole control of the government in case of emergencies. The emergencies and procedures for the executive to assume sole control of the government are defined and articulated in Article 29. Article 80 of the Constitution deals with the Executive Branch of government, that has "broad power of appointment and removal, fiscal powers, the power to initiate and veto legislation, and control of the military." The legislative branch of the federal government is comprised of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. There are 2 senators per state and one deputy for every 250,000 people in a state. Senators are elected by direct popular vote to a 6-year term. Deputies are elected to a 3-year term. Three-fourths of the deputies are elected by direct popular vote, with the remaining one-fourth selected in proportion to the votes received by each political party. Senators and deputies cannot be reelected for an immediately succeeding term.The Judiciary Branch of Government is headed by the Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion) which has final appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. There are circuit courts (Tribunales de Circuito) which are the federal appellate courts. The circuit courts are divided into single judge courts (Tribunales Unitarios de Circuito) and collegiate courts (Tribunales Colegiados de Circuito). There are also district courts (Juzgados de Distrito) and jury courts (Jurados Populares Federales) which are the federal courts of the first instance.

There are several federal judicial bodies in Mexico that are not part of the regular federal court structure. The most important are the Tax Court (Tribunal Fiscal de la Federacion) Labor Courts (Juntas de Conciliacion y Arbitraje) and Military courts (Tribunales Militares). The Tax Court is an administrative court "with jurisdiction over controversies arising in fiscal matters between an individual and the government." The Tax Court's responsibilities and structure are covered by the Fiscal Code (Codigo Fiscal de la Federacion) and the Organic Law of the Tax Court (Ley Organica del Tribunal Fiscal de la Federacion). The Labor Courts have jurisdiction over claims by workers that allege that their rights under the Federal Labor Code have been violated, disputes over collective bargaining, and strike-related matters. Labor courts' responsibilities and structure are covered by the Federal Labor Law (Ley Federal del Trabajo). The Military Courts deal with military matters. The Military Courts' responsibilities and structure are covered by the Organic Law of the Military Courts (Ley Organica de Los Tribunales Militares).

Mexico's legal system belongs to the Civil Law Tradition. It is important to be aware of some of the most important concepts of the civil law tradition in order to formulate research strategies in conducting research into Mexican law. The Civil Law Tradition divides the law into two major areas of law: private law and public law. Private law concerns the legal relationships between individuals. Public law concerns the legal relationships between individuals and the state. The main tenets of the civil law tradition concern areas dealing with persons, things and obligations, and their relationship. These legal tenets are found and expressed in the most important codes of the modern civil law states: the civil code, the commercial code, the criminal code, the code of civil procedures, and the code of criminal procedures. Codes in the civil law tradition have been written through the years on the assumption that using a rational scholarly process, rules and laws can be formulated to apply to most all situations that may arise. As a result, codes tend to be very detailed and vast in size. Individual articles in the codes are not regarded as narrow rules. If no applicable article is found for a given situation, several articles may be viewed in combination, and a general rule may be deduced from the articles to reach a solution. Ideally, the code article or articles that are relevant are found and applied in an almost mechanical fashion to the given situation with no need for any legal interpretation. Of course, in practice in our modern complex world, all situations of possible legal conflict cannot be foreseen and provided for. Many situations occur where legal interpretation is required. In these situations the fact that the Civil Law Tradition had its origins in the universities and not in the courts is significant. The Civil Law Tradition was developed by legal scholars and not by judges and lawyers, as is the case with the Common Law Tradition. Thus, the "authorities" of the civil law tradition were, and continue to be, legal scholars and not judges and lawyers. The legal scholars of the civil law tradition produce legal treaties that are referred to as doctrine ("doctrina" in Mexico). Civil law tradition judges, lawyers, and law students will refer to the doctrine of the leading legal scholars as common law tradition judges, lawyers, and law students will refer to case law.

The legal principle of " stare decisis ," of the Common Law Tradition is not recognized in the Civil Law Tradition. There are several reasons for the rejection of the legal principle of "stare decisis" by the Civil Law Tradition. One reason is the fact that the Civil Law Tradition was developed by legal scholars in the universities and not by judges in the courtroom. Another reason is the post French Revolutionary influence on the Civil Law Tradition. The post French Revolution legislature sought to reform the judiciary to prevent previous abuses. The role of the judge was reduced "to that of a minor bureaucrat who had no power to go beyond the letter of the law." Judicial review of legislation was not within the legal powers of judges. No one but the elected legislature had the power to create law. Although the principle of "stare decisis" is not recognized in the Civil Law Tradition, the Mexican judiciary does create case law to some extent. The Supreme Court and federal collegiate courts may establish formally binding precedent called "jurisprudencia." "Jurisprudencia" is established by having five consecutive and consistent decisions on a point of law. "Jurisprudencia" is binding on the court that established it and on all lower federal and state courts. Many of the legal treatises listed in the guide have the word "jurisprudencia" in their title. It is important to remember that in these instances "jurisprudencia" means case law and not the general study of law.

The starting point for nearly all Mexican legal research is a code. But, before going into the Mexican codes, it is important to mention some introductory material on the Mexican legal system. The most complete introduction is An Introduction to the Mexican Legal System by James E. Herget and Jorge Camil (1978). A reprint of this work appears in volume I of Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia, edited by Kenneth Robert Redden (1984-). Compendium of the Laws of Mexico by Joseph Wheles (1938), is dated but is still useful to someone unfamiliar with the Mexican legal system. Although they are not true introductions to the legal system of Mexico, the following sources also should be considered:  An Introduction to the History of Mexican Law by Guillermo Floris Margadant (1983); Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World by Thomas H. Reynolds and Arturo A. Flores (1989-); A Revised Guide to the Law and Legal Literature of Mexico by Helen L. Clagett and David M. Valderrama (1973); Guide to the Law and Legal Literature of Mexican States (1979) by Helen L. Clagett a reprint of a 1947 edition. As mentioned before, the starting point for nearly all Mexican legal research is a code. The first step in the process is to determine which code is the relevant one. Forty-one subject headings and an index have been provided to facilitate this process. The subject headings are based on broad general legal terms. For example, under "Domestic Relations" all laws associated with family law are included: marriage laws, divorce laws, adoption laws, legal guardianship laws, emancipation of minors’ laws, paternity and filiations laws, homestead laws, and civil registry laws.

Once the relevant code is determined, the specific code article or articles that apply to the specific situation must be located. Keyword searching, as used in most legal research, is not applicable in Mexican legal research. Mexican codes do not have indexes; instead codes provide a short, general table of contents. The table of contents can be located either at the front or at the back of the code. In Mexican legal research, the search is done by thinking in broad, general legal concepts and then working down to the specific. As an example, the search in the Mexican civil code for the divorce articles would not start with "divorce" but with "of persons" since divorce deals with a relationship of persons. Under the "of Persons" heading one would find divorce, marriage, adoptions, birth registration, death registration, and other matters relating to a person as a legal entity. A person becomes a legal entity at birth and loses this capacity at death.

Diario Oficial de la Federación - In Civil Law tradition the country’s legal matters/legislation must be published in the “Official Gazette” before it can go into effect.  The gazettes, which are legal newspapers, are known as “diarios” or “gacetas” in Mexico, and are published on a daily basis by the government.  This is the official source for all new legislation. The Diario Oficial de la Federación can be found online for free here . The site is in Spanish, but site offers a translation option that is very good.  In Mexican legal research, the search is done by thinking in broad, general legal concepts and then working down to the specific. As an example, the search in the Mexican civil code for the divorce articles would not start with "divorce" but with "of persons" since divorce deals with a relationship of persons. Under the "of Persons" heading one would find divorce, marriage, adoptions, birth registration, death registration, and other matters relating to a person as a legal entity. A person becomes a legal entity at birth and loses this capacity at death.

The second step in Mexican legal research involves finding the doctrine that applies to the situation under study. Most of the doctrine is organized by legislation articles chronologically, which makes for easy access. As is the case with legislation, the doctrinal treatises do not have indexes with few exceptions, but provide only a short, general table of contents. The third step in Mexican legal research is the most difficult step. This step involves searching for Supreme Court "jurisprudencia" and "tesis sobresalientes." "Tesis sobresalientes" are case decisions of note that have persuasive value, but are not binding on lower courts as is the case with "jurisprudencia." Decisions of the Supreme Court are officially published in the "Semanario Judicial de la Federación" (Judicial Weekly of the Federation).

II. Federal Government and the Federal Constitution

The most important document in the legal system of Mexico is the Federal Constitution. According to article 40 of the Mexican Constitution, Mexico is a "federal, democratic, representative Republic composed of free and sovereign States”.  There is a centralized federal government and 31 individual state governments.  Mexico City, the national capital, is located in the Federal District.  Throughout its history the Mexican nation has had three constitutions. The first Constitution of Mexico (October 4, 1824) was the Constitution that followed the independence of Mexico from Spain and the ouster of Agustín de Iturbide who had set himself up as the first Emperor of the Empire of Mexico. [1] The second Constitution (2-5-1857) was the Federal Constitution of the United Mexican States (Constitución Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, (2-5-1857). [2]

This Constitution was the first constitution that incorporated many principles from the Constitution of the United States (6-29-1790) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (8-26-1789). Also part of this Constitution is the principal of separation of church and states to a degree beyond our Constitution. The third constitution is the current which is in force today and is the Constitution of the United Mexican States (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). [3] This Constitution also relied on the Constitution of the United States and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The form of government found in the United States constitution is evident in the Mexican of 1917. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is also evident in the Mexican Constitution of 1917.  The anticlerical stand of the second Constitution of Mexico carried into the 1917 Constitution to a lesser degree and is eroding with time.

The Federal Constitution in force now is commonly known as the Constitution of 1917.  This Constitution consists 136 articles which are organized into 10 titles: Title One, Individual Prerogatives and Immunities; Title Two, National Sovereignty and the Form of Government; Title Three, Division of Federal Power; Title Four, Public Servants’ Accountabilities and the State’s Patrimonial Accountability; Title Five, Federal States and the Federal District; Title Six, Labor and Social Security; Title Seven, General Provisions; Title Eight, Constitutional Reform; Title Nineth, Constitutional Inviolability; Transitory Articles. The “Transitory Articles” are not considered constitutional article in any way shape or form. The only relationship they have with the Constitution is that they are published in the Constitution. The main purpose transitory articles is to serve as an enabling law that set the date when a certain piece of legislation will go into force and when it will be published in the Official Journal of the Federation. Transitory articles are also used to reform or to repeal existing legislation. They are viewed as complementary legislation to existing legislation and they cannot stand on their own. There are currently 86 transitory articles, with the first transitory article dealing with the ratification of the 1917 Constitution. The next transitory article dates from September 3, 1993 to June 25, 2014. [4] The format of the transitory articles is the same as that of the Constitution. Some transitory articles consist of one paragraph whiles other may have chapters, sections, paragraphs and multiple articles. [5]

Articles 80 to 93 of the Mexican Federal Constitution establish the Executive Branch of government. Article 80 states, “The exercise of the supreme executive power of the Union is deposited in a single person, to be known as the President of the United Mexican States. [6] Article 81 states that the election of the President shall be by direct vote. [7] Article 82 sets out the required personal attributes that an individual must possess to be eligible for the office of the President. [8] Article 83l sets the term of office to 6 years with no reelection possible and set the of the president elect as October 1. Article 84, Paragraphs 1-6 and Article 85 deal with the situation of the President not being able to perform his/her presidential duties because of some type of physical or mental disability. The Article 84 details the procedures to be followed to replace to the incapacitated President on an intern basis and set up presidential elections if required by the situation. It is important to note that the office of the vice-president does not exist in the Mexican political system.  One of the main reason for this situation is the unwritten principle of a having a single strong name to rule over the country.

The historical roots of this unwritten principle can be traced back to the Aztec Empire to the presidential elections of 2000 when the one political party rule was broken. The history of Mexico has seen numerous occasions of “one man rule”. Because of this and other factors it is felt in Mexico that the office of a vice-president would somehow undermine the power of the presidential office. Article 86 deals with subject of the resignation of the office of the President.  Article 87 concerns the oath of office that the incoming president must take before the Congress. [9] Article 88 covers the required procedures the President must follow to absence himself/herself from the country. Article 89, Section 1-20 details the powers, obligations and set procedures the President must follow to exercise said powers and obligations. The Executive Branch is responsible for initiating and negotiating international matters such as bilateral treaties, unilateral treaties and international conventions, with Senate approval.  The President also has broad powers of appointment which not only include his cabinets, but covers such diverse areas as congressional appointments, military appointments and judicial appointments to mention some, with Senate approval. Article 90 details the administrative powers, obligations and set procedures the President must follow to exercise said administrative power and obligations. Article 91 sets out the personal attributes required of individuals to serve in executive administrative post. [10] Articles 92 and 93 cover the legislative procedures the Presidential Cabinet must follow after the President has signed a piece of legislation. The constitution legislative procedures required of the Cabinet are augmented by the General Organic Law of the Congress. [11] The executive is also empowered to assume sole control of the government in case of emergencies. Article 29 allows the Executive to assume extraordinary power in times of national emergencies such as the military invasion of the country by a foreign power or in serious internal disruptions of the public order and public peace. Article 131, Paragraph 2 gives the Executive the power to alter tariffs, without prior congressional approval, when the national interest is in danger. The President also has powers to initiating and negotiating international matters such as bilateral treaties, unilateral treaties and international conventions, with Senate approval. 

A. Organization of the Federal Government

 

The original authors of the Mexican Federal Constitution of 1917 borrowed the government structure and powers from the United States Constitution. The Constitution states that all power resides with the people who have the right at all times to alter or change the form of government as they wish. [12] The Mexican Federal Constitution of 1917 , Title 2, Chapter 1, Article 40 states, “It is the will of the Mexican people to constitute themselves into a representative republic, democratic, secular, federal, composed of free and sovereign states in all matters relating to their internal affairs; but united in a federation established according to principles of this fundamental law (Es voluntad del pueblo mexicano constituirse en una República representativa, democrática, laica, federal, compuesta de Estados libres y soberanos en todo lo concerniente a su régimen interior; pero unidos en una federación establecida según los principios de esta ley fundamental)”. [13]   Chapter 1, Article 49, Paragraph 1, proclaims that the supreme power of the federation will be divided into three powers, the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. [14] Paragraph 2 of said article states that, “two or more of these powers cannot ever be joined in a single person or body, nor shall the Legislature be granted to an individual, except for the Executive in the case of  extraordinary circumstances as provided for in Constitutional Article 29, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution.” [15] Articles 42-48 cover the geographic composition of the nation. [16] Currently Mexico consists of 31 states and a Federal District. Article 41 is one of the longest articles and it covers the question of federal powers and state power as they relate to each and the processes and remedies available for conflicts. [17]  

 

B. Executive Branch of Government : http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/

 

Articles 80 to 93 of the Mexican Federal Constitution establish the Executive Branch of the government. Article 80 states, “The exercise of the supreme executive power of the Union is deposited in a single person, to be known as the President of the United Mexican States. [18] Article 81 states that the election of the President shall be by direct vote. [19] Article 82 sets out the required personal attributes that an individual must possess to be eligible for the office of the President. [20] Article 83 sets the term of office to 6 years with no reelection possible and sets the presidential inauguration day as October 1.  Article 84, Paragraphs 1-6 and Article 85 deal with the situation of the President not being able to perform his/her presidential duties because of some type of physical or mental disability. The Article 84 details the procedures to be followed to replace to the incapacitated President on an interim basis and set up presidential elections if required by the situation. As mentioned before, the office of the vice-president does not exist in the Mexican political system.

 

 Article 86 deals with subject of the resignation of the office of the President.  Article 87 concerns the oath of office that the incoming president must take before the Congress. [21] Article 88 covers the required procedures the President must follow to absent himself/herself from the country. Article 89, Section 1-20 details the powers, obligations and set procedures the President must follow to exercise said powers and obligations. The Executive Branch is responsible for initiating and negotiating international matters such as bilateral treaties, unilateral treaties and international conventions, with Senate approval.  The President also has broad powers of appointment which not only include his cabinets, but covers such diverse areas as congressional appointments, military appointments and judicial appointments to mention some, with Senate approval. Article 90 details the administrative powers, obligations and set procedures the President must follow to exercise said administrative power and obligations. Article 91 sets out the personal attributes required of individuals to serve in executive administrative post. [22] Articles 92 and 93 cover the legislative procedures the Presidential Cabinet must follow after the President has signed a piece of legislation. The constitution legislative procedures required of the Cabinet are augmented by the General Organic Law of the Congress. [23] The executive is also empowered to assume sole control of the government in case of emergencies. Article 29 allows the Executive to assume extraordinary power in times of national emergencies such as the military invasion of the country by a foreign power or in serious internal disruptions of the public order and public peace. Article 131, Paragraph 2 gives the Executive the power to alter tariffs, without prior congressional approval, when the national interest is in danger. The President also has powers to initiate and negotiate international matters such as bilateral treaties, unilateral treaties and international conventions, with Senate approval. 

 

Historically the Executive Branch of government has been the most important and powerful Branch of government in Mexico. The Executive Branch has attained a position of supreme power through "long standing practice, statutory, and constitutional provisions, and a well-institutionalized tradition of near absolute political power." [24] From the end of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and up to the presidential election of 1994, Mexico had in place a one party system of government. The one political party is the Institutional Revolutionary Party known as the “PRI” (Partido Revolucionario Institucional).  That changed in the presidential election of 2000 when Vicente Fox Quesada of the National Action Party known as “PAN” (Partido Acción Nacional) won the election. Now there exists a multitude of political parties in Mexico. The Executive Branch is slowly losing some the traditional power of the past vis-a vis the legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch. 

 

 

The homepage of the President of Mexico offers personal and political information on the current President and his family.  The site also offers hotlinks to all of the Presidential Cabinet Posts, executive department and executive agencies. The homepage can be viewed in Spanish or English, but all other information is in Spanish. The site is well organized with a competent search engine and an informative map of the site. What primary materials and associated documents are found at the website are limited to legislation that the President has taken a personal interest in. The site is updated on a continual basis and shows a serious commitment to the dissemination of accurate and timely information through the world internet.  http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/presidencia/presidente/

 

The mandate of the President appears on the Homepage of the Office of the President. The President of the United Mexican States will have the direct support of the Office of the President of the Republic for their work and for the ongoing monitoring of public policies and their periodic evaluation in order to provide feedback for decision-making, without prejudice to the powers exercised by the departments and agencies of the Federal Public Administration within the scope of their respective powers. http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/staff/

 

The mandate of the Presidential Cabinet as it appears on the Homepage of the Cabinet. The President is assisted in terms of the relevant legal provisions, the Secretaries of State, who shall have equal rank and will have no preeminence. Each Secretary of State shall, according to their competence, draft laws, regulations, decrees, agreements and projects of the President of the Republic. http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/gabinete/

 

Below are listed the homepages of the Presidential Cabinet. The homepages are well suited for news on current events and future events relating to their office mandates. The websites are ideal for understanding the workings of each of the Cabinet Posts.  The homepages all have search engines and site maps that make the navigation of the sites rather easy.

 

Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación): www.gobernacion.gob.mx

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores): www.sre.gob.mx

Ministry of Defense(Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional): www.sedena.gob.mx

Ministry of the Navy ( Secretaría de Marina): www.semar.gob.mx

Ministry of Finance and Public Credit ( Secretaría de Seguridad Pública (Ministry of Public Security): www.ssp.gob.mx

Ministry of Social Development (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público): www.shcp.gob.mx

Ministry for Social Development (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social): www.sedesol.gob.mx

Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources ( Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources: www.semarnat.gob.mx

Ministry of Energy (Secretaría de Energía): www.sener.gob.mx

Ministry of the Economy (Secretaría de Economía: www.economia.gob.mx

Ministry of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública): www.sep.gob.mx

Ministry for Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación): www.sagarpa.gob.mx

Ministry of Communications and Transport (Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes): www.sct.gob.mx

Ministry of Public Service (Secretaría de la Función Pública): www.funcionpublica.gob.mx

Ministry of Health (Secretaría de Salud): www.salud.gob.mx

Ministry Labor and Social Welfare ( Secretaría de Trabajo y Previsión Social): www.stps.gob.mx

Ministry for Agricultural, Land Development and Urban Development ( Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano): www.sedatu.gob.mx

Ministry of Tourism ( Secretaría de Turismo): www.sectur.gob.mx

Legal Counsel of the Federal Executive ( Consejería Jurídica del Ejecutivo Federal): www.cjef.gob.mx

Office of the Attorney General ( Procuraduría General de la República): www.pgr.gob.mx

 

C. Legislative Branch of Government

 

The legislative branch of the federal government is comprised of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. There are 2 senators per state and one deputy for every 200,000 people in a state.  Senators are elected by direct popular vote to a 6-year term.  Deputies are elected to a 3-year term.  Three-fourths of the deputies are elected by direct popular vote, with the remaining one-fourth selected in proportion to the votes received by each political party.  Senators and deputies cannot be reelected for an immediately succeeding term.  Title 3, Chapter 2, Article 50 of the Constitution allocates the federal legislative power of the Union to the Chamber of Deputies and the Chamber of Senators. [25] Article 73 articulates powers and responsibilities of the Congress. The powers and responsibilities of the Congress are relegated to one Constitutional article. This fact does not properly reflect the extensive powers of the congress. The one article has over 45 sections and 15 paragraphs.  Article 77 stipulates the powers that each Chamber can exercise without requiring consent of the other Chamber. [26]

 

1. Chamber of Deputies : http://www.diputados.gob.mx/inicio.htm

 

 

 The Chamber of Deputies is comprised of 500 Deputies of which 300 Deputies are elected by the direct vote of the people residing in their electoral district of which there are currently 300 electoral districts in the nation. [27] The other 200 Deputies are allocated sits on the basis of each political party’s popular vote. [28]   Deputies are elected to 3 year terms and can be reelected up to four consecutive terms. [29] Every candidate running for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies runs with an alternate that will replace said candidate if the elected person is unable to his/her term of office.

 

The personal requirements to be a Deputy are spelled out in Article 55, Sections 1-7 of the Constitution. There is one disqualifying factor which I feel merit mention. The disqualifying factor is being a minister of a religion, “being a religious cult Minister (ser Ministro de algún culto religioso).” [30] This political stand goes back to historical reality of the political and economic abuse of the Catholic Church in the history of Mexico. [31] Articles 74-75 of the Constitution dictate the powers and responsibilities that are exclusive to the Chamber of Deputies. All resolutions approved by the Chamber of Deputies have the force of a law or decree. [32] The Chamber of Deputies is the only branch that may initiate bills concerning loans, taxes, imposts, and the recruitment of troops.

 

2. Chamber of Senators ( Cámara De Senadores ): www.senado.gob.mx/

 

Constitutional Title 3, Chapter 2, Section 1, Articles 56-59 state the responsibilities, duties, jurisdiction, organization and elections of the Chamber of Senators. “ The Senate shall be composed of one hundred twenty senators, of which, in each state and the Federal District, two will be elected according to the principle of relative majority vote and one will be assigned to the first minority. To this end, political parties must file a list of candidates for the election principles listed.” [33] All Senators serve a six year term running concurrently with the newly elected president. Senators can be reelected for two consecutive terms. [34] An alternate senator will be chosen for each senate seat. [35] The personal requisites to be a Senator are the same as to be a deputy except for that of age, which shall be thirty-five years of age attained by the date of the election. [36] The President of the Chamber of Senators is responsible for assuring the inviolability of the Senate Chamber and of the Senators. 

 

Articles 63 and 64 deal with attendance requirements for senators and the replacement of senators that do not meet the attendance requirements during a legislative sessions.  Articles 65 to 69 cover the subject of legislative sessions. [37] To fulfill its constitutional duties the Senate is organized into plenary sessions where debates over proposed legislation take place and where the final Senate vote takes place of proposed legislation. The Senate has a president, three vice-presidents and four secretariats that are elected at a plenary session by ballot vote ten days before the beginning of each legislative session and reelection is permitted. Articles 60-70 talk about joint responsibilities of the Chamber of Senators and the Chamber of Deputies.   The Chamber of Senators has exclusive legislative powers on matters concerning: foreign policy; international treaties; movement of troops outside of the national territory; the movement of nations guard troops from their state to another state; conflicts of one state with another state; the right to summon and question under oath public servants for misuse of office; confirm presidential candidates to the Mexican Supreme Court and other top government offices. [38]

 

The Mexican Senate Website has all the information anyone might need regarding the mandate of the Senate, the functions, the organization and the administration of the Senate.  The website is updated on an hourly basis. The site has an excellent search engine and a sitemap that is very well organized with many key words that help formulate search terms. The site also provides a “reference desk” option that offers excellent research assistance. The one drawback is the limited amount of primary materials found at the website.  It is obvious that much time and effort went into creating the Senate website. The daily upkeep of the website is also to be commended. I have no reservations in recommending the Senate website to anyone.

 

Senate’s Melchor Ocampo Library (Melchor Ocampo Library). http://www.senado.gob.mx/BMO/

Records and Materials that can be found at the Melchor Ocampo Library (Melchor Ocampo Library).

Legislative Assistance. http://www.senado.gob.mx/?ver=sp&mn=5    

Historical Archives and Legislative Reports. http://www.senado.gob.mx/?ver=sp&mn=6

Historical Legislative Information.  http://www.senado.gob.mx/?ver=sen&mn=9&sm=1

Está integrado con la información propia de las legislaturas LVIII y LIX, por lo que podrás encontrar:

Sitemap. http://www.senado.gob.mx/?ver=sen&mn=5&sm=1

All of the websites of the Federal Government are listed on this website along with hotlinks to all websites. http://www.presidencia.gob.mx/

Senado De La República  Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States

Constitution of the United Mexican States (Constitución Política de los  Estados Unidos Mexicanos): Constitución Política de los  Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States ( Ley Orgánica del Congreso Generalde los Estados Unidos Mexicanos): Ley Orgánica del Congreso Generalde los Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Regulations for the Internal Government of the Congress of the United Mexican States (Reglamento para el Gobierno Interior del  Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos): ( Reglamento para el Gobierno Interior del  Congreso General de los   Estados Unidos Mexicanos ).

Senate Regulations (Reglamentos del Senado): Reglamento del Senado

Chamber of Deputies Regulations (Reglamento de la Cámara de Diputados): Reglamento de la Cámara de Diputados

Statute for Parliamentary Services, Administrative and Technical Services of the Senate of the Republic (Estatuto Para los Servicios Parlamentarios, Administrativos y Técnicos del Senado de la República): http://www.senado.gob.mx/libreria/sp/documentos_apoyo/documentos/Estatuto_SGSP.pdf

Organization and Functions (Organización y  Funcionamiento): Organización y  Funcionamiento.

Legislative Process (Proceso Legislativo):  Proceso Legislativo.

Brief History of the Senate (Breve Historia): Breve Historia.

List of Committees (Listado de Comisiones).

Documents Published in the Senate Gazette (Documentos publicados en la Gaceta): http://gaceta.diputados.gob.mx/

Journal of Debates (Diario de los Debates): http://www.senado.gob.mx/index.php?ver=sp&mn=3&sm=41

 

Also found at the Senate Website:

 

Books of Record of Proceedings (agenda, communications, agreements, opinions, proposals (1824-2011)Libros de Actas de las Sesiones (orden del día, comunicaciones, acuerdos dictámenes, proposiciones (1824-2011).

 

Records (treaties and agreements signed by Mexico, diplomatic appointments 1877-2012)Expedientes ( tratados y convenios suscritos por México, nombramientos diplomáticos 1877-2012)

 

Journal of the Debates of the Senate (1875-present)Diario de los Debates del Senado de la República (1875 a la fecha)

 

Records (modifications, alterations, additions to national law (1824-1853 and 1875 -2012); Expedientes (modificaciones, reformas, adiciones al ordenamiento jurídico nacional (1824-1853 y 1875 -2012)

 

Record Books and Correspondence (1823-2006)Libros de Registro y Correspondencia (1823-2006)

 

Newsletters: New Acquisitions, monthly publication featuring news on new titles acquired by the library.Boletines: Nuevas Adquisiciones, publicación mensual que incluye noticias de los nuevos títulos adquiridos por la biblioteca.

 

Collections: Complete collection of treaties, conventions and agreements of Mexico from 1824 to date and current Mexican laws updated.Colecciones: Colección completa de los tratados, convenios y acuerdos de México desde 1824 hasta la fecha y Leyes mexicanas vigentes actualizadas.

 

An important Congressional Committee is the Permanent Committee that is composed of 19 Deputies and 18 Senators. [39] The members of the Committee are elected by their respective Chamber when the legislation session is about to end. Also elected are substitute members of the Committee, one for each member of the Committee when a permanent member of the Committee cannot serve. The Committee serves as a care taker while the Congress is out of session. The powers of the Committee are many and important such as the power to call for a special session of the Congress. Constitutional Article 79, Sections 1-7 detail the powers of the Permanent Committee.  

 

Listed below are the official websites of the Chamber of Senators and Chamber of Deputies and the legislation associated with Federal Congress the location of said legislation:

Chamber of Senators ( Cámara de Senadores ). http://www.senado.gob.mx/

 

Chamber of Deputies ( Cámaras de Diputados ). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/inicio.htm

 

Chamber of Senators Law Library: http://www.senado.gob.mx/BMO/

 

Chamber Of Deputies Law Library: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/

 

Rules for the House of Representatives:

http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/Reg_Diputados.pdf

 

Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States (Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/168.pdf

 

Internal Regulations for the Congress of the United Mexican States (Reglamento Para el Gobierno Interior del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/219.pdf

 

 

D. Judicial Branch of Government

 

The federal judiciary in Mexico is governed by Articles 94 through 107 of the Constitution and the Organic Law of the Federal Judiciary (Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial de la Federación). The Mexican Federal Judiciary is based on a three tier system similar to our own federal judiciary. [40]  There is a Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación) which has final appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts. There are circuit courts (Tribunales de Circuito) which are the federal appellate courts. The circuit courts are divided into single judge courts (Tribunales Unitarios de Circuito) and collegiate courts (Tribunales Colegiados de Circuito). There are also district courts (Juzgados de Distrito) and jury courts (Jurados Populares Federales) which are the federal courts of first instance. [41]

 

There are several federal judicial bodies in Mexico that are not part of the regular federal court structure. The most important are the Tax Court (Tribunal Fiscal de la Federación) Labor Courts (Juntas de Conciliacion y Arbitraje) and Military courts (Tribunales Militares). Article 94 of the Constitution states, “The judicial power of the United Mexican States is vested in a Supreme Court of Justice, an Electoral Court, specialized circuit courts, unitary circuit courts and the district courts.  The Federal Judicial Council shall deal with matters of administration, supervision and discipline for Mexican federal judges, except by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, according to the provisions established by law. The Federal Judicial Council shall deal with matters of administration, supervision and discipline for Mexican federal judges, except by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, according to the provisions established by law.” [42]

 

Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación) consists of 11 justices and a chief justice that is known as the President of the court. Article 95 sets out the personal requirements a candidate must possess to qualify for nomination. The Supreme Court Justices, like in our government system, are nominated by the President and require a two thirds majority vote by the Senate for final approval to the bench. [43] The President does not send to the Senate a single name but a list of three names for consideration by the Senate. If the Senate rejects the three nominations on the list, the President will send another three name nomination list. Should the Senate again reject all three nominations, the President will then be empowered to appoint to the Supreme Court whichever candidate he chooses from second list of candidates. Should the Mexican Senate not act on the nomination list within 30 days of receiving the list, the President is then free to appoint to the Supreme Court his/her choice from the list of candidates. [44] The Supreme Court has a chief justice who is designated as the President of the Court who is elected by the full Court from among its members to a four year term. The presiding President of the Court cannot be elected for the next immediate term. [45] The Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life but are subject to impeachment by the Chamber of Deputies. In practice, the justices, along with the entire federal judiciary, traditionally submit their resignations at the beginning of each “ sexenio”. [46]

 

Courts in the Mexican Judiciary are organized by areas of the law.  The Mexican Supreme Court is organized into four panels (salas): the civil panel; the criminal panel; the administrative panel; the labor panel. The Supreme Court of Justice may meet in a joint session or in separate chambers, depending on the type of case before it. The Supreme Court meets in plenary session for cases involving jurisdictional issues, constitutional issues, and agrarian issues. Court rulings of both the whole, or plenary, court and the separate chambers are decided on the basis of majority opinion. Rulings by the separate chambers may be overturned by the full court. Federal appellate courts and State courts tend to follow the same organization as of the Supreme Court. The Circuit Judges and the District Judges are appointed by the Council of the Federal Judiciary to six year terms of service from which they can only be removed for misconduct. [47]

 

Something that is very different from our federal judiciary is the fact that in Mexico the Supreme Court and the Council of the Federal Judiciary are charged with the administration and appointments of the lower courts. Circuit judges and district judges are appointed by the Supreme Court to 4-year terms. Circuit judges and district judges may be reappointed or promoted to a higher position at the end of the 4-year term, but they may only be dismissed for unethical conduct. A court that stands outside of the purview of Supreme Court is the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary. It is the “highest judicial authority (máxima autoridad jurisdicciona)” concerning elections matters. [48] Electoral Tribunal judges nominated by the Supreme Court and elected by two-thirds vote of members present in the Senate.

 

An important and independent body of the Mexican Judiciary is the Federal Judicial Council. Article 100 of the Mexican Constitution covers the duties, makeup and selection of the Federal Judicial Council. The issue of conflict of interests in the Mexican Judiciary is the subject of Article 101. Another important independent body of the Mexican Judiciary is the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic. Article 102 of the Constitution delineates the responsibilities and duties of the Office.  The jurisdiction of federal courts is covered by Articles 103 and article 104 covers procedural matters. Article 105 covers duties and responsibilities that are exclusive of the Supreme Court. Controversies involving state courts (federal district) to state courts and federal courts to state courts are covered by Article 106. A very important Article is Article 107 which deals with the issue of the constitutional rights of all citizens ( Amparo ).

 

Court proceedings are open to the public except, “whenever public interest or public morality should so require it.” [49] An important organ of the Judiciary is the Federal Judiciary Council. This body is charged with the administrative duties of the judiciary and the, “supervision and discipline for Mexican federal judges, except by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation.” [50] The Federal Judiciary Council is also charged with determining the number of, “circuit division, territorial jurisdiction and specialization by area, including broadcast, telecommunications and economic competition of the Collegiate Courts and Unitary Circuit courts and District Courts.” [51] The structure of the Mexican Judiciary is very much like our own Judiciary and like our judiciary it is based on the three tier system. At the top tier stands the Mexican Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación) which is the final appeals court. In the next tier stand the federal appellate courts which are known as circuit courts (Tribunales de Circuito).  The circuit courts are divided into single judge courts (Tribunales Unitarios de Circuito) and plenary courts (Tribunales Colegiados de Circuito). At the bottom tier are the federal trial courts which are known as District Courts (Juzgados de Distrito) and jury courts (Jurados Populares Federales).

 

The high court is divided into four chambers, each with five justices. A fifth chamber, the Auxiliary Chamber, is responsible for the overload of the four regular chambers. The Collegiate Circuit Courts are comparable to the United States Courts of Appeals. The Collegiate Circuit Courts deal with the protection of individual rights, most commonly hearing cases where an individual seeks a writ of amparo , a category of legal protection comparable to a broad form of habeas corpus that safeguards individual civil liberties and property rights.

 

Although the principle of "stare decisis" is not recognized in the civil law tradition, the Mexican judiciary does create case law to some extent. The Supreme Court and federal collegiate courts may establish formally binding precedent called "jurisprudencia”. "Jurisprudencia" is established by having five consecutive and consistent decisions on a point of law. "Jurisprudencia" is binding on the court that established it and on all lower federal and state courts. Many of the legal treatises listed in the guide have the word "jurisprudencia" in their title. It is important to remember that in these instances "jurisprudencia" means case law and not the general study of law. The legal scholars of the civil law tradition produce legal treaties that are referred to as doctrine (" doctrina " in Mexico). Civil law tradition judges, lawyers, and law students will refer to the doctrine of the leading legal scholars as common law tradition judges, lawyers, and law students will refer to case law. According to John H. Merryman, "the law in a civil jurisdiction is what the scholars say it is."

 

AMPARO One of the most important type of cases the federal courts hear in Mexico are "amparo" suits ( juicio de amparo ). The "amparo" suit is an original Mexican institution with no exact equivalent in the common law tradition. The word "amparo" literally means favor, aid, protection, or shelter. Legally the word encompasses elements of several legal actions of the common law tradition:  writ of habeas corpus, injunction, error, mandamus, and certiorari. There are five types of "amparo" suits: 1) "amparo" as a defense of individual rights such as life, liberty, and personal dignity; 2) "amparo" against laws (defending the individual against un-constitutional laws); 3) "amparo" in judicial matters (examine the legality of judicial decisions); 4) administrative "amparo" (providing jurisdiction against administrative enactments affecting the individual); 5) "amparo" in agrarian matters (protecting the communal ejidal rights of the peasants).60The "amparo" suit may be either direct, initiated in the Supreme Court or collegiate circuit courts, or indirect, initiated in a district court and brought on appeal to the previously mentioned courts.

 

Decisions and Data Files: Sentencias y Datos de Expedientes .

 

Resolutions of the Supreme Court: Proyectos de Resolución de la SCJN .

 

Judicial Weekly of the Federation: Semanario Judicial de la Federación .

 

Digital Library and Library System: Biblioteca Digital y Sistema Bibliotecario .

List Notices: Listas de Notificaciones .

Publications of the Supreme Court of the Nation: Publicaciones de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación .

 

Catalog of Historical Decisions (1898-1828): Catálogo de Expedientes Históricos (1898 - 1928) .

 

Office Institutional Relations : Unidad de Relaciones Institucionales .  

 

Institute of Juridical Studies and the Promotion and Dissemination of Judicial Ethics: Instituto de Investigaciones Jurisprudenciales y de Promoción y Difusión de la Ética Judicial .

 

Presentations and Conferences: Discursos y Conferencias .

Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation: Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación .

 

Events Agenda the of Supreme Court: Agenda de Eventos SCJN .

 

Federal Juridical Council: Consejo de la Judicatura Federal .

 

  Juridical Archives of the Supreme Court: Archivos Judiciales SINAJ .

 

House of Juridical Culture: Casas de la Cultura Jurídica .

 

Federal Juridical Council: Consejo de la Judicatura Federal .

 

National Commission for Human Rights: Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos .

 

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Mexico United Nations. Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos México de las Naciones Unidas .

Federal Court for Taxation and Administrative Justice (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa) http://www.tff.gob.mx/

 

Federal Court for Taxation and Administrative Justice Code of Conduct (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa Código de Ética). http://www.tff.gob.mx/index.php/el-tribunal/codigo-de-etica

 

Organic Law for Military Courts (Ley Orgánica de los Tribunales Militares 4-9-2012). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/161.pdf

 

Federal Court of Conciliation and Arbitration (Tribunal Federal de Conciliación y Arbitraje) http://www.tfca.gob.mx/swb/TFCA/

 

Federal Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, Code of Conduct (Tribunal Federal de Conciliación y Arbitraje, Código de Conducta). http://www.tfca.gob.mx/es/TFCA/coconducta

 

Federal Court for Taxation and Administrative Justice (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa), http://www.tff.gob.mx/

 

Federal Court for Taxation and Administrative Justice Code of Conduct (Código de Ética del Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa). http://www.tff.gob.mx/index.php/el-tribunal/codigo-de-etica

 

  National Commission on Human Rights (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos). http://www.cndh.org.mx/

 

National Commission on Human Rights Code of Conduct (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos Código de Ética y Conducta). http://www.cndh.org.mx/Codigo_Etica_Conducta

 

New Law on Constitutional Rights (Nueva Ley de Amparo). http://www.sitios.scjn.gob.mx/leyamparo/

 

 What follows is legislation related to the Federal Judiciary. The citations are to the Chamber of Deputies.    

Political Constitution of the United Mexican State (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/1_07jul14.pdf

 

Organic Law of the Federal Judiciary (Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial de la Federación (6-27-2014). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/172_270614.pdf

 

Organic Law of the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice  (Ley Orgánica del Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa (6-3-2011). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LOTFJFA.pdf

 

Organic Law of the Attorney General of the Republic (Ley Orgánica de la Procuraduría General de la República (5-3-2013). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LOPGR.pdf

 

Federal Civil Procedures Code (Código Federal de Procedimientos Civiles (4-9-2012). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/6.pdf

 

Federal Adminstrative Procedures Code (Ley Federal de Procedimiento Administrativo (4-9-2012). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/112.pdf

 

Federal Administrative Procedures Law (Ley Federal de Procedimiento Contencioso Administrativo (12-24-2013). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LFPCA.pdf

 

Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration (Ley Orgánica de la Administración Pública Federal (7-14-2014). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/153_140714.pdf

 

Regulatory Law of Fractions I and II of Article 105 of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States (Ley Reglamentaria de las Fracciones I y II del Artículo 105 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (4-2- 2013). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/205.pdf

 

Amparo Law, Regulatory Articles 103 and 107 of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States (Ley de Amparo, Reglamentaria de los Artículos 103 y 107 de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (7-14-2014). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LAmp_140714.pdf

 

Agreement 1/2014 (Acuerdo 1/2014): Agreement of the Comptroller General of the Federal Electoral Institute, By which the Organic Statute Regulates the Technical Autonomy and Constitutional Matters (Acuerdo del Contralor General del Instituto Federal Electoral, Por el Que Se Expide el Estatuto Orgánico Que Regula Su Autonomía Técnica y de Gestión Constitucional). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/regla/n177.pdf

 

Interior Regulation Responsible for Administration of the Supreme Court of Justice (Reglamento Interior en Materia de Administración de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (4-12-11). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/regla/n288.pdf

 

Internal Regulation of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (Reglamento Interno del Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación). http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/regla/n165.pdf

 

III. Major Primary Materials

 

A. Legislative Process and Legislative Sessions

 

The Mexican legislative process in principle is very similar to our legislative Process. Constitutional Article 71 assigns the legal powers to initiate and pass legislation. [52] The first step of the legislative process is the introduction of a bill by the President, Chamber of Deputies or Chamber of Senators. After the introduction of the bill, the bill will be discussed by the appropriate body and voted upon. The President will eventually receive the bill which he can sign into law, send back for modifications or veto the bill. The President does have veto powers, which the Legislative Branch can override by a two-thirds vote in each Chamber. Once the President has signed the bill into law, he/she orders the publication of the law in the Official Daily of the Federation (Diario de la Federación). The publication of the new law serves to authenticate the legislation by the Executive and to give the date for when the law will take effect. [53] No law or any other forms legislation can take effect until the legislation is published in Official Daily of the Federation. If the new law requires regulations for clarity or for enforcement purposes, the Executive is charged with issuing the required regulations. The regulations have the same force as the new law to which it refers. [54] The President then signs the new law and has it published in the Official Daily of the Federation (Diario de la Federación). All legislation regardless of the type of legislation, must be published in the Official Daily of the Federation before it can take effect.

 

The origin of the bill will be determined by the subject matter of the bill since each of the three bodies mentioned have their own well defined jurisdictions. [55] Article 72 of the Mexican Constitution spells out the discussion/debate through which the proposed bill must proceed. Article 73 lists the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the Congress that relate to the legislative process. Article 74 lists the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the Chamber of Deputies that relate to the legislative process. The jurisdiction of the Chamber of Deputies mainly concerns matters dealing with: loans; taxes; imposts; the recruitment of troops. [56] Article 75 concerns budget matters that relate to the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch and Judicial Branch of government. Article 76 lists the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the Chamber of Senators that relate to the legislative process. The jurisdictions of the Chamber of Senators mainly concerns matters dealing with: foreign policy; international treaties; movement of troops outside of the national territory; the movement of national guard troops from their state to another state; conflicts of one state with another state; the right to summon and question under oath public servants for misuse of office; confirm presidential candidates to the Mexican Supreme Court and other top government offices. [57] Article 77 stipulates the powers that each Chamber can exercise that do not require consent of the other Chamber. [58]

 

Although both Chambers can initiate legislation, in practice the executive branch initiates almost all legislation and certainly all legislation of any consequence. [59] The main legislation applying to the legislative process are: Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States (Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). [60] Also applicable are the Regulations for the Internal Governance of the Congress of the United M exican States (Reglamento Para el Gobierno Interior del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). [61] There is an excellent article on the Mexican Legislative Process by the General Secretariat, Ministry of Parliamentary Services, Department of LibrariesSecretaría (General, Secretaría de Servicios Parlamentarios, Dirección General de Bibliotecas). The article can be found at: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/bibliot/publica/prosparl/iproce.htm

 

The first regular congressional legislative session begins on September first and must end by December first of each year. [62] The Congress may remain in session until December15 if it feels a need, but the session cannot go beyond December 15. Only the President may extend the session to December 30, but not beyond that date. The exception to this rule is on the year when a new President is elected. New Presidents are inaugurated on October first and the first regular congressional of that year will begin on August first.  The second regular legislative session begins on February first and cannot be extended beyond April 30. If one or both Chambers should decide to end a session before the set dates, they must obtain the President’s approval. The Permanent Congressional Committee and the President can call for special Congressional Legislative Sessions when they see a need for such a session. But the special session can only deal with the specific matter for which the special session was called. The Permanent Congressional Committee can also call for only one of the Congressional Chambers to a special legislative session if the business at hand relates to only one of the Chambers. [63] Article 67 The Congress or only one of its chambers, when a matter exclusive to it is concerned, Article 68 The two chambers shall reside at the same place and cannot remove to another unless they previously agree to the removal and on the time and manner of so doing, designating the same place for the meeting of both. But if the two in agreeing on removal, differ in regard to the time, manner, and place, the Executive shall settle the difference by choosing one of the two extremes in question. Neither chamber may suspend its sessions for more than three days without the consent of the other.

 

III. Major Primary Federal Legislation

 

Constitution- The Constitution calls for a federal democratic republic composed of free and sovereign states.  There is a centralized federal government and individual state governments.   The Mexican Constitution is based on seven (7) basic principles: a declaration of human rights, national sovereignty, division of powers, the representative system, a federal structure, constitutional remedies, and the supremacy of the state over the church.  The Constitution calls for an active government that has a moral obligation to not only promote human and political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights.  The Constitution is seen as an instrument that should bring social change. All power is derived from the people

 

The Constitution is divided into nine sequential titles.  The titles are subdivided into chapters, which are not sequential.  The chapters are further subdivided into articles, which are sequential throughout the Constitution.  The Constitution also has transitory articles.  All Mexican states have their own state constitution. The Mexican Constitution can be found here , and an English version can be found here .

 

Federal Civil Code (Código Civil Federal) - The Mexican Federal Civil Code is the most important piece of legislation after the Mexican Constitution.  The scope and coverage of the Civil Code is extremely broad.  The Civil Code reflects the revolutionary spirit and nationalism of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.  In the Civil Code, community interests override individual interests; private property rights are not absolute. 

 

The Civil Code consists of over 3,000 individual articles organized into books, titles, chapters, articles and sections.  There are four books in the Code; Book 1, Persons (individuals and corporations), Book 2, Property, Book 3, Succession, Book 4, Obligations.  The Code articles are numerically arranged, with each article getting a unique number.  This means that all you need to find a particular provision in the Civil Code is the article number, and not the book number, title number and chapter number.  The Mexican States have their own civil codes, most of which are copies or are based on the Federal Civil Code.

 

The civil code has been translated into English; none could be found on the Internet; one website where it is available in Spanish is here .

 

Federal Procedures Code (Código Federal de Procedimientos Civiles) - The Federal Code of Civil Procedure consists of 577 Articles that are divided into 4 books.  The main parts of book 1 deals with rules concerning who can participate in a federal civil action, federal civil jurisdiction vs. state civil jurisdiction, rules of evidence rules and appeals. Book 2 mainly covers filing procedures and the enforcement of decisions. Book 3 deals with special procedures for certain topics such as successions disputes, property boundaries disputes, expropriation maters, and voluntary jurisdiction. Book 4 covers international cooperation.  Book 5 deals with class actions suits, double Jeopardy, judiciary expenses.  The Federal Procedures Code in Spanish can be found here . I could not find an English version of the code that provided free Access.

 

Commercial Code - The Commercial Code has wide application in Mexico.  It is federal code because commercial matters fall under federal jurisdiction. Commercial code regulates: all commercial activity including contracts, documentary credit, credit institutions, land and water transportation, bankruptcy and arbitration.  It also covers procedures for commercial litigation.

 

The Code is organized into five books.  Book 1 covers Merchants, Book 2 covers Overland Commerce, Book 3 has been repealed (it covered maritime commerce), Book 4 covers Bankruptcy, and Book 5 covers Mercantile Actions.  The Code is further subdivided into titles, chapters and articles (over 1460 articles).  There exists in Mexico further commercial legislation that is not part of the Commercial Code.  The Mexican States do not have their own commercial code.  There are several versions of the Commercial Code in translations.  A Spanish version of the Commercial Code can be found here .

 

Mexico has a federal criminal Code and 31 state criminal codes, as found in the United States.   There is also one Federal Criminal Procedures Code with jurisdiction throughout the country for federal matters, and 31 state criminal procedures codes with jurisdiction within each state for state matters.  I have not found English versions of the Federal Criminal Code or Criminal Procedures Code.  A Spanish language version of the Federal Criminal Code can be found here and a Spanish language version of the Federal Criminal Procedures Code can be found at here .

 

A. Legislative Process

 

Title 3, Section 2, Articles 71-77 and Article 122 Section 1, Paragraph 5, Sub-Paragraph Ñ of the Mexican Constitution delineate the legislative process to be followed by the Congress (Chamber of Deputies and Chamber of Senators) and the Executive. Article 71, Paragraph 1-4 state that, “ The power to initiate laws or decrees is vested in the President of the Republic, the Deputies and Senators of the Congress of the Union, in the Citizens in a number equivalent of at least thirteen point zero of the (registered) voters list in the  under the terms established by law. The law referred to in the previous sentence is the Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States (Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). [64] Also applicable are the Regulations for the Internal Governance of the Congress of the United M exican States (Reglamento Para el Gobierno Interior del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos). [65] Article 71 of the Mexican Constitution assigns the legal powers to initiate and pass legislation. [66] Article 72, Paragraphs A-I, sets the process required to approve and pass legislation. Article 73 stipulates the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the National Congress. Articles 74 and Article 75 stipulate the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the Chamber of Deputies. Deputies have exclusive legislative power on; matters concerning loans; taxes; imposts; the recruitment of troops. [67] Article 76 stipulates the powers and jurisdictions that are exclusive to the Chamber of Senators.  Senators have exclusive legislative powers on matters concerning on: foreign policy; international treaties; movement of troops outside of the national territory; the movement of nations guard troops from their state to another state; conflicts of one state with another state; the right to summon and question under oath public servants for misuse of office; confirm presidential candidates to the Mexican Supreme Court and other top government offices. [68] Article 77 stipulates the powers that each Chamber can exercise that do not requiring consent of the other Chamber. [69] Although both Chambers can initiate legislation, in practice the executive branch initiates almost all legislation and certainly all legislation of any consequence. [70]

 

The Mexican legislative process is similar to our legislative Process. The first step of the legislative process is the introduction of a bill by President, Chamber of Deputies or Chamber of Senators. The origin of the bill will be determined by the subject matter of the bill since each of the three bodies mentioned have their own well defined jurisdictions. After the introduction of the bill, the bill will be discussed by the appropriate body and vote upon. The President will eventually receive the bill which can sign into law, send back for modifications or veto the bill. The President does have veto powers, which the Legislative Branch can override by a two-thirds vote in each Chamber. Once the President has signed the bill into law, he/she order the publication of the law in the Official Daily of the Federation (Diario de la Federación). The publication of the new law serves to authenticity the legislation by the Executive and to give the date for when the law will take effect. [71] No law or any other forms legislation can take effect until the legislation is published Official Daily of the Federation. If the new law requires regulations for clarity or for enforcement purposes, the Executive is charged with issuing the required regulations. The regulations have the same force as the new law to which it refers. [72] The President then signs the new law and has it published in the Official Daily of the Federation (Diario de la Federación). All legislation regardless of the type of legislation must be published in the Official Daily of the Federation before it can take effect. There is an excellent article on the Mexican Legislative Process by the General Secretariat, Ministry of Parliamentary Services, Department of LibrariesSecretaría (General, Secretaría de Servicios Parlamentarios, Dirección General de Bibliotecas). The article can be found at: : http://www.diputados.gob.mx/bibliot/publica/prosparl/iproce.htm

 

B. Federal Laws : A very complete list of federal laws of can be found here .

 

C. Precedent For Case Law (“Jurisprudencia” and “Tesis Sobresalientes”) See Supreme Court.  Cases can be found here .

 

D. Federal Regulations:  A very complete list of federal regulations can be found here .  

IV. Legislation Sources

  • Institute for Legal Studies (Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas, UNAM) - The Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas is the foremost legal institute in Mexico and Latin America.  The site offers a comprehensive collection of not just primary materials, but also secondary materials.  The materials are in Spanish and are updated on a regular basis.  Mexican Federal and State legal materials are available.  I highly recommend this site for all Mexican legal research.  Spanish and a basic knowledge of the Mexican legal system are required to make full use of this site.  The site is free.
  • Jurisprudencia Mexicana  (Grupo Universal de Derecho A.C., Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas de la UMAN) - This is another website that the Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas maintains The emphasis is on "jurisprudencia" case law, which is organized by subject manner.  All of the materials are in Spanish, but the site is user friendly.  I recommend this site for "jurisprudencia" research.
  • Senado De La República (Senate of the Republic) - This is the official website of the Mexican Senate. Here can be found a complete collection of laws, regulations and other legal materials.  The materials are all in Spanish and are updated on a regular basis.  The site has a search engine that can be useful.   I highly recommend this site for all Mexican legal research.  This site is not for the novice.  The site is free.  
  • Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (Supreme Court of the Nation)   - This is the official website of the Mexican Supreme Court.  Here can be found a complete collection of codes, statutes, laws, regulations and case law.  The materials are all in Spanish and English are updated on a regular basis.  The site has a search engine that can be useful.   This site is not for the novice.  The site is free.  
  • Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas, UNAM) - The Instituto de Investigaciones Juridicas is the foremost legal institute in Mexico and Latin America.  The site offers a comprehensive collection of not just primary materials, but also secondary materials.  The materials are in Spanish and are updated on a regular basis.  Mexican Federal and State legal materials are available.  I highly recommend this site for all Mexican legal research.  Spanish and a basic knowledge of the Mexican legal system are required to make full use of this site.  The site is free.
  • The “Justia México” website offers complete coverage of Mexican federal and state primary legal materials.  The federal materials are organized into: Constitución; Leyes; Códigos; Reglamentos; Estatutos; Ordenanzas.  The state materials are organized by state and then by; Constitution Estatal; Leyes Estatales; Códigos Estatales.  The materials are in PDF files and all the materials are in Spanish.  The website has a search engine and law blogs. The website is free and I recommend this site to all researchers that can work with Spanish language materials.
  • Leyco ; This Website has over 250 laws, regulations and other legislation in Spanish and English.  The materials are obtained directly from the Chamber of Deputies collections this site can be searched by subject, keyword, or by use of a subject index.  Each law begins with a complete index of the sections of the law and at the end of each law there is reference to other related laws. There is no fee.  
  • Mexican Laws in English - This site has a good collection of laws, regulations, decrees and standards.  The main areas it covers are customs, maquiladoras, transportation, labor, health and the environment.  The value of this site is that the materials are available in English translation.  The site claims over 3,000 pages of translated materials.  This is the ideal site for people that do not speak Spanish, but want to work with Mexican Law.  This is not a free site, but the charges are reasonable for translations. 
  • Library of Congress: Global Legal Information Network  - This is a very good starting point for the novice researcher of Mexican Law.  The site provides links to more than legal information on Mexico (country reports, commerce guides, government guide, etc.).  The values of this site are the many links that lead to primary materials.  There are few documents online at this site; it is mostly made up of very useful links.  The site is updated on a regular and frequent basis.
  • Biblioteca Digital del Sistema ITESM - This is a site created and run by the Law School at the Tec of Monterrey.  The site is in Spanish and offers Mexican primary legal materials and secondary legal materials.  There are many good legal studies available at this site.  Some services are restricted to Tec Students and Tec Faculty.
  • Internet Law Library: Laws of Other Nations: Mexico (in Spanish) - Legislation site; provides the user with the Mexican Civil Code, the Federal Constitution, its reforms and the most recent Constitution, as well as the different State constitutions, etc.  This is a very comprehensive site. 
  • National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade - This is the most complete Mexican Law site that I have found.  The collection of primary and secondary legal materials available is comprehensive.   The site has laws, regulations, decrees, standards and secondary resources.  It also has access to the “Diario Oficial” on a daily basis.  There are translations available at this site.  Translations are also available upon request.  The site has a search engine that makes for easy access to the materials.  This is a one-stop store for Mexican legal materials.  This site is ideal for the serious researcher, whether he/she might speak Spanish or not.  This is not a free site, but the fees are very reasonable.

 

V. Official Mexican Government Websites

  • El Portal Ciudadano del Gobierno Federal Mexicano - This is the official Mexican Government website The site is a complete source for information on Mexico and has a very good legal section.  This is a "must" view site for anyone doing research on Mexico.  The materials are in Spanish and the site is free.
  • Governments on the WWW: Mexico - This is the most extensive collection of links to the Mexican Government that I have found on the net.  The site is divided into: Federal Institutions, State Institutions, City Institutions and Representations in Foreign Countries.  The materials are mostly in Spanish.
  • Law Research - This site is a collection of links to many federal and state government offices in Mexico.  The list is extensive and lists more government offices than you normally find on any one site.  The site also has links to Mexican legal primary materials and secondary materials.  The site has a search engine that helps a great deal to find what you may need.  This site is a very good resource for people interested in the Mexican Government’s structure and functions.  Most links are to Spanish language sites.
  • BANCOMEXT - This site contains links to Mexican Government Agencies and Information.  The list of government offices is comprehensive.  Some state agencies are included, which adds to the value of this site.  Also included are links to some of the top educational institutions in Mexico.  Most of the information is in Spanish.
  • This site (in Spanish) provides a list of different governmental agencies and links to their websites.
  • Banco de México - This is the official website of the Central Bank of Mexico, the equivalent to our Federal Reserve Board.  This is the site for research concerning all monetary matters of the Mexican Government.

 

VI. Political Parties

  • Partido Accion Nacional (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party; the party’s views on “female politics” and issues relating to juveniles.
  • PRI - Partido Revolucionario Institucional - Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party; the party’s views on “female politics” and issues relating to juveniles. 
  • Partido de la Revolución Democrática - Partido de la Revolución Democrática PRD (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party.
  • Partido del Trabajo México - Partido del Trabajo PT (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party.
  • Partido Verde - Partido Verde Ecologista de México PVEM.  (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party.
  • Partido Convergencia -Convergencia (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party.
  • Nueva Alianza - Nueva Alianza (in Spanish) – This site includes basic information on the party, its history, its different candidates and elected officials, how to become a member of the party. 
  • Political Database of the Americas   - This database is mainly a collection of links to information on Mexico’s political system.  This database is organized around seven major subject headings: (1) Constitution, (2) Electoral System, (3) Civil Society, (4) Political Parties, (5) Executive Institutions, (6) Legislative Institutions and (7) Judicial Institutions.  Most links are to primary materials in Spanish.  The federal coverage is good, but the state coverage is very limited .

 

VII. State Governments

Each Mexican State has its own “Diario”. They are also known as “gacetas” and “boletines”. 

 

States

  • Aguascalientes - (in Spanish ) This website provides “Leyes Estatales” (State Laws), “Leyes Federales” (Federal laws), “Códigos Estatales (State Codes), “Reglamentos Estatales” (State Regulations) and a section that contains decrees, accords and other legal documents required in the legal system of the state of Aguascalientes.
  • Baja California - (in Spanish) Official State website for Baja California.  This site provides information on the State government’s structure, organization, and provides a link to the State’s constitution and its laws, which are made available in PDF form.  There is also information on the climate, tourist attractions, and the education system in Baja California. 
  • Baja California Sur -(in Spanish) Official State website for Baja California Sur.  This site provides information on the State government’s structure and organization, and provides a link to the State’s constitution and its laws, which are made available in PDF form.  There is also information on the climate and tourist attractions, and the education system in Baja California Sur.
  • Campeche – (in Spanish) This site provides information on the government, tourism, and links to  

       the different State governmental agencies.  There is a link to the State Attorney General, once

       there you can access pages on how to report different crimes and on crime prevention.  You can  

       search the site - also there is a link to the legislature, which provides its history, the current   

       legislation as well as a directory of the different commissions and committees.

  • Chiapas – (in Spanish) There is a link to the Judicial Library that provides the different State laws including the State constitution and also the Federal Constitution on-line.
  • Chihuahua – (in Spanish) This website provides information on the history, government, and tourism of the State.  It also has a link to the different government agencies including the judicial branch and specifically to the Attorney General’s website.
  • Coahuila -(in Spanish) This website is operated by the state legislature and is a very complete site for juridical state information.  It contains all state legislation (laws, codes, regulations, etc.) and municipal legislation for selected cities and towns.  The materials are arranged by general topics which require going through several screens to get to the desired materials.  A reading knowledge of Spanish is required for this website.  
  • Colima - (in Spanish) This website belongs to the state congress and offers access to the state constitution, laws, regulations and selected city/town statutes.  Also included in this website are state government’s actions and news.  This is a very complete website for Colima legal research.  
  • Distrito Federal – (in Spanish) This site has an option to translate into English, but it is not a good translation at all.  It is an official website that supplies the state’s law.
  • Durango - (in Spanish) This is a comprehensive website with all state laws not only listed, but annotated.  You can do keyword and subject searching. There are also secondary materials found at this site.   This is a very well planned and maintained website.  A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems .
  • Guanajuato – (in Spanish) The State’s laws are available on this official website.
  • Guerrero  - (in Spanish) One can access their legislative page by first clicking on “gobierno”.
  • Hidalgo - (in Spanish) This is a comprehensive website with all state laws, decrees, resolutions and accords not only listed, but annotated.  You can do keyword and subject searching. There are also secondary materials found at this site.   This is a very well planned and maintained website.  A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems.
  • Jalisco – (in Spanish) This is a very comprehensive site.  Not only does it present a history of the law, it also makes available the different laws, the constitution, and the makeup of the congress among other things.
  • México State -(in Spanish) This website is very complete and well organized for legal research for the state of Mexico.  A person with just a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish can navigate this website with ease.  The website could set the standards for all state legal materials in Mexico and the United States.  
  • Michoacán – (in Spanish) This site does provide the state’s codes, laws and constitution, but it is not easy to find initially.  Click on “Gobierno”, “Poder Ejecutivo” then “Legislación Estatal” and once there, go to the index (“Índice General”) this will provide you with a list of the information.
  • Morelos- (in Spanish) This website offers an alphabetical list of all state codes and laws.  You can review the list and find what you need with no problems.  This website does require a basic knowledge of Spanish since there is no subject or keyword search option.
  • Nayarit - (in Spanish) This website has laws and regulations that can be searched by keyword and title.  There is also information on all three state powers and their dependencies.    A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems.
  • Nuevo León – (in Spanish) From this official site’s homepage, one can go directly to the state’s laws, codes, regulations and constitution by clicking on “Leyes y Reglamentos”.  The documents are available in html format and PDF format.
  • Oaxaca - (in Spanish) This website has federal, state and municipal laws.  The laws are listed by title with references to the latest reforms.  There is also a section for new laws.   A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems.
  • Puebla – (in Spanish) Find laws, constitution and regulations under “Legislación Vigente”.
  • Querétaro - (in Spanish) This website has state laws, decrees, accords and regulations.  The materials are listed alphabetically by title.  All state government entities are listed with their relevant legislation.   This is a very complete juridical state website.   A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems.
  • Quintana Roo – (in Spanish) Once at the homepage, click on “Legislación,” that will take you directly to where the laws, constitution and regulations are posted. 
  • San Luís Potosí   - (in Spanish) This website has laws and regulations that can be searched by keyword and title.  There is also information on all three state powers and their dependencies.    A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems. 
  • Sinaloa – (in Spanish) The laws and codes are easy to find.  After entering the site, click on “Transparencia” and then “Leyes y Códigos”.
  • Sonora – (in Spanish) There is an English version that is currently under construction.
  • Tabasco- (in Spanish) This website has laws and regulations that can be searched by keyword and title.   The site also has state case law.  The site is user friendly and very easy to navigate.   A person with a reading knowledge of Spanish can navigate this site without problems.
  • Tamaulipas – (in Spanish) There is a link to the laws and constitution on the homepage.
  • Tlaxcala – (in Spanish) One can get directly to the laws from the homepage.
  • Veracruz – (in Spanish) In order to find the legal information, you need to search for “leyes” which will provide a very comprehensive list.  There is an option to view the site in English; however, there is a limited amount of information you can access in English.
  • Yucatán – (in Spanish) Go to “administración” and at the bottom of that page click on “leyes y normas,” which appears in very fine print.  Not many of the laws are provided although the constitution is.
  • Zacatecas – (in Spanish) Once at the homepage, go to “poder legislativo” to find the law.  However, you will only find the law granting the different branches power and the constitution.
  • Hot Links to all state governments, state laws and state gazettes can be found here .

 

VIII. NAFTA

  • PRECISA.GOB.MX - This site is dedicated to Mexican Government's Websites and to the Mexican State Governments.
  • NAFTA: Mexican Ministry of Economy, Embassy of Mexico, Washington D.C - This site’s purpose is to “promote exports and foreign investment in Mexico, to assist companies to do business with Mexico, and to follow up-to-date Mexico-U.S. trade relations.”  The site is more business-related than legal, but the information is up-to-date and gives good coverage of NAFTA’s legal issues.  The information is in English.
  • NAFTA Information; NAFTA Information Center; U.S. Customs Service  - This site was created to “provide the import and export community and the Customs Service with accurate information on NAFTA Agreement”.  The site is trilingual and is more business-related than legal.
  • United States Department of Homeland Security, NAFTA- This website is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.   The site is comprehensive and geared to the practitioner.  It contains the agreement, which can be searched by keyword, and all relevant documents such as annexes, legislative history, harmonized tariff schedule, certificates of origin, appeals information, NAFTA guides, relevant links and other free trade agreements of the United States.   I recommend this website to all persons researching NAFTA or working with NAFTA.
  • United States Immigration Service Center: NAFTA - This site has comprehensive information on the immigrations issues associated with NAFTA.  There is information on the procedures and requirements for temporary movement of professionals.  
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative NAFTA- This website is operated by the Office of the United States Trade Representative NAFTA Section.  Much useful information on NAFTA can be found at this site.  It also offers access to government experts on NAFTA.  I recommend this site to persons interested in participating in NAFTA trade.

NAFTA - Duke Law - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented on January 1, 1994. It is designed to remove tariff barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Introduction - Text of the Agreement - Background Information - Dispute Resolution”.

NAFTA -“This guide is an introduction to the research process that, while not being an exhaustive list of information resources available, should be helpful in getting started in your research about NAFTA.  Below you will find pointers to suggested research terms about NAFTA, materials in the library catalog about NAFTA, websites relevant to NAFTA, and links to library databases that contain information about NAFTA”.

NYU Law , Library - Nafta Guide - This guide lists essential sources for researching the North American Free Trade Agreement system. The main tabs have general sources not listed under the drop-down menus. Links go to online sources or to more information about print sources.

NAFTA Works - Mexico's Ministry Of The Economy Website. The site is in English and very complete on all NAFTA related matters.

“General Information about NAFTA NAFTA Full text in English · NAFTA Full text in Spanish ... Doing business with Mexico”.

Electronic guide to the best Mexican law websites - J orge A. Vargas’ “Best Mexican Websites”.

·        A Treatise For Legal Practitioners And International Investors Guide To Electronic Resources For Mexican Law . By Jorge A. Vargas

·        American Law Sources On-line - “The home of American Law Sources On-line providing a comprehensive, uniform, and useful compilation of links to freely accessible on-line sources of law for the United States and Canada”.  With links to Mexican resources.

·        The Law Library of Congress , the Mexico page.

·        Mexico and its legal system -Online guide to the law and legal materials of Mexico by Jorge A. Vargas.  A very good introduction written for LLRX.com.

·        Mexican Laws - “Mexican laws S.A. de C.V. is a Mexican corporation that provides English translations of current Mexican legislation. Translations are organized using the basic structure of oversight and enforcement under Mexican law”.  This is a pay site, with some free resources.

IX. Overall Coverage of Mexico

  • A Mexican Legal System: Immigration Laws (in English)
  • Mexican Legal System: Overview (in English) -Compares Mexico’s Civil system to the United States’; brief overview of Mexican litigation and courts; and who are the key players.
  • International Law Topic Area (in English) - Provides some info on Mexican Real Estate law and the Mexican Foreign Investment Act of 1993. 
  • Latin American Network Information Center - This site offers general comprehensive coverage of Mexico.  It also offers a NAFTA site.  Legal matters are covered, as well as many other areas of interests.  This is a good site for anyone interested in Mexico, be it legal or non-legal information.  This is a complete site on Mexico and NAFTA. 
  • Library of Congress: Federal Research Division; Country Studies - This site is not a legal site, but a general information site on Mexico.  The history of Mexico is organized in the form of a detailed outline with links to the body of the text for each outline topic.  The historical periods covered in the outline go from the pre-conquest of Mexico to the present.  The site has a search engine that makes for easy access to the material.  The site is updated on a regular and frequent basis.  All on-site materials are in English.  
  • Department of State: Office of Mexican Affairs - This is the official site of the United States Department of State.  The site contains vast amount of information on Mexico on the following topics: Bilateral Relations, Business Information, NAFTA Information, the Mexican Government, and on the many websites (links) that have Mexican legal/commercial information.  The Country Reports, Commercial Guides, Travel Information Sheets and the Visa Requirements are examples of useful information found at the site.   Information is found both in English and Spanish. 
  • Mexican Law: The Best Mexican Web sites - This is a website created by Jorge A. Vargas of the University of San Diego School of Law.  Mr. Vargas states that his site will provide the reader with the best, “web sites in English containing legal and historical information about Mexico”.  This is a quality website with information for the advanced researcher as well as for the novice researcher. 
  • Mexico Business Opportunities and Legal Framework (BANCOMEXT and Goodrich, Requelme and Associates) - This sites consists of a guide to doing business in Mexico.  All of the aspects of doing business in Mexico are considered such as:  General Considerations, Investment Framework, Directs Sales, Exports From Mexico, Direct Investment, Exchange Controls, Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, immigration, etc.  This is a must view site for anyone considering doing business in Mexico. 
  • A Treatise for The Legal Practitioners and International Investors .  This is the electronic version of Jorge A. Vargas’ “A Treatise for the Legal Practitioners and International Investors”, published by the West Group.   The coverage of Mexican legal materials in this site is comprehensive.  English language materials are mentioned when they exist, primary and secondary.  I highly recommend this site to any person interested in doing business with Mexico.  
  • Library of Congress Research Guide to Law Online .  This is a website with hot links to Mexican legal materials from the Mexican Constitution to Children’s Rights in Mexico.  The guide is Organized around the following subjects: Constitution , Executive , Judicial , Legislative , Legal Guides and General Sources .

 

X. Mexican Publishers of Legal Materials

              Librería de Porrúa Hermanos y C í a S.A. de C.V is the premiere publisher and distributor    

               of legal materials in Mexico.   

                  Andrade specializes in primary materials in loose-leaf format.  Their collections are  

               very complete.

                  Editorial Themis , S.A. de C.V. Themis offers some primary materials in English. 

 

XI. Free Translation Sites

The Google Translate site is a good site that I would recommend. This site is as good as other free translation sites.

Paralink is a good site that I would recommend. This site is as good as other free translation sites. 

ImTranslator is a good site that I would recommend. This site is as good as other free translation sites. 

Babylon Online Translation  is a good site that I would recommend. This site is as good as other free translation sites.

Free-Translator  is a good site that I would recommend. This site is as good as other free translation site.

 



[1] The Constitution of 1824 can be found at the Chamber of Deputies website: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/biblioteca/bibdig/const_mex/const_1824.pdf

[2] The Constitution of 1857 can be found at the Chamber of Deputies website: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/biblioteca/bibdig/const_mex/const_1857.pdf

[3] The Constitution of 1917 can be found at the Chamber of Deputies website: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/1_07jul14.pdf

[4] A list of transitory articles can be found at: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/sedia/sia/spi/art_trans_CPEUM.pdf

[5] An excellent  article on transitory articles can be found at Elisur Arteaga Nava. El Derecho Constitucional Transitorio: http://www.azc.uam.mx/publicaciones/alegatos/pdfs/13/13-01.pdf

[6] Mexican Constitution Article 80, “Se deposita el ejercicio del Supremo Poder Ejecutivo de la Unión en un solo Individuo, que se denominará "Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos”.

[7] Mexican Constitution Article 81, “La elección del Presidente será directa y en los términos que disponga la ley electoral.”

[8] The Constitutional requirements are: to be a Mexican Citizen born of a Mexican father and mother and have resided in Mexico for at least 20 years; be at least 35 years of age at election time; resided in the country for the entire  year previous to the election with no interruptions (interruptions of less than 30 days are allowable; to not be a minister of any religious organization; to not be an active  member of the military for the previous 6 months before election day; to not be a serving member of a federal or state executive post , save resigning said post 6 months before election day; to not be disabled as set out in article 83.           

[9] "I solemnly promise that I will observe and enforce the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws enacted in pursuance thereof, and that I will discharge loyally and patriotically the office of President of the Republic which the people have conferred upon me, in all ways looking to the welfare and prosperity of the Union; and if I do not do so may the Nation demand it of me. (Protesto guardar y hacer guardar la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos y las leyes que de ella emanen, y desempeñar leal y patrióticamente el cargo de Presidente de la República que el pueblo me ha conferido, mirando en todo por el bien y prosperidad de la Unión; y si así no lo hiciere que la Nación me lo demande)".

[10] The personal requirements to serve in an executive post are: the person must be a Mexican Citizen by birth; possess all of his/her civil rights; must be at least 30 years of age.

[11] General Organic Law of the Congress of the United Mexican States (Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) can be found at: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/168.pdf .   

[12] Mexican Constitution Article 39.

[13] Mexican Constitution, Article 40, “It is the will of the Mexican people to constitute a representative, democratic, secular, federation composed of free and sovereign states in all matters relating to their internal affairs; but united in a federation established according to the basic principles of this law  (Es voluntad del pueblo mexicano constituirse en una República representativa, democrática, laica, federal, compuesta de Estados libres y soberanos en todo lo concerniente a su régimen interior; pero unidos en una federación establecida según los principios de esta ley fundamental).”

[14] Mexican Constitution, Title 3, Chapter 1, Article 49, Paragraph 1 “El Supremo Poder de la Federación se divide para su ejercicio en Legislativo, Ejecutivo y Judicial”.

[15] Mexican Constitution, Title 3, Chapter 1, Article 49, Paragraph 2, “No podrán reunirse dos o más de estos Poderes en una sola persona o corporación, ni depositarse el Legislativo en un individuo, salvo el caso de facultades extraordinarias al Ejecutivo de la Unión, conforme a lo dispuesto en el artículo 29. En ningún otro caso, salvo lo dispuesto en el segundo párrafo del artículo 131, se otorgarán facultades extraordinarias para legislar”.

[16] Mexican Constitution Article 42, “ The national territory comprises: I. The integral parts of the Federation; II. The islands, including the reefs and keys, in adjacent seas; III. The islands of Guadalupe and Revillagigedo situated in the Pacific Ocean; IV. The continental shelf and the submarine shelf of such islands, keys and reefs; V. The waters of the territorial seas to the extent and under terms as set by the International and inland maritime law; VI. The space located above the national territory, with the extent and conditions as established by international law (El territorio nacional comprende: I. El de las partes integrantes de la Federación; II. El de las islas, incluyendo los arrecifes y cayos en los mares adyacentes; III. El de las islas de Guadalupe y las de Revillagigedo situadas en el Océano Pacífico; IV. La plataforma continental y los zócalos submarinos de las islas, cayos y arrecifes; V. Las aguas de los mares territoriales en la extensión y términos que fija el Derecho Internacional y las marítimas interiores; VI. El espacio situado sobre el territorio nacional, con la extensión y modalidades que establezca el propio Derecho Internacional).”

[17] Mexican Constitution, Article 41, “The people exercise their sovereignty through the branches of government, in the case of their competence, and those of the States, concerning their internal affairs, in the terms established by the present Federal Constitution and particular States, which in no case may contravene the provisions of the Federal Pact (El pueblo ejerce su soberanía por medio de los Poderes de la Unión, en los casos de la competencia de éstos, y por los de los Estados, en lo que toca a sus regímenes interiores, en los términos respectivamente establecidos por la presente Constitución Federal y las particulares de los Estados, las que en ningún caso podrán contravenir las estipulaciones del Pacto Federal).”

[18] Mexican Constitution Article 80, “Se deposita el ejercicio del Supremo Poder Ejecutivo de la Unión en un solo Individuo, que se denominará "Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos”.

[19] Mexican Constitution Article 81, “La elección del Presidente será directa y en los términos que disponga la ley electoral.”

[20] The Constitutional requirements are: to be a Mexican Citizen born of a Mexican father and mother and have resided in Mexico for at least 20 years; be at least 35 years of age at election time; resided in the country for the entire  year previous to the election with no interruptions (interruptions of less than 30 days are allowable; to not be a minister of any religious organization; to not be an active  member of the military for the previous 6 months before election day; to not be a serving member of a federal or state executive post , save resigning said post 6 months before election day; to not be disabled as set out in article 83.           

[21] "I solemnly promise that I will observe and enforce the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States and the laws enacted in pursuance thereof, and that I will discharge loyally and patriotically the office of President of the Republic which the people have conferred upon me, in all ways looking to the welfare and prosperity of the Union; and if I do not do so may the Nation demand it of me. (Protesto guardar y hacer guardar la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos y las leyes que de ella emanen, y desempeñar leal y patrióticamente el cargo de Presidente de la República que el pueblo me ha conferido, mirando en todo por el bien y prosperidad de la Unión; y si así no lo hiciere que la Nación me lo demande)".

[22] The personal requirements to serve in an executive post are: the person must be a Mexican Citizen by birth; possess all of his/her civil rights; must be at least 30 years of age.

[23] General Organic Law of the Congress of the United Mexican States (Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) can be found at: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/168.pdf .   

[24] Vincent L. Padgett, The Mexican Political System , 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976) at 198.

[25] Mexican Constitution, Article 50, “The legislature of the United Mexican States is vested in a General Congress, which is divided into two chambers, one of Deputies and the Senators (El poder legislativo de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos se deposita en un Congreso general, que se dividirá en dos Cámaras, una de diputados y otra de senadores).”

[26] Mexican Constitution, Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[27] Mexican Constitution 53, “The territorial demarcation of the 300 single-member constituencies will be the result of dividing the total population among the districts indicated. The distribution of single-member constituencies among the states will take into account the last general census of population, but in no case shall the representation of a State be less than two members of the majority ( La demarcación territorial de los 300 distritos electorales uninominales será la que resulte de dividir la población total del país entre los distritos señalados. La distribución de los distritos electorales uninominales entre las entidades federativas se hará teniendo en cuenta el último censo general de población, sin que en ningún caso la representación de un Estado pueda ser menor de dos diputados de mayoría.

[28] Mexican Constitution, Article 53, Section 2 and Article 54, Sections 1-6.

[29] Mexican Constitution, Article 59.

[30] Mexican Constitution, Article 55, Section 6. 

[31] E.V. Niemeyer, Revolution at Queretaro: The Mexican Constitution Convention of 1916-1917 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1974) 234.

[32] Mexican Constitution, Article 70, Sections 1-4.

[33] Mexican Constitution, Article 56, Section 1-3.

[34] Mexican Constitution, Article 59.

[35] Mexican Constitution, Article 57, “ For each senate seat an alternative senator will be elected ( Por cada senador propietario se elegirá un suplente)”.

[36] Mexican Constitution, Article 55.

[37] See Legislative Sessions in this work for details.

[38] Mexican Constitution Articles 76, Section 1-14 and Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[39] Mexican Constitution Articles  78.

[40] Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial de la Federación (Organic Law of the Federal Judiciary), (1981).

[41] Constitution, supra note 3, Title 3, Chapter 4, Article 98.

[42] Mexican Constitution Article 94, “Se deposita el ejercicio del Poder Judicial de la Federación en una Suprema Corte de Justicia, en un Tribunal Electoral, en Tribunales Colegiados y Unitarios de Circuito y en Juzgados de

Distrito. La administración, vigilancia y disciplina del Poder Judicial de la Federación, con excepción de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, estarán a cargo del Consejo de la Judicatura Federal en los términos que, conforme a las bases que señala esta Constitución, establezcan las leyes.”

[43] Mexican Constitution Article 95.

[44] Mexican Constitution Article 96.

[45] Mexican Constitution Article 97, Paragraph.

[46] The Presidential term of office in Mexico is for 6 years and each Presidential term is referred to as the “ sexenio” (six years).

[47] Mexican Constitution Article 97.

[48] Mexican Constitution Article 99.

[49] Mexican Constitution Article 94, Paragraph 3.

[50] Mexican Constitution Article 94, Paragraph 2.

[51] Mexican Constitution Article 94, Paragraph 6.

[52] Mexican Constitution, Article 71, “ The right to initiate laws or decrees belongs: I. To the President of the Republic; II. To the deputies and senators of the Congress; III. To the Legislatures of the States; and IV. To the citizens in a number equal to at least, point zero thirteen of the lists of voters, as established by law ( El derecho de iniciar leyes o decretos compete: I. Al Presidente de la República; II. A los Diputados y Senadores al Congreso de la Unión; III. A las Legislaturas de los Estados; y IV. A los ciudadanos en un número equivalente, por lo menos, al cero punto trece por ciento de la lista nominal de electores, en los términos que señalen las leyes)”.

[53] Vincent L. Padgett,  The Mexican Political System , 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976), 200.

[54] Constitution of the United Mexican States (1917), Title 3, Chapter 4, Article 94.

[55] Mexican Constitution Article 71.

[56] For a complete list see Mexican Constitution Article 74, Sections 1-8 and Article 75, Paragraphs 1-3. 

[57] For a complete list see Mexican Constitution Articles 76, Section 1-14 and Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[58] Mexican Constitution, Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[59] James E. Herget and Jorge Camil,  An Introduction to the Mexican Legal System  (Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein, 1978), 20.

[60] Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States ( Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/168.pdf

[61] Regulations for the Internal Governance of the Congress of the United Mexican States (Reglamento Para el Gobierno Interior del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos): http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/219.pdf

[62] Mexican Constitution, Article 65.

[63] See “Legislative Process”  in this article more details.

[64] Organic Law of the General Congress of the United Mexican States ( Ley Orgánica del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/168.pdf

[65] Regulations for the Internal Governance of the Congress of the United Mexican States (Reglamento Para el Gobierno Interior del Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos): http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/219.pdf

[66] Mexican Constitution, Article 71, “ The right to initiate laws or decrees belongs: I. To the President of the Republic; II. To the deputies and senators of the Congress; III. To the Legislatures of the States; and IV. To the citizens in a number equal to at least, point zero thirteen of the lists of voters, as established by law ( El derecho de iniciar leyes o decretos compete: I. Al Presidente de la República; II. A los Diputados y Senadores al Congreso de la Unión; III. A las Legislaturas de los Estados; y IV. A los ciudadanos en un número equivalente, por lo menos, al cero punto trece por ciento de la lista nominal de electores, en los términos que señalen las leyes)”.

[67] For a complete list see Mexican Constitution Article 74, Sections 1-8 and Article 75, Paragraphs 1-3. 

[68] Mexican Constitution Articles 76, Section 1-14 and Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[69] Mexican Constitution, Article 77, Sections 1-4.

[70] James E. Herget and Jorge Camil,  An Introduction to the Mexican Legal System  (Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein, 1978), 20.

[71] Vincent L. Padgett,  The Mexican Political System , 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976), 200.

[72] Constitution of the United Mexican States (1917), Title 3, Chapter 4, Article 94.