UPDATE: Researching the Argentine Legal System

By Gloria Orrego Hoyos

Gloria Orrego Hoyos is currently working at the Secretariat Training and Jurisprudence of the Public Defender's Office in Argentina and as Professor of Law and Legal Research (since 2008) at the Universidad de San Andrés and at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (since 2016) in Buenos Aires. She is a published author on human rights issues (gender and reproductive rights) and has been a guest lecturer in the subject in several countries. Additionally, she has been a consultant for NGOs and commercial databases regarding Latin American law in human and women’s rights. Gloria Orrego Hoyos is a native of Colombia, where she obtained her law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana College of Law in Bogotá, Colombia, and is now living and working in Argentina where she obtained a Master in Constitutional Law and Human Rights from the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires. She also has a librarianship degree from the Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales in Buenos Aires.

Published March/April 2022

(Previously updated by Dr. Gisela Monge Roffarello, Emilse Monge Roffarello, Dr. Ezequiel Trajtenberg and Prof. Eng. Julio O. Trajtenberg in May/June 2008; subsequently updated by Gloria Orrego Hoyos in November/December 2011, in February 2014, in September 2015, and in February 2017)

See the Archive Version!

1. Argentina’s Form of Government

The Argentine nation adopts for its democratic government the representative, republican, and federal forms: representative in that the country is governed by representatives of the people; republican in that the people elect representatives through vote, the country is governed by a tripartite system (executive, legislative, and judicial powers), and the government adopts a written Constitution; and federal in that the provincial governments keep their self-rule despite responding to a common government (the national government). The nation adopts this form of government as established by the National Constitution, passed in 1853. This text was modified in 1860 when the province of Buenos Aires was included, since it was not part of the Argentine Confederation in 1853.

Then, in 1949, a constitutional convention replaced the 1853/1860 text for a new one, which was rendered null and void by the provincial government through the April 27, 1956 proclamation that replaced the previous text. The National Convention approved the constitutional reforms on August 22, 1994, which became effective on August 24, 1994. These reforms refer, fundamentally, to the organic part of the Constitution.

The Argentine Republic comprises 23 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires. The provinces are Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Corrientes, Córdoba, Chaco, Chubut, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquén, Río Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, and Tierra del Fuego. Each province has its own constitution, which must state its administration of justice and municipal autonomy, and the scope and content of its institutional, political, administrative, and financial orders.

Each province also elects its own authorities: governor, legislators, and other provincial officers. They dictate their regional legislation through local institutions and are entitled to enter into international agreements as long as they abide by the national foreign policy and do not affect the federal government faculties or national public credit. Likewise, they are allowed to enter into partial treaties supported by the federal government for the purposes of justice administration, economic interests, and public interest works.

Provinces shall not execute partial treaties on political matters, enact commercial, interior or exterior navigation laws, set up provincial customs, mint currency, set up banks with bill issuance power without federal authorization, dictate the Civil, Commercial, Criminal and Mining codes after being approved by the Congress, pass laws related to citizenship and naturalization, bankruptcy, currency forgery or state documents, establish tonnage rights or set up warship, neither shall they appoint or receive foreign agents. The constitutional legal code established for the Argentine nation, since 1853, the above-mentioned form of government, divided into the executive, legislative, and judicial powers.

2. Executive Power

The Executive power is vested in the President who is in charge of the general administration of the country and the compliance with the National State interests. The President and Vice President are elected directly through vote in general elections on a single electoral district basis. The Constitutional reform of 1994 introduced the two-round system (or second ballot) in which, if the most voted formula achieves 45% of the votes or 40% with an advantage of more than 10% over the second formula, its candidates will be proclaimed President and Vice-President. Otherwise, there must be a second round between the two most voted formulas during the first round, and again, the candidates who obtain the majority of votes will be proclaimed President and Vice-President.

When the two-round system was introduced in 2003, Carlos Saúl Menem (winner in the first round) had to step aside after Néstor Kirchner reached the majority of votes with over 22% of the votes obtained in the first round and was proclaimed President. The President is the supreme head of the nation, controls the general administration of the country, and is the Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces.

The Cabinet chief, appointed by the President, conducts the general administration of the country and together with the other Ministers endorses and authenticates with his/her signature presidential actions that would not be effective otherwise.

Argentina Has 20 Ministries:

(After the arrival of President Mauricio Macri in 2015, the Ministry of Planning, Public Investment and Services disappeared and were created 5 more Ministries)

3. Legislative Power

The Argentine Republic Legislative Power is conducted by the National Congress, made up of two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

3.1. Chamber of Deputies

Deputies are elected by people and represent them. The number of Deputies depends on the number of inhabitants. Currently, the Chamber of Deputies has 257 members. For election purposes, the country is divided into districts and each one elects a number of members roughly proportional to its population. Each province is considered an electoral district and elects its Deputies by proportional representation using the D'Hondt method.

Five additional Deputies are allotted to less-populated provinces, which would otherwise be limited to one or two representatives. Deputies are elected for a four-year term, with half of the seats renewed every two years, and are eligible for re-election. This Chamber holds the exclusive rights of levying taxes, deploying troops, and prosecuting the President of the Republic, State Ministers, and members of the Supreme Court before the Argentine Senate.

3.2. The Senate

The Senate is a provincial representation chamber made up of 72 Senators: three for each province and three for the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Senators are elected for a six-year term which can be renewed indefinitely by re-election. In each province, the party with the most votes is awarded two of the province's Senate seats, and the second-place party receives the remaining seat. The Senate renews representatives from one-third of the electoral districts (provinces) every two years. The Senate is presided over by the Vice-President of the Republic, who has the casting vote in the event of ties.

The elections of October 14, 2001 set up the definite mechanism established by the National Constitution after the 1994 reform. In fact, since this reform and until the 2001 election, the constitutional text determined a temporary election system that ended with the term of office of all Senators on December 9, 2001, and established the beginning of a new period with some innovations, including the term of office duration (six years) and the partial renewal of the Chamber (every two years).

The process of appointing Senators has seen particularly important changes. Since the last election in 2001, members of the Senate are designated by a popular vote, which is different from the past when the system conferred this legal authority to designate Senators to local legislative bodies. This is the only way two members can be elected for the majority and one for the first minority. Finally, it should be stated that Senators may be re-elected indefinitely and that in the same election for a permanent position, a substitute is also chosen.

See the Official Web Page of the Senate.

4. Judicial Power

The Judicial Power of the Nation shall be vested in a Supreme Court and in such lower courts as Congress may constitute in the territory of the Nation (section 108 NC). In no case the President of the Nation shall exercise judicial functions, assume jurisdiction over pending cases, or reopen those already adjudged (section 109 NC). Until the adoption of the reforms, judges were appointed by the executive power with the consent of the Senate. In accordance with the new constitutional text, the Council of Magistracy shall be in charge of the selection of the judges (section 114 NC). The Council shall be periodically constituted so as to achieve the balance among the representation of the political bodies arising from popular election, of the judges of all instances, and of the lawyers with federal registration. It shall likewise be composed of such other scholars and scientists as indicated by law in number and form.

The Justices of the Supreme Court and the judges of the lower courts of the Nation shall hold their offices during good behavior (section 110 NC). The judges of the lower courts of the Nation shall be removed by a special jury composed of legislators, judges, and lawyers with federal registration (section 115 NC). In such cases of misconduct or crimes committed in the fulfillment of their duties; or for ordinary crimes (section 53 NC). The Supreme Court and the lower courts of the nation are empowered to hear and decide all cases arising under the Constitution and the laws of the nation and under the treaties signed with foreign nations. The Supreme Court exercises its appellate jurisdiction as per regulations and exceptions prescribed by Congress.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Supreme Court of Justice exercises original and exclusive jurisdiction over all cases concerning ambassadors, public ministers and foreign consuls; cases related to admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; matters in which the Nation shall be a party; actions arising between two or more provinces, between one province and the inhabitants of another province, between the inhabitants of different provinces, and between one province or the inhabitants thereof against a foreign state or citizen.

In the Argentine judicial regime, the administration of justice is a concurrent power of the nation and the provinces. Sections 5 and 123 of the National Constitution establish that each province shall enact its own Constitution in accordance with the principles, declarations and guarantees of the National Constitution "ensuring its administration of justice."

They elect their governors, legislators, and other provincial officers, without the intervention of the federal government (section 122 NC). Section 31 of the National Constitution states that the Constitution, the laws of the Nation enacted by Congress in pursuance thereof, and treaties with foreign powers, are the supreme law of the Nation, and the authorities of each province are bound thereby, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary included in the provincial laws or constitutions. It is the responsibility of each province for the enforcement of ordinary justice within the provincial territory, and also for applying the codes mentioned in section 75, subsection 12º—the Civil, Commercial, Criminal, Mining, Labor and Social Security Codes—depending on the respective jurisdictions for persons or things.

Regarding the national justice, section 116 of the National Constitution establishes that the Supreme Court and the lower courts of the Nation are empowered to hear and decide all cases arising under the Constitution and the laws of the Nation, except for matters under provincial jurisdictions. In such cases, according to section 117, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction.

See the Official Web Page of the Judicial Power of the Nation.

5. Jurisdictions

5.1. Civil Jurisdiction

The Civil Courts have jurisdiction over civil law matters.

The Civil Code: The Executive Power, via Decree No. 191 of February 23, 2011, submitted to the national legislature the Project of Civil and Commercial Code, with the aim to codify the rights recognized in recent years by different rules, incorporating a non-discriminatory paradigm and a Latin-American cultural identity, in order to integrate Argentina to the Latin American cultural block. The project was presented as a regulatory framework to a range of social behaviors, within which there are several major changes to marriage issues (incorporating prenuptial agreement), divorce (simplified procedure), assisted human reproduction (incorporation of assisted fertilization techniques), adoption, indigenous property rights, surrogate motherhood, personal rights (such as right to privacy, dignity, picture), among other things. On October 1, 2014, the civil codification in Argentina was modified by the Law 26.994, which came into effect on August 1, 2015 and includes severe modifications to many civil and private matters.

Marriage, Concubinage (Unión Convivencial), and Divorce: In the draft Code with an average sanction, only the duty of cooperation, coexistence, moral duty of fidelity, mutual assistance and food subsist (Articles 431 and 432). Marriage rules correspond to the regime of Law 26,618 of Equal Marriage. The personal separation figure is deleted.

Regarding divorce, the three-year requirement for divorce (Article 435 et seq.) is eliminated, among others. Divorce can be requested either individually or jointly (Article 437). It eliminates the need to invoke a cause imperatively imposed by the Code (Article 438). A new institute—the economic compensation (Article 439)—is incorporated under a parameter of family solidarity and equality. The effects of the divorce bind will not result in any guilt (Article 439). With support in the principle of the autonomy of the will, it is established the possibility of opting, through the celebration of marriage conventions, among the following patrimonial regimes: 1) community and 2) separation of assets.

The convivial unions (concubinage, customary marriage) are incorporated into positive law, which are defined as the union based on affective relationships of a singular, public, notorious, stable, and permanent character between two people who live together and share a common life project, whether of the same of different Sex (Article 509). Proof, economic aspects, the contribution to the household charges, responsibilities and Attribution of the common home in case of rupture (Article 512 et seq.).

Assisted Human Reproduction: Consent in assisted human reproduction techniques. The intervening health center must obtain the prior informed and free consent of the people who undergo the use of assisted human reproduction techniques. This consent must be renewed every time the gametes or embryos are used (Article 560).

Adoption: Rights of children and adolescents. Adoption is governed by the principles of: the best interests of the child, respect for the right to identity, exhaustion of the possibilities to remain in the family of origin or extension, preservation of fraternal bonds, right to know the origins, right to that the child’s opinion be considered according to their age and degree of maturity, the child’s consent being obligatory when the child is over the age ten (Article 595).

Parental Responsibility: This section regulates kinship by nature, by "methods of assisted human reproduction," by adoption and by affinity (Articles 529 and 535, 536 et seq.).


Personal Rights: The existence of the human person begins with conception (Article 19). Second Transitory Standard: "The protection of the embryo not implanted will be the object of a special law." (Corresponds to Article 19 of the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation).

A chapter is introduced expressly regulating these rights, including the following:

Inheritance: Following the death of the deceased, the heirs have all their rights and actions in an undivided manner, with the exception of those that are not transmissible by succession and continue in possession of what the offender was possessor. The debtor's debts are answered with the assets received by the heirs (eliminating the distinction between plain and flat acceptance and acceptance with the benefit of inventory) (Article 2280).

Legal Capacity (Capacidad Jurídica en el Nuevo Código Civil y Commercial de la Nación, by Juan Pablo Olmo, Nov. 2014 (Slideshare Presentation)): Every human being has the capacity to hold legal rights and duties. The law may deprive or limit this capacity with respect to facts, simple acts, or specific legal acts (Article 22).

Tort Law

Useful Links:

5.2. Commercial Jurisdiction

Commercial judges have competence in all matters arising under commercial laws. Commercial Code: By Article 4 of the Law No. 26,994, the Commercial Code is repealed, except for Articles 891, 892, 907, 919, 926, 984-996, 999-1003, and 1006-1017/5, which are incorporated by Articles 631-678 of Law No. 20,094, empowering the national Executive to renumber the Articles of the Act by virtue of the incorporation of the above procedures.

Since August 1, 2015, they are regulated by the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation:


Commercial Doctrine

5.3. Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction

Contentious-administrative courts have competence in all matters arising from administrative contracts in connection with Customs General Administration, the AFIP (Federal Administration of Public Revenue), fiscal executions, etc.



5.4. Labor Jurisdiction

The Labor Justice shall have competence over contentious causes in individual conflicts arising from lawsuits related to labor contracts or collective labor agreements, and causes between employers and employees in relation with labor contracts, such as dismissals, notice of dismissal, compensation, accidents at work, etc.

Employment Contract Law



5.5. Criminal Jurisdiction

Criminal Courts have competence over all matters arising under the Criminal Code. Please access the list of rules that amend and supplement the Criminal Code of the Nation.

Criminal Code



6. The Value of Jurisprudence

The common law stare decisis creates an obligation to follow decisions by the superior courts yet leaving discretion in the hands of the judges to deviate from the precedence if application proves inconvenient. The task of solving the theoretical aspects of a case, at common law courts, is mostly based upon finding the right precedent. The advantage of precedent over the law is its singular decision nature that solves a specific matter and adjusts the underlying principle margin in that decision.

The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that "The stare decisis comprehends an important social policy. It represents the element of legal continuity and has its roots in the psychological need of fulfilling reasonable expectations." Within the common law system, judges have the possibility of empirically examining the results of previous decisions or criteria, and when any inconvenience is shown in particular cases, they may step aside. Besides, the specific nature given to the principle content extracted from a case allows courts to have a wide range of variants to assess different details, and even consider the precedent non-applicable.

In Argentina, codification of law has not allowed jurisprudence to reach the same significance. Precedents carefully prepared for decades are sometimes made useless in a day by a Congress law that states the opposite, and that legal provision, as long as judges do not believe that it breaches the National Constitution, is considered mandatory. The tradition of codification and regulation minimized the importance of jurisprudence, consigned to fill in legislative empty spaces. But even within the restricted scope of jurisprudence, our Supreme Court set up regulations that state the compliance with its judgment.

Lower courts can step aside the court doctrine, even when judging similar cases, without placement of constitutional burden by virtue of its criteria autonomy, except when not knowing the judgment of a similar case, breaching the principle that states judicial decisions are mandatory. However, the withdrawal shall not be arbitrary or groundless since judges only decide in specific processes assigned to them, and since the Supreme Court judgments are not mandatory for similar cases, lower judges must decide consequently. "As a consequence of this doctrine, it will be groundless all the judgments from lower courts that step aside the precedents of Court without providing new arguments which justify changing what the Court already decided, as supreme interpreter of the National Constitution and laws arising thereof."

The Supreme Court doctrine of judgments, also in Argentina, has moral authority that justifies the obligation, for lower courts, to support its judgments when not agreeing with the Supreme Court decisions; but, at the same time, it does not completely ban said disagreement. In this way, an organized growth of jurisprudence is allowed, without turning the Supreme Court into a new legislator, as later occurred when the Chambers’ faculty of giving plenary judgments to unify jurisprudence was introduced.

7. Trial by Jury

The National Constitution establishes the trial by jury in three sections:

It is the intention of the constituent to carry out criminal trials in the Argentine Republic through this mechanism. However, and not knowing why, the doctrine arduously debates about these postulates’ validity or their common repeal. These questions generate uncertainty since it is difficult to understand how it is possible for a fundamental regulation of a Rule of Law to lose validity just because political powers do not comply with it. Our constituents, since the National Constitution establishment and until its last reform in 1994, have stated, and implicitly confirmed, their intention.

In case the National Congress does not secure the establishment, in the short term, of this institution in the Argentine Republic, it implies open violation and disregard of constitutional regulations.

This trial methodology has recently started to be applied at the provincial level, and the first verdict took place in August, 2005 in a trial by jury. The first trial by popular jury occurred in the Bureau of crime in the city of San Francisco, province of Córdoba, when Victor Fernando Luna was sentenced on charges of "perpetrator and responsible of aggravated murder: death in possession of a weapon." Trial by jury is established to judge certain specific crimes: aggravated murder, kidnapping with extortion, murder with torture, murder with robbery, and sexual harassment crimes.

As of 2021 there are already several provinces where citizens are in charge of giving the verdict of guilty or not guilty. Córdoba was the first in 2004, followed by Neuquén in 2011, Buenos Aires and Chaco in 2015, and finally Río Negro, whose law will come into effect in 2018. Also, in recent months, the establishment of juries is also being debated in Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Chubut, Mendoza, among others.

Useful Links

8. Other State Institutions

8.1. General Auditing Office of the Nation

The General Auditing Bureau is the advisory body of Congress with functional autonomy, which controls the executive power’s management of the national civil service as regards its estates and its economic, financial, and operative aspects, controls public accounts, and analyses the administration of financial interests. The office controls but does not co-administer the public area; it assesses facts, acts, and documents once the organizations to be audited finish their accounting exercises. The revision and opinion of the legislative power about the performance and the general situation of the national civil service are to be based on the reports of the General Auditing Office of the Nation, which shall include comments, conclusions, and advice. The main objective of the General Auditing Office of the Nation is to take part in the approval or rejection of the revenue and investment accounts of public funds.

8.2. The Ombudsman

The Ombudsman is an independent body created within the sphere of the National Congress that operates with full autonomy without receiving instructions from any authority. The mission of the Ombudsman is the defense and protection of human rights and other rights, guarantees and interests sheltered under the Constitution and the laws, in the face of deeds, acts or omissions of the administration, as well as the control of public administrative functions. He shall hold office for the term of five years and may only be re-appointed on one occasion. He is appointed and removed by Congress with the vote of two-thirds of the members present of each House.

9. National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI)

The INADI is a decentralized organization created by Law No. 24515 in 1995 (provided by InfoLEG by the Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Presidencia de la Nación) and started work in 1997. Since March 2005, by Presidential Decree No. 184 (provided by InfoLEG by the Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Presidencia de la Nación) was placed in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights. The actions of INADI are for all those whose rights are affected by being discriminated because of their ethnicity or nationality, political opinion or religious beliefs, gender, or sexual identity, having a disability or illness, their age or their physical appearance. Its functions are aimed at ensuring for such persons the same rights and guarantees enjoyed by the whole society, i.e., equal treatment.

10. Office of Domestic Violence

Dependent on the Supreme Court's Office, the office of domestic violence seeks to temper the effects of judicial dispersion and unify jurisdictional criteria for recording cases of domestic violence that currently are not specialized. Additionally, it seeks development and organization of material and human resources for the production of statistics and analysis of them in order to assess the true magnitude of the phenomenon.

11. Argentine Tax System

As established by the National Constitution, Argentina adopts a representative, republican and federal form of government. There are three levels of government: national, provincial, and municipal. The distribution of power among them arises from a generic distribution also established in the National Constitution by which provinces keep all the power not granted to the Nation. The Nation is entitled to:

The National Constitution established the federal participation of taxes between the Nation, the provinces, and the city of Buenos Aires (in relation to services and competences that each of them assumes). The agency in charge for the collection of taxes is the Federal Public Revenue Administration (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos) or AFIP. The AFIP celebrates international agreements and conventions on taxation, customs affairs and to avoid double taxation. Access an updated list of them on the AFIP website.

The Argentine tax system is mainly organized into taxes on incomes, property and value added taxes. The federal government deals with income tax, tax on presumed minimum income, tax on personal property, real property transfer tax, tax on financial transactions, value added tax, internal taxes, tax on liquid fuels and natural gas, social security regimens, customs rights, and others. The provincial governments handle services compensation rates and specific rights.


The National Government is entitled to sanction the minimum budget for environmental protection without affecting local and provincial jurisdictions. The National Congress has the faculty of legislating on environmental matters through the civil, commercial, criminal, mining, labor, and social security codes it is entitled to sanction. Local courts are in charge of applying said sanctions to things or people under their jurisdictions. The reform of 1994 establishes that all inhabitants are entitled to the right to a healthy and balanced environment fit for human development in order that productive activities shall meet present needs without endangering those of future generations and shall have the duty to preserve it.

The Constitution

The Argentine Republic has signed, among others, the following agreements and treaties

The office in charge of the implementation of such policies is the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Its objectives, programs and projects are the preservation and environmental protection, implementation of sustainable development, rational use, and conservation of natural resources – renewable and non-renewable-aimed at achieving a healthy, balanced and fit for human development are objectives that programs and projects (on forests, climate, pollution, etc.). For national and provincial legislation about the environment:

13. International Treaties

The international treaties hierarchy is stated under sections 31 and 27 of the National Constitution. The first one refers to the regulations appeal priority establishing that "This Constitution, the laws of the Nation enacted by Congress in pursuance thereof, and treaties with foreign powers, are the supreme law of the Nation..." and then determines that each province are bound thereby, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary included in the provincial laws or constitutions. Section 27 establishes that "The Federal Government is under the obligation to strengthen its relationships of peace and trade with foreign powers, by means of treaties in accordance with the principles of public law laid down by this Constitution". The amendments that arose from the 1994 convention state in the constitutional text an evolution that is also observed in jurisprudence. The priority order of regulations is changed, as well as the current reality of government structures aimed at creating large supranational spaces through integration of nations:

Regulations Appeal Priority: The Argentine legal pyramid changed with the 1994 reform since it changes the hierarchy of international treaties. This change is reflected in the texts of two subsections of section 75 devoted to the Legislative Power scope. In fact, a first prescription establishes the general principle in this matter when states that "Treaties and concordats have a higher hierarchy than laws."

Special Hierarchy Reserved for Certain Treaties on Human Rights: The constituent has followed a tendency observed in compared constitutional rights aimed at the internationalization of human rights. Section 75, subsection 22 continues with a list of two declarations and nine international conventions, all of them related to human rights. Among others, we find The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, the International Pact on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, etc. All of them have "Constitutional hierarchy."

These treaties shall only be denounced through a particular procedure. The same subsection states that "They shall only be denounced, in such event, by the National Executive Power after the approval of two-thirds of all the members of each House". Also, the constituent establishes the possibility for other treaties on human rights to acquire the same constitutional level as the ones enumerated. Consequently, it is decided that, in order to "attain constitutional hierarchy", the other treaties and conventions on human rights shall require the vote of two-thirds of all the members of each House, "after their approval by Congress". In this way, in 1997 the Forced Displacement of People Treaty was given constitutional hierarchy and was added to the mentioned list under section 75, subsection 22.

Delegation of Competences to Supranational Organizations through Treaties of Integration: Section 75, subsection 24 establishes the Congress approval of "treaties of integration which delegate powers and jurisdiction to supranational organizations under reciprocal and equal conditions, and which respect the democratic order and human rights. The rules derived have a higher hierarchy than laws". This disposition considers the world evolution as regards integration in large economy spaces. In our particular case, it tries to encourage Mercosur.

The second part of the above-mentioned subsection refers to the approval and denouncement regime of this kind of treaties. Regarding the approval, it distinguishes the treaties signed with Latin American States from the ones signed with other nations. For the first case, approval "shall require the absolute majority of all the members of each House." For the second case, "the National Congress, with the absolute majority of the members present of each House, shall declare the advisability of the approval of the treaty which shall only be approved with the vote of the absolute majority of all the members of each House, one hundred and twenty days after said declaration of advisability."

Beyond the validity of the herein stated casuistry, it is believed that the second type of treaty produces uncertainty over those signed among countries from the first and second areas. The entry of Argentina into NAFTA reflects this particular case since the organization includes countries from both geographical areas. Finally, it is required for the denouncement of this kind of treaties "the prior approval of the absolute majority of all the members of each House." This is a logical demand since it perfectly complies with the approval system for this kind of international agreements.

Compatibility of the Regulations of the Organic and the "Old" Dogmatic Parts


14. Digital Signature

The regulations frame concerning the Digital Signature in the Argentine Republic is constituted by Act nr 25506 (B.O. 12/14/2001), Decree nr. 2628/02 (B.O. 12/20/2002), Decree nr.724/06 (B.O. 06/13/06), Decree nr. 561/06 (B.O. 06/04/16)) and several additional rules that state or modify the scope of application and set the procedures.

Under the Argentine law the expressions “Digital Signature” and “Electronic Signature” do not have the same meaning. The difference lies in the probative value each of them has. The expression “Digital Signature” is favored by an "iuris tantum" presumption; that is to say, if a digitally signed document is correctly tested, it is assumed unless otherwise proved, to have been done by the person signing the associate certificate and not have been modified. On the contrary, in the case of the electronic signature, if the holder fails to acknowledge his signature, the one who claims to be the person signing must prove the validity of his signature.

Argentine legislation uses the expression “Digital Signature” as analogous to “Advanced Electronic Signature” or “Acknowledged Electronic Signature,” the name given by the European Community, or “Electronic Signature” as it is used in other countries such as Brazil and Chile. This set of regulations constitutes a Digital Signature structure, which has a federal scope and includes:

Application Authority As per Decree nr. 561/2016 the Public Management Office (Subsecretaria de la Gestion Publica) will act as the application authority of the regulations on Digital Signature stated in Act 25506, and as the control licenser body
Digital Signature It works within the Administrative Management Office (Subsecretaría de Gestión Administrativa) and gives advice on technical matters in relation to the Digital Signature structure.
Licenser It is the technical and administrative body entrusted with the granting of licenses to the licensees and the control of these procedures
Licensees Any legal entities, Contracts Public Register or State body which may obtain a license issued by the licenser in order to provide certification services, according to the provisions of Act nr. 25506 and its additional rules.
Register Authorities Organizations having the responsibility of certifying the identity and other data from the certificate signers. These duties have been delegated on them by the Licensees.
Audit System It will be settled by the Application Authority so as to assess the reliability and quality of the procedures used by the Licensees.

This Regulations Frame derogates Decree nr.427/98 which scope of application was specifically for the Public Sector, since it comprises its objectives and range.

News on the Digital Signature

The Justice General Inspection Office (Inspección General de Justicia) ordered a new method for the digitalization of any official documents submitted by overseas companies when complying with the Annual Information Rule. Said documents will be digitized and certified through digital certificates issued by the National Office for Information Technology (Oficina Nacional de Tecnologías de Información).

The Labor and Social Security Ministry approved Resolution nr. 1007/07. In accordance with it, instructions have been given for the implementation of the digital signature and the National Plan for the Electronic Government, at the above-mentioned Ministry as per Act nr. 25506 and Decree nr. 378/05.

The “UNLP Grid” Project is being developed by the National University of La Plata through the Advanced Centre for Information Processing (Centro Superior para el Procesamiento de la Información).

The Treasury Department of the Finance Minister (La Secretaría de Hacienda del Ministerio de Economía y Producción) has determined the digital signature shall be used in the Sistema de Administración Financiera Local Unificado (SLU). This system will support the Financial and Administrative Services rendered to the National Public Administration Offices, making it possible a record of the transactions for the purpose of budget formulation. The system users can apply for admissions, modifications or drops by means of a digital certificate issued by a Certifying Authority from ONTI.


15. News on Rules and Regulations

Universal Child Allowance (by ANSES – Asignación Universal por Hijo):

Through Decree 1602/09 was granted an economic amount to children of unemployed persons and for those who work in the informal market or the ones who own less than the minimum wage. The objective is to ensure that child assists to the school and regular health controls. Those are a necessary condition in order to receive the minimal payment. Nowadays, approximately 3.5 million children are recipients.

Gender Identity: The Law 26743 of May 23, 2012 consolidates the right to recognition of one’s preferred gender identity, with the possibility that it differs from the identity assigned at birth. In one year of its enactment, 3000 people changed their names. This is a huge change with some challenges on the access to the health system, the education and employment, among others.


FX Market Regulations: In October 2011, The Federal Administration of Public Revenues issued the General Resolution n° 3210 (Resolución General 3210/2011) (provided by InfoLEG), creating a system of authorizations to allow the sale of foreign currency. However, very few of these transactions are approved by that instrument. It also had a string of measures that strengthened the restriction of foreign currency purchases, such as prohibitions to buy dollars for individual savings, the conversion into pesos of foreign pensions and a charge to the costs incurred by credit card in other countries, among others. This situation causes the emergence of a parallel market and stopped the flight of capitals. Actually, there were some rulings that declare the unconstitutionality of that resolution. However, is necessary to remind that in Argentina the precedent is not compulsory.

In January, 2014, through the General Resolution 3583 (AFIP), the government formalized the authorization for the purchase of dollars for saving to individuals. Such authorization will be carried out, prior authorization from the Federal Public Revenue Administration, with a perception (surcharge) 20 percent to be considered as an advance payment of Income Tax or Personal Property by the quality of taxpayer proceed to acquire. It is also contemplated that the perception (surcharge) is not whether those who buy foreign currency for savings makes a bank deposit immobilizing said holding foreign currency for a minimum period which was established in a year.

In December, 2015, by the Communication A6037 (BCRA), the Government repealed the system of authorizations to allow the sale of foreign currency and sanctioned a set of regulations in order to simplify transactions. At present, the market operates to allow the sale of foreign currency with no permission requested.

Assisted Reproduction: The Law n° 26.862 guarantees the free access to medically assisted reproduction techniques. This benefit will be included within the basic services of the private and publics social securities. Anyone who wants to enjoy this benefit must enroll in the Federal Register of Health Facilities. This law does not discriminate by age (it only requires the legal age of majority), sexual identity or marital status. This law was regulated by Decree n° 956/2013.


Mass Media Law: In 2009, it was promulgated the Law n° 26.522 known as “Audiovisual Communication Services.” It regulates the operating guidelines of the broadcast media in Argentina. The purpose of this law is to increase the diversity and plurality in order to consolidate a strong democracy.

Four Articles were branded as unconstitutional (41, 45, 48, and 161). One of them because limits the concentration of licenses and the others, because they force to stabilize the situation immediately. After four years, the Supreme Court issued a final judgment in which determined the validity of the four articles in question and the general constitutionality of the law. This law, also, created a self-governing body called the Federal Authority of Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA) responsible for implementing and enforcing the law. However, as per Decree nr. 267/2015, the Government introduced several amendments, such as the creation of a new self-governing entity named the National Agency of Communications (ENACOM) which replaces AFSCA’s functions.

Data Confidentiality – Amendments: January 8, 2008. Act. 26343 enacted thus amending the Personal Data Confidentiality Act. Under this law, companies bearing credit risk are bound to remove from their database, those persons having fallen into arrears between January 1, 2000, and December 10, 2003, provided such debts had been paid at the commencement of said Act enforcement or within 180 days after it. For the purpose of this law, a written agreement from the debtor to pay in installments or the homologation of an extrajudicial agreement will cause the debt to be paid off.

Termination of Double Severance Pay: September 11, 2007. By means of Decree 1224, the Executive Power nullified the double severance pay under Act 25561 and its amendments, due to the fact that the unemployment rate informed by the National Institute of Statistics and the Census (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos - INDEC) is less than TEN PER CENT (10%).

Promotion of Development and Production of Modern Biotechnology: Act 26270. Passed on July 25, 2007. This law provides a variety of actions and procedures to those interested in biotechnological investment, research or development. These actions and procedures granted do not imply tax exemptions and consequently a loss for the Government Administration. On the contrary, they bring about an advantage since new undertakings can be developed.

The aid offered includes: 1) an accelerated amortization of profit tax for capital goods, equipment or any purchase intended for the project; 2) an early return of the V.A.T. on the purchased products; 3) a system of “Fiscal Credit Bonds will be granted to the investors for 50 per cent of the social contributions and labor taxes on all workers involved in the Project”. And—what may be even more encouraging—for 50 per cent of the salaries of the research staff provided they belong to CONICET, a national university or Research Centre connected to these institutions.

This regulation which will be in force for 15 years since its enactment states the meaning of the word “modern technology” as the technological practice based on rational knowledge and scientific principles from biology, biochemistry, microbiology, biocybernetics, molecular biology, and genetic engineering, which handles live organisms or its parts with the purpose of either obtaining goods and services or for the betterment of production processes and/or products.

Promotion of Electric Power Generation from Renewable Sources: Enacted December 27, 2006. Act 26.190 “System of National Promotion of Renewable Sources for the Generation of Electrical Power.” This law fosters the investment in the electric power generation business that makes use of renewable resources. This promotion will be carried out through a System of National Promotion that will include investments, benefits, and sanctions. The main objective is that the alternative sources can reach 8 per cent of the electric power consumption over a period of 10 years.

Same Sex Marriage: Ley 26618 Honorable Congreso de la Nación Argentina, 7/15/2010. Enacted July 15th, 2010. The law 26618 modifies the Civil Code concerning marriage. According with the new law, the marriage will have the same requirements and effects regardless of whether the parties are the same or different sex. This means that same-sex couples will be able to adopt children, inherit their partner, etc. The law amended in total 43 Articles of the Civil Code.

Legal Abortion, Safe and Free: Enacted on December 30, 2021, came into force the Law 27.610, expanding the rights related to the interruption of pregnancy. Law 27.610 regulates access to the voluntary and legal interruption of pregnancy and to post-abortion care for all people with the capacity to carry a child. It is mandatory throughout the country. Its purpose is to regulate access to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy and to post-abortion care, in fulfillment of the commitments assumed by the Argentine State in the field of public health and human rights of women or gender identities and to contribute to the reduction of morbidity and preventable mortality.

Care and Comprehensive Health Care During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Law 27.611 is to strengthen the integral care of the health and life of women and other pregnant people, and of young children. This, in fulfillment of the commitments assumed by the Argentinian State in public health and human rights of women and people with other gender identities with the capacity to carry a pregnancy, and of their sons and daughters, in order to reduce mortality, poor nutrition and malnutrition, protect and stimulate the family ties, early developments and emotional and health in a comprehensive way, and preventing violence.

Legal Regime of the Teleworking Contract: Law 27.555, enacted on July 30, 2020, establishes the minimum legal budgets for the regulation of the modality of teleworking in those activities, which, due to their nature and particular characteristics, allow it. The specific aspects will be established in the framework of collective bargaining.

Registration of Non-Binary Genders: The presidential Decree 476/2021 established that for the purposes provided for in Article 11 of Law No. 17.671, the national registry of persons, part of the ministry of the interior, must adapt the characteristics and nomenclatures of the national identity documents and of the passports that is issued, with exclusivity, in order to comply with the established in Law No. 26.743 (gender identity law) and in the present measure.

16. Law Bills

Deputies File: 3889-D-2021: Tax credit for MSMEs, human persons and individual successions that are considered small taxpayers in the terms that the regulation determines with exclusive effect for taxpayers who do not register debts in delay with the tax (2021).

Deputies File: 3888-D-2021: Exempt from the payment of the value added tax on foods that make up the Argentine food code and on products categorized by the national administration of drugs, food, and medical technology (ANMAT) as "for domestic use" (2021).

Deputies File: 3887-D-2021: Amnesty for crimes breaching the prohibitions and restrictions ordered on the occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic (2021).

17. Sources of Primary and Secondary Materials

The Official Gazette (Boletín Oficial) Since January 1, 2011 through the Resolution 70/2010 of the Legal and Technical Secretariat of the Presidency of the Nation, the Official Gazette can be found free (only to the daily edition of the 1st. section its database). Similarly, the Decree 1431 of 2011, the Argentine Legal Information Service (Sistema Argentino de Información Jurídica, SAIJ) can be found online full text and for free.

Through the SAIJ site laws are accessible (in Spanish and full text)

Infoleg is a free site belonging to the Ministry of Economy and one of the most complete in legal information regarding national law, provincial law, Mercosur, jurisprudence, doctrine, and standards of public national administration.  There you can also find all national codes, civil, commercial, penal, etc.

Centro de Información Judicial is a free site with the news of the Judiciary. You will be able to find the latest information regarding the case law and the work of the courts and judges in all levels.

18. National Codes

The most well-known editorial houses of legal publications and codes are the following:

Another good source is UBP Biblioteca/Biblioteca Digital. Bases de datos, portales y revistas electrónicas / Temática Derecho – University Library.

20. Human Rights Web Sites and Organizations

21. Legislation, Jurisprudence and Doctrine Web Sites

22. Provincial Public Power

See the directory of official provincial sites.