The Argentine Republic (hereinafter Argentina) has a large and diversified economy. Its federal government has three (3) branches: executive, legislative, and judiciary.
Argentina is part of the civil law system, following the tradition of mainland European countries.
Like the US, Argentina is a federal country. Its territory is composed of twenty-three (23) provinces and one (1) autonomous city.
Argentina has a presidential system under which the President is head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President holds office for four (4) years and might be consecutively re-elected for one term.
The justice system is composed of the federal judicial branch and the judicial branch of each of the provinces and the autonomous city. In both systems, litigants are guaranteed to have the opportunity to appeal the decision of lower courts.
At the federal level, the justice system also includes the Public Prosecutor's Office (Ministerio Público Fiscal), the Public Defender's Office (Ministerio Público de la Defensa), and the Judicial Council (Consejo de la Magistratura).
The legal hierarchy of federal laws is:
The official Gazette, "Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina publishes daily legal norms, among other important materials.
The current national (federal) Constitution was adopted in 1853 and its last amendment dates back to 1994. The official version is written in Spanish.
An unofficial English version of the Constitution and a list of the constitutional amendments are also available.
According to the Constitution, treaties have a higher standing than laws. However, certain human rights treaties have constitutional standing.
The federal Congress, which is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, is the legislative branch.
Argentina has some part of its legislation organized through codes. Statutes and codes have the same legal hierarchy.
The most used codes are:
Federal regulations are promulgated by the executive and can be found by their number, year, and nature (decrees, administrative decisions, resolutions, and regulatory provisions).
Courts are not obliged to follow decisions from higher courts when ruling on a similar case.
Some useful legal terms for research purposes:
To learn how to use Foreign Law Guide, Globalex, and World Legal Information Institute, please watch this instructional video:
The author wants to acknowledge the relevant feedback provided by Marcos Nelio Mollar and Eduardo Alberto Cagnoni in the creation of this guide.
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