Digital Landscape in South America: Argentina

 LA REPÚBLICA DE ARGENTINA/ THE REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA

 

Law of Transparency:

Despite efforts which resulted in presidential decree 1172/03, the Argentine legislature has never passed a comprehensive law of transparency guaranteeing and mandating access to information.  In accordance with the decree, the Argentine government maintains a portal for laws relating to transparency.  Further, on January 1, 2011, access to Argentina’s official gazette, discussed in more detail below, moved from a fee-based subscription access to free and open access.  This was a very large step in the movement for open access to public and legal information in Argentina.

Portals:

LegisLaw is an excellent portal to Argentine law.  From the homepage, one can navigate to various thematic pages, such as legislation, jurisprudence, doctrine, current events, legal books, and government websites.  The Legislation page includes links to the full text of the Argentine Constitution and various laws and treaties to which Argentina is a party.  The full-text is either an html page that legislaw.com provides, or a link that redirects to a government or other website containing the full-text document.  The Jurisprudence page provides links to the national and provincial courts and tribunals.  The Doctrine page has a list of themes, such as administrative, civil, commercial, constitutional, human rights, and legal philosophy.  Each of these pages has a list of relevant books and web pages and often provides the full-text of a listed document.

Latin Laws: Biblioteca Legal Latinoamericana - redirects users to official Argentine government websites.  This is a great place to start, but the material posted is now a few years old so follow-up research to confirm currency is required.

IberIUS: Red Iberoamericana de Información y Documentación Judicial - has unofficial, pdf, full-text documents in its collection including important codes and laws, and will also redirect users to government websites for legal documents such as legislation and jurisprudence.   The site additionally provides information using graphs and text to explain a country’s judicial organization, individual courts, and other government organs.

NATLEX is the database of the International Labour Organisation.   The focus of NATLEX is on national labor, social security, and related human rights legislation.  The records in NATLEX provide abstracts of legislation (with internally hyperlinked documents) and relevant citation information.  Full-text pdfs of scanned original document are made available when possible as are links to relevant online resources.  One can browse by county or subject, or search by keywords and by subject classifications.

ECOLEX is a database of environmental law operated jointly by UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and incorporates environmental law holdings from each of these organizations.  One can search any number of ways including by country. ECOLEX includes information on treaties, international soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature. The results are abstracts and citation and indexing information about each document.  Full-text of most documents is obtained by linking the user to government sites containing the document.

FAOLEX is the database of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.  After selecting one of 15 topics or “all”, the user is directed to an advanced search screen where one can focus the search by country among other options.  The results are abstracts with citation and indexing information for each document.  Full-text of most documents is obtained by linking the user to government sites containing the document.

The The Doing Business Law Library hosted by the World Bank - is the largest free online collection of business laws and regulations.  One can search by economy or individual country; results will link to official government sources wherever possible. Translations are generally not official unless indicated otherwise, and although the database is updated regularly, currency is not guaranteed; therefore, further research would be prudent.

Constitution:

Article 31 of the Argentine Constitution, an original component of the 1853 Constitution, states that the Constitution, national laws, and international treaties are the supreme law of the land.  This must be read together with Article 75 which was incorporated into the Constitution with the 1994 amendments.  Article 75 establishes the following hierarchy:  the Constitution and human rights treaties enumerated in the Constitution (Art. 75, Sec. 22) are equally the supreme law; followed by other international treaties; then laws; then decrees; and finally a series of other legal norms.  Article 5 grants each Argentine province the power to create its own Constitution in accordance with the declarations and guarantees of the federal Constitution. 

The text of the federal Constitution is available in many places.  The website of the senate provides the Constitution in html in Spanish and in English.  The Senate also provides links to provincial legislatures and their Constitutions- as does the Argentine System of Legal Information database (SAIJ – Sistema Argentino de Informática Juridica).

The Political Databases of the Americas at Georgetown University also has the current and past Constitutions available for Argentina in unofficial html format.  The current 1994 Constitution is available in both English and Spanish.

The University of Richmond’s Constitution Finder - redirects patrons to Argentine government websites for official versions of the 1853 Constitution with amendments through 1994.

Although the website, Constituciones Hispanoamericanas - has not been updated since 2005, it is still a good source of constitutions going back to the days of independence, i.e. early 19th century.  Many of the constitutional proyectos are available here.  All documents are unofficial, full-text, html.

Codes, Laws, Decrees, Resolutions, and other Legal Norms:

Laws take effect in Argentina immediately upon publication in the official gazette, the Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina, unless a later date is specified in the legislation.

The front page of the website of the Boletín Oficial contains all the laws, decrees, resolutions, Supreme Court decisions, international treaties, and other legal norms for the day.  On the search page one can conduct an advanced search of the gazette by day or date range, or with other data.  In a grand step for the open access to public information movement in Argentina, this database became open-access on January 1, 2011 as a result of Resolution 70/2010 - of the Legal and Technical Secretary of the office of the President of the Nation.  Prior to this resolution, a fee-based subscription was required to access the full-text. 

In SAIJ- one can find legal material such as federal codes which are available in html and rtf (official; from the Boletín Oficial), and federal and provincial constitutions in html and rtf (official; from the Boletín Oficial).  The database provides for advanced searching for national and provincial laws and decrees, jurisprudence, doctrine, Mercosur and more.  There is also a fabulous legal thesaurus.  Patrons need to subscribe for full-text jurisprudence.  Many of the basic codes and recent laws are free.

Chamber of Deputies, Secretary of Parliament has a database to find national laws from December 1983 to the present, as well as proyectos (proposed laws).  All the material is unofficial and in html format.

The Ministry of Economy and Public Finance supports a legislative database, InfoLeg.  One can find legislative acts of the national government, national and provincial constitutions, federal Codes with norms, and links to provincial codes.  All documents are in full-text html; they are not official. 

Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) of the national Library of Congress of the United States of America - contains English summaries of over 45,000 Argentine laws over the course of the last half-century; there is very little full-text available but each summary provides bibliographic information for easy location in the Boletin Oficial

The World Law Guide has a list of Argentine laws, organized topically, most of which redirect the user to official government websites.  This is a terrific place to look for laws pertaining to a multitude of topics.

 

Legislation by Topic

Several Argentine ministries and government agencies make available laws on their websites laws relevant to their respective missions.

The Argentine Ombudsman publishes Annual Reports - as well as resolutions and reports pertaining to:  human rights generally; health, social action, education and culture; environment and sustainable development; public services; social security and employment; and relevant jurisprudence and other legal material.

On the website of the Secretary of Human Rights of Buenos Aires Province - one can find official full-text pdfs of international, national and provincial human rights treaties and laws.

The Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development website pulls together federal and provincial environmental legislation.  The documents are unofficial html versions.

The Ministry of Defense website has several pages devoted to laws, decrees, and other legal documents.  All documents are full-text and each page unites documents relevant to the principal legal norm.

The OAS website on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition has a page for Argentina - wherein texts such as the Argentine Constitution, the codes of criminal law and criminal procedure, and other relevant codes and national legislation are provided.  There are also bilateral extradition and other relevant treaties, as well as multilateral treaties going back to the early 20th century.  Some of these documents are official pdfs, others are unofficial html, doc and pdf documents.

 

Jurisprudence: 

The Supreme Court of the Nation, Argentina’s highest tribunal, acts as a court of cassation and hears cases arising under the federal Constitution and laws.  Argentina, as a signatory to the American Convention on Human Rights, submits to the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as the court of last instance in relevant matters.  Within the Argentine judiciary, the lower courts in practice have a tendency to follow the line of decisions of the higher courts, but there is no legal obligation on the part of the lower courts to do so. 

The website of the Supreme Court of the Nation - has scanned pdfs of the Fallos de la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación (the official print court reporter) or official born-digital pdfs.  One can search for jurisprudence of the court by date for the recent decisions, by theme for summaries all decisions dating back to the court’s inception in 1863, by keyword (and more in this advanced search) for full-text decisions from 1994, or by browsing a list of cases organized chronologically.  This database works best with Internet Explorer browser. 

SAIJ- also provides jurisprudence but a subscription is required for full-text content.  

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) of the National Library of Congress of the United States of America - has English summaries of hundreds of judicial opinions, many available in official and authentic full-text pdf.

The World Law Guide has a list of Argentine laws, organized topically, most of which redirect the user to official government websites.  This is a terrific place to look for laws pertaining to a multitude of topics.

 

Doctrine:

The website of the Supreme Court of the Nation- contains unique and valuable Boletines de Jurisprudencia  created by the Secretary de Jurisprudence with the object to disseminate information about important legal rulings pronounced by the Court via commentary in addition to simply publishing the Court’s opinion.  This doctrine focuses on certain themes such as workers’ rights, freedom of expression, right to health, economic emergency, and human rights.

InfoLeg - has links to doctrine available free online.

SciELO has a collection for Argentina.  Thus far there is only one legal journal indexed and available full-text: Revista de Histroria de Derecho, from the Research Institute of History of Law in Buenos Aires.

Dialnet- is an open-access index of journals based at the Universidad de La Rioja, Spain.  It contains a large number of Latin American legal journals and articles.  One can search for journals or articles using advanced search functions.  Some articles and journals are available full-text online from the journal website; a few articles are available full-text from the index.

Redalyc is a database of Latin American and Caribbean journals with full-text, authentic pdfs.  Although it does not yet contain any legal journals from Argentina, there are law review articles about Argentine law indexed and available in the database.

Latindex- provides bibliographic information for Latin American journals, such as the Anuario Argentino de Derecho Internacional and Revista de Derecho Ambiental, but does not provide a database to search for articles within the journals nor does it provide full-text access to journal content.

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) of the National Library of Congress of the United States of America- has English summaries of some doctrine.

A collection of open access journals from Latin America, including Argentina, can found on the website of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and another at the Library of the Uruguayan Association of Escribanos.

 

Provincial Information:

The website of the federal Senate provides links to all provincial senates; many have laws and decrees although the websites are understandably less sophisticated.  For example, Cordoba has some major legislation available in pdf (official); Santa Cruz has various legislation online, organized by topic within the gov. department, and their official gazette; and Mendoza has jurisprudence available for many local courts and their supreme court.

 

Treaties:

The Argentine Embassy in Spain has a list of all bilateral agreements between the two countries since Argentine independence.  The first bilateral treaty was signed May 16, 1811.  Some full-text is available. 

The Secretary of Human Rights of Buenos Aires Province - provides full-text pdfs of international human rights treaties.

The Organization of American States (OAS) - has a list of bilateral and multilateral treaties between and among countries in the Americas focusing on extradition, drug trafficking, and international criminal law.  One can browse alphabetically or search by keyword.

The United Nations Treaty Collection- contains the full-text, official, scanned pdf of all multilateral treaties deposited with the United Nations.  One can search by popular name, keyword, United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS) volume, or country.

 

Commercial websites:

vLex - has quite good coverage of Argentine legal material in an organized, easy to locate, searching system.  They have a number of codes and Boletines from the federal legislature and provinces, as well as the decisions of the courts that are available from the various individual federal and provincial court websites.  vLex allows users to search across courts or focus on one or more.  There are also a growing number of law reviews and social science journals available.  There are no official pdfs; all are html or vLex generated pdfs.  Instant Google translation is available.

Microjuris provides access to Argentine legislation, jurisprudence, and doctrine.  The collection of jurisprudence includes decisions from both federal and provincial courts.  Searching across material (legislation, jurisprudence, and doctrine) can be done by keyword search and narrowed by type and date range.  Related documents of all types are noted and hyperlinked.

The NatLaw World Database carries some legislation including the full-text of many codes, laws, decrees, and a few court decisions.  The documents are pdfs, some official, but most are unofficial pdfs prepared by the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade.

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) is a subscription database that indexes foreign journals from all over the world including about 25 from Latin America.  IFLP indexes several journals from Argentina including Anuario Argentino de Derecho Internacional and Revista Jurídica Argentina: La Ley.

Kluwer Arbitration- has a database of all bilateral investment treaties including those from Latin American countries.  Most of the BITs are available in full-text html.  Although one can search in English, the results are in the vernacular.

Constitutions of the Countries of the World, recently purchased by Oxford University Press from Oceana, contains unofficial English translations of many past and current constitutions including those from Latin America.  However, for Argentina only the 1994 Constitution is provided.

Thomson Reuters (Westlaw) recently acquired two Argentine publishers of legal information, La Ley - and Abeledo Perrot Online - which had been bought by LexisNexis several years ago.

 

Updated Date: 
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Knowledge Base: