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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. The Chamber of Deputies is comprised of Deputies of which Deputies are elected by the direct vote of the people residing in their electoral district of which there are currently electoral districts in the nation. The personal requirements to be a Deputy are spelled out in Article 55, Sections of the Constitution.

There is one disqualifying factor which I feel merit mention. All resolutions approved by the Chamber of Deputies have the force of a law or decree. Constitutional Title 3, Chapter 2, Section 1, Articles state the responsibilities, duties, jurisdiction, organization and elections of the Chamber of Senators.


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To this end, political parties must file a list of candidates for the election principles listed. Senators can be reelected for two consecutive terms. 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. 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 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.

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.

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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 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. Legislative Assistance. Historical Archives and Legislative Reports. Historical Legislative Information. All of the websites of the Federal Government are listed on this website along with hotlinks to all websites. List of Committees Listado de Comisiones. Also found at the Senate Website:. Newsletters: New Acquisitions, monthly publication featuring news on new titles acquired by the library. Collections: Complete collection of treaties, conventions and agreements of Mexico from to date and current Mexican laws updated.

Also elected are substitute members of the Committee, one for each member of the Committee when a permanent member of the Committee cannot serve.

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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 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:.

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Rules for the House of Representatives:. Judicial Branch of Government. The Mexican Federal Judiciary is based on a three tier system similar to our own federal judiciary. There are also district courts Juzgados de Distrito and jury courts Jurados Populares Federales which are the federal courts of first instance. 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.

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.

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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. The presiding President of the Court cannot be elected for the next immediate term. 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.

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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.

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. Article 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 Article of the Constitution delineates the responsibilities and duties of the Office. The jurisdiction of federal courts is covered by Articles and article covers procedural matters. Article 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 A very important Article is Article which deals with the issue of the constitutional rights of all citizens Amparo.

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 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 legal scholars of the civil law tradition produce legal treaties that are referred to as doctrine " doctrina " in Mexico. According to John H. Merryman, "the law in a civil jurisdiction is what the scholars say it is. 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. 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.

List Notices: Listas de Notificaciones. Presentations and Conferences: Discursos y Conferencias. What follows is legislation related to the Federal Judiciary. The citations are to the Chamber of Deputies. Major Primary Materials. 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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

Although both Chambers can initiate legislation, in practice the executive branch initiates almost all legislation and certainly all legislation of any consequence. The first regular congressional legislative session begins on September first and must end by December first of each year.

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 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. 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. 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. 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 In the Civil Code, community interests override individual interests; private property rights are not absolute. The Civil Code consists of over 3, individual articles organized into books, titles, chapters, articles and sections.

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.

The main parts of book 1 deals with rules concerning who can participate in a federal civil action, federal civil jurisdiction vs. 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.

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. The Code is further subdivided into titles, chapters and articles over 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.

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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. 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.

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. 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. 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 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.

All legislation regardless of the type of legislation must be published in the Official Daily of the Federation before it can take effect. Federal Laws : A very complete list of federal laws of can be found here. Cases can be found here. There is a link to the State Attorney General, once. You can. It is designed to remove tariff barriers between the U. 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. Electronic guide to the best Mexican law websites - J orge A. By Jorge A.

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With links to Mexican resources. A very good introduction written for LLRX. This is a pay site, with some free resources. V is the premiere publisher and distributor. Andrade specializes in primary materials in loose-leaf format. Their collections are. Editorial Themis , S. Themis offers some primary materials in English. 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. ImTranslator is a good site that I would recommend.

This site is as good as other free translation site. The integral parts of the Federation; II. The islands, including the reefs and keys, in adjacent seas; III. 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 islas, incluyendo los arrecifes y cayos en los mares adyacentes; III. Padgett, The Mexican Political System , 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, at The key distinction between a mandatory duty and one that is conditional is that in the latter, the party's legal obligation to perform does not become mandatory unless and until the condition is met.

In other words, the party's failure to perform that obligation results in a breach only if and when the condition has been met. Understand every provision of the contract. One of the problems with using a form contract is that you were not the drafter of the document; thus, you may not understand every provision of the agreement, and not every provision in the form is relevant to the transaction at hand.

I offer this guidance to my students: when using a form agreement, never leave in a provision because you do not understand its purpose do not assume it must be important or relevant , and never take out a provision simply because you do not understand its purpose. You must review each provision until you understand it completely. Only then can you decide whether to include, omit, or modify that provision. Use recitals and definitions to reflect the parties' specific transaction. Although not part of the operative terms of the contract, recitals can effectively be used to state the parties' intentions or to provide relevant background information.

Since the contract may eventually require interpretation by a court, it should include within its four corners all of the information that may be useful to explain the parties' contractual relationship, any past history, and the parties' intentions that may not be clear from the operative terms of the contract itself. For example, while courts are becoming increasingly hostile to contracts in which parties surrender fundamental rights, such as access to the court system, if the parties truly wish to waive their rights to a jury trial, they may do so. In these contracts, the waiver should be drafted so that it is clear and conspicuous, and the recitals should include some language regarding the parties' intent to waive their legal rights to a jury trial.

However, drafters must be careful not to include any representations in the recitals that may have legal significance because the recitals are not part of the body of the agreement and, therefore, there may not be any legal remedies if the representations are, in fact, false. Additionally, the use of definitions enables the drafter to tailor the meanings of certain terms used in the contract to the subject transaction, and also can prevent inadvertent changes of language.

Generally, if the word or phrase as used in the contract is intended to vary in any way from the standard dictionary definition of that word or phrase, or if the word or phrase does not have a standard dictionary definition, it should be defined within the contract. There are three basic types of definitions: 1 precise definitions, drafted using the word means ; 2 enlarging definitions, drafted using the phrase "including but not limited to" after the definition, followed by illustrative examples; and 3 limiting definitions, drafted using the phrase "but does not include" after the definition, followed by the limitations of the definition.

An example of each type of definition follows: 1 "Land" means the property located at Smith Lane; 2 "Land" means the property located at Smith Lane, including but not limited to the residential house, separate garage, and vacant barn; or 3 "Land" means the property located at Smith Lane, but does not include the vacant barn. Throughout the semester, I remind my students numerous times of the golden rule of contract drafting: never change your language unless you wish to change your meaning, and always change your language if you wish to change your meaning. In an effort to teach them to draft contracts with the goal of avoiding litigation, ambiguity is not tolerated.

Use plain language. Contracts should be drafted with clarity and should be easy to read and understand by legal and lay audiences alike. Thus, omit legal jargon and unnecessary words, and eliminate wordy phrases from form contracts. I tell my students to think like an attorney, but to try not to sound like one. Since the words of the document will govern the parties' relationship, rights, and legal duties, they should clearly communicate their meaning to the parties themselves, and not only to their counsel.

As most practicing lawyers are aware, a majority of available form contracts fail to adhere to this advice. It is also important to check to see if your jurisdiction has a plain language law, mandating contracts to be written in a clear and coherent manner using words with common meanings; in fact, in some states, plain language laws dictate the number of syllables in the words and the number of words in each paragraph of the contract.

Failure to follow the application of plain language laws may impact the enforceability of the contract. Use proper grammar, a clear writing style, and logical organization. Contracts generally describe events that will take place in the future, but it is a continually speaking document and should be drafted in the present tense.

Draft using the active voice. Ask who is obligated to do something or to refrain from doing something, and make the subject do the action. When drafters use the active voice, the identity of the actor is clear. This is vital so that the contract clearly and unequivocally expresses the parties' legal duties. In addition, draft useful headings and organize the terms around those headings.

Even if your form contract contains a boilerplate provision stating that the headings should not have any operative meaning, the fact is that those headings are read by the parties, their counsel, and possibly a court; therefore, make them work. Keep sentences short, where possible, or use tabulation for clarity. Be sure to connect modifying words to what they modify, i. Finally, use proper punctuation to avoid costly misinterpretation of the contract. For example, one legal dispute resulted in a finding that the contract could be terminated at any time with proper notice, contrary to one party's understanding that the contract had an initial five-year term.

But as a former practicing lawyer, I fully understand the utility, and benefit, of relying on existing form and model agreements. I can only hope that I achieve both goals by teaching my students how to effectively revise, edit, and use form contracts. Thinking back to when I first entered the legal profession, I wish that law school had provided me with an arsenal of the skills that I would need to practice law effectively. Fortunately, under the ABA's Standard , law schools are now required to provide their students with substantial instruction in professional skills necessary for effective participation in the legal profession, such as contract drafting skills.

As a result, more students at more schools are now able to take practical courses like the one that I offer at ASU. Hopefully, with a new generation of lawyers trained in drafting, the antiquated form contracts will be a thing of the past.