As a remnant of early and mid-twentieth century state interventionism, the state is still engaged in commerce and industry, acting through autonomous entities and decentralized services, which have varying degrees of independence from the Executive Branch. A brief comment about Uruguayan form of government can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , which is published in Spanish.
The Constitution of Uruguay sets the main features of Uruguayan Government. Territorial administration is decentralized and carried out in 19 Departments, each of which has its own non-autonomous executive branch the executive authority is the Mayor, or Governor, known as the Intendente and legislative branch Departmental Council.
The Departmental Council is composed of thirty-one honorary members councillors , who pass regulations which are legally binding within the territory of the department. The Council must approve the departmental budget that is, the budget proposed by the Council itself and the Executive Authority. The national budget is five-yearly, with yearly balances and indispensable adjustments. The initiative in budgetary issues is the exclusive responsibility of the Executive Branch, except in the cases of the controlling organs and the decentralized services and autonomous entities. The current Constitution was approved in with amendments in , , and It establishes that laws should be written and passed by Parliament and enacted by the President of the Republic.
Uruguay has adopted the Civil Law system; however, sentences issued by jurisdictional justice Courts of the first instance, Higher Courts and the Supreme Court of Justice , are used as a guide in subsequent trials; although they are not binding do not constitute a legal precedent.
In issues pertaining to property rights and their guarantees, secured interests in property and contracts are recognized and enforced. Mortgages exist, and there is a recognized and reliable system of recording such securities.
The philosophy of law is commonly known as general jurisprudence. Validity of marriages Void and Voidable marriages Annulment Marriage fraud. In the first study conducted amongst 2, college students on the effects of parental relocation relating to their children's well-being after divorce, researchers found major differences. Barre, Mass. He specializes in advising local and foreign clients on fiscal, finance and accounting topics, cross border transactions, international tax structures and setting up operations within Uruguay to serve worldwide clients. Breakup Separation Annulment Divorce Widowhood.
Nevertheless, execution of guarantees is usually a slow process. The only two sources of Law in Uruguay are the Constitution and the legislation. Custom is only a source of law when the law expressly refers to it, and settled views among scholars and case law are only used as instruments of interpretation. Sources of law are established by the preliminary title of the Uruguayan Civil Code, articles 1, 3, 9 and The structure of the Uruguayan juridical system is strongly pyramidal in shape, with the Constitution at the apex. Below the Constitution is the Law and Departmental Council decrees—departmental legislative acts which are binding within their territory—the decrees of the Executive Branch, Ministerial Resolutions, etc.
Bills may originate amongst the citizens by means of a popular initiative, both for the passing or the repeal of a law , in the Legislative Branch in any of the two Houses of Parliament or in the Executive Branch. This is established in articles 79, 85, and of the Uruguayan Constitution.
In every case, Bills must be considered and passed by both Houses. On the other hand, if the House receiving the Bill should only have observations or addenda to include, the Bill is returned to the originating House which, if it accepts the observations or addenda, will communicate this fact to the other House and send the Bill directly to the Executive Branch so that the process may continue.
However, if the originating House does not accept the observations or addenda and insists upon the original Bill, an assembly of both Houses may be requested General Assembly , which will reach a decision, by a majority of two-thirds of the votes, passing one of the two Bills or drafting a new one. Once a Bill is passed by both Houses, it is sent to the Executive Branch to be enacted and published. However, if the Executive Branch should have objections or observations, in total or in part veto , the Bill must be returned with the objections or observations to the General Assembly, within a peremptory term of ten days.
If, after thirty days, the General Assembly has not expressly rejected the modifications, they will be taken as approved. On the other hand, if the literal meaning of a law is not clear, the intention or spirit of the law, as clearly manifested by the law itself, or by reliable records of its application, may be invoked.
The historical method is, therefore, only auxiliary. The remaining Codes are more recent but in every case, are evidently outdated, with the sole exception of the General Procedural Code, of , which has been used as a model for procedural codes in various Latin American countries.
There are at present innumerable laws which expressly or tacitly modify the regulations contained in the codes and which generate practical difficulties for those who must apply the law, and students. The problem is also invested with systemic significance, in view of the general obsolescence of juridical institutions which are somewhat anachronistic and others which lack regulation, in particular taking into account the advances of science and technology in the last few decades.
The phenomenon of decodification in Uruguayan Law has not been fully taken into account by national doctrine, but it is a serious problem, which requires attention. In Uruguay, juridical controversy may be resolved in one of two ways except where the law states otherwise : judicially or extra-judicially.
Legislation in Uruguay establishes a procedure for arbitrating tribunals Articles to of the General Procedural Code. International arbitration tribunals may be guided by Uruguayan law or by foreign law, without distinction. Legislation recognizes the full effectiveness of foreign findings and sentences, which are submitted to exequatur procedure for their enforcement.
The possibility is also established enabling national judicial institutions to suggest cautionary measures before an arbitral award is approved. Once a treaty is signed, the Executive Branch sends it to the Legislative Branch for approval.
The only formal difference regarding other types of law is that the Legislative Branch may only pass or reject the treaty; it may not, obviously, introduce modifications or amendments. Once the text has been approved, it is sent to the Executive Branch, who now has a double task: as a law, it must be enacted and ordered to be enforced within the national territory and published in the official Gazette. However, as a treaty, the Executive Branch is also responsible for depositing the instrument of ratification, a procedure carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The approval of a treaty by means of a law generates a problem concerning the hierarchy of the treaty within the legal system, since the Constitution lacks any express or tacit reference to the subject. Doctrine is not in agreement in this matter and jurisprudence very rarely expresses an opinion on international treaties and, when it does, it refers to the laws which approve them. It may be seen that Uruguay is an extremely dualistic country.
There is a problem regarding the method of interpretation of treaties, which has not been taken into account by jurisprudence, although it has, however, been considered by Uruguayan internationalist doctrine. As each treaty is also a law, a judge could interpret it in accordance with the procedures laid down for the interpretation of laws; on the other hand, as it is also a treaty, it must be interpreted according to the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which is also in force in Uruguay as a law. All this could generate, in our view, different and irreconcilable interpretations due to the lack of provision as regards the hierarchy of international treaties or a regulatory conflict, with the consequent danger of incurring international liability.
Some of the treaties to which Uruguay is a party:. Uruguay has approved or ratified the following amongst other treaties. The Uruguayan juridical system provides a series of solutions regarding Private International Law, or the conflict of laws, established in the Appendix to the Civil Code, and in the Treaties on Private International Law of Montevideo, of and , both still current.
The solutions are:. As established in the General Procedural Code, rulings issued in a foreign country in matters of civil, commercial, family, labor and public administrative law; rulings issued in criminal matters, with regard to their civil effects when these refer to private persons or interests; and rulings issued with regard to such matters by International Courts; shall, in Uruguay, be endowed with imperative, evidentiary and final effect.
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In other terms, foreign rulings shall be recognized and enforced in Uruguay, if appropriate, without any need for review regarding the background of the matter which is the object of the proceedings related to the rulings which were issued. Foreign actions of voluntary jurisdiction come into effect in Uruguay so long as they comply with the requirements established hereinafter, in all relevant ways.
In order for a foreign ruling, on both contentious and voluntary jurisdictions, to be effective in Uruguay, it must comply with the following conditions:. In order to request fulfillment of a foreign ruling the following supporting documentation is required:. The enforcement of a foreign ruling is limited only to rulings which are subject to enforcement.
A request for enforcement must be submitted to the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay. Once the petition has been submitted, a summons is issued to the party involved, who will be issued with a twenty-day notice. The Court Prosecutor is then heard and a resolution is issued, which is not subject to appeal. If enforcement is confirmed, the sentence is remitted to the competent court, so that it may act in accordance with the appropriate procedures according to the nature of the sentence. Recommended further reading on the Uruguayan legal system:.
Justice in Uruguay is centralized in the Judicial Branch, which has national authority; that is, there are no autonomous judicial institutions within each department or city. The Judicial Branch is organized on the basis of its independence with respect to the other governing branches in the State, and of the functional independence of the judicial institutions which compose it.
That is, there is no functional hierarchy between the various institutions of the Judicial Branch, in the exercise of the jurisdictional function. In its administrative activities, however, all institutions and offices of the Judicial Branch are subject to the authority of the Supreme Court of Justice.
The average duration of civil suits in Uruguay has increased as a consequence of the increase in judicial activity. In , judgments were rendered in the first instance in civil matters, and in the second instance. A total of judgments were rendered in civil matters in that year. In , judgments were rendered in civil matters and in the second instance. In , judgments were rendered in Montevideo in the first instance in civil matters, and in the second instance. A total of were rendered in civil matters in that year.
In , the average duration of a civil suit was A favourable pronouncement in answer to a petition put forward by any person who considers himself injured in his direct, personal and legitimate interest—by way of action, or exception, or ex officio results in the inapplicability of the regulation in the specific case;.