A TREATISE FOR LEGAL PRACTITIONERS
AND
INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS
   
 
GUIDE TO ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
FOR MEXICAN LAW
 
  A. From the United States
B. From Mexico
C. From International Organizations
   
 
A. FROM THE UNITED STATES:
  a) U.S. Government Agencies

A1. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Guide to Law Online: MEXICO
(http://lcweb2.loc.gov/glin/mexico.html)

Content: This site provides a description of several web sites on Mexican law (without providing the corresponding addresses!). It includes, inter alia, the well-known Mexican sites from a) INFOJUS, Legal Research Institute (IIJ), UNAM; b) the government of Mexico: the Presidency, Chamber of Deputies, Senate, etc.; c) Other miscellaneous sites. Special recognition is given to the site from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, NAFTA-related, in Canada which includes: 1) A Summary of Mexico's Legal System (in English, Spanish and French); 2) The environmental laws of Mexico, Canada and the United States (in English, Spanish and French). Unfortunately, the information contained is outdated since this site was last revised in May 10, 1996.

   
  b) Academic Institutions

A2. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, Tarlton Law Library Resources on Aztec and Maya (sic) Law
(www.law.utexas.edu/rare/aztec.htm)

Content: Interesting bilbiographical collection of legal works compiled by Mike Widener, Archivist/Rare Books Librarian, in these areas: 1) Mexican legal history: General works; 2) Aztec and Maya (sic) Law; 3) Indian Law and Indian Rights in Mexico's Colonial Era (1521-1810); and 4) Aztecs and Mayas: General works. A most fascinating collection of legal works of interest to legal historians, sociologists and anthropologists. The influence of Dr. Guillermo Floris Margadant, a regular Visiting Professor at UT from UNAM and my Roman Law professor while I was at UNAM's School of Law, seems to be present in the desire to give visibility to this unique collection.

   

A3. WASHBURN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW: Mexico, Foreign International Law
(http://www.washlaw.edu/)

Content: 1) Constitutions of Mexico; 2) Laws and Legislation; 3) Government Sites from Mexico: Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies) and Cámara de Senadores (Chamber of Senators); 4) General Information; 5) U.S. Law School Study Abroad Programs to Mexico; and 6) UNAM's School of Law (Facultad de Derecho de la UNAM). Original legal resources include: a) Mexico's Code of Commerce (Código de Comercio, 1989 version); b) Federal Amparo Act (Ley de amparo, 1936 version); c) New Agrarian Act (Nueva Ley Agraria, 1992 version); d) Federal Code of Civil Procedure (Código de Procedimientos Civiles para el Distrito Federal). Law students may find useful to contact three website addresses for summer programs in Mexico.

   
  c) Private
A4. ALSO: AMERICAN LAW SOURCES ON LINE, México, Federal Government
(http://www.lawsource.com/also/mexico.cgi?mfg)

Content: 1) Mexico's Federal Government; 2) Mexican Constitution of 1917 with amendments through March 1997; 3) Legislation: Bills, statutes and codes; 4) Mexico Law Reviews and Periodicals; and 5) Other Mexican Legal Resources. All the materials are in Spanish, to be accessed through hyperlinks to other official, academic and commercial websites. This site is of no use for English speakers. For those fluent in Spanish it may be more effective to contact Mexico's legal resources directly. See infra.

   
 
B. FROM MEXICO
  a) Government of Mexico
B1. PRESIDENCIA DE LA REPUBLICA
(www.presidencia.gob.mx)

Content: This is the trilingual Website of Mexico's Presidency in Spanish, English and French. It is the most technologically-advanced, attractive and multidisciplinary website on Mexico, its government, economy, history, culture, art and public policy at the domestic and international levels. It has a special section covering international events which currently includes: President Zedillo mourns Nobel Winner Ocatavio Paz; 2) New Chiapas Press Room; 3) New Budget Adjustment; 4) Foreign Firms to Invest 10.5 billion dollars in Mexico; 5) State Visit to Venezuela and Second Summit of the Americas; 6) State Visit to Chile; 7) The 1998 World Economic Forum at Davos; 8) State Visit of the Primer Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; 9) President Zedillo's Interview by NBC early this year; and, 10) Official Visit by Team Canada in January of 1998. This website recently added the space titled: "New Sections" which includes a) A video visit to "Los Pinos" (Mexico's Presidential house); b) Secofi-Nafta statistical information; c) The Cinco de Mayo celebration in Puebla. Although only a minimum of the information is of a legal nature, to visit this website is always interesting and useful.

   

B2. SUPREMA CORTE DE JUSTICIA DE LA NACION
(Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice)

(www.scjn.gob.mx)

Content: This website includes this "Important Note to Foreign Users: There is no English version of this site, because all the legal information must be in Spanish." The site is formed by these nine sections (all in Spanish): 1) Directory of Justices (Directorio de Ministros). It contains biodata on each of Mexico's eleven Justices (Ministros); 2. Judicial Directory (Directorio Judicial). Telephone numbers of all Federal courts in that country; 3. Press Communiqués issued by the Supreme Court (Comunicados de Prensa de la Suprema corte de justicia de la Nación); 4. Jurisprudence and Theses rendered by the Supreme Court since 1917 (Consulta de Jurisprudencia y Tesis Aisladas desde 1917) . To access the judicial information contained in this space (similar to case law), the user must be familiar with the Supreme Court's Chambers (Salas) and Epochs (Epocas) and provide key words to tap the information. This data base has been updated every month since 1996. 5. Federal Legislation (Legislación Federal). This legal database includes information regarding 367 Mexican federal statutes. The information is extracted based on key words or phrases provided by the user. The resulting legal texts reproduce only pertinent paragraphs from the statute in question but not the complete text; 6. Public Auctions (Consulta de Licitaciones); 7. Summaries of Plenary Sessions (Resumen de las Sesiones del Pleno or En banc decisions); 8. Summaries of the First Chamber (Resumen de las Sesiones de la Primera Sala); 9. Summaries of the Second Chamber (Resumen de las Sesiones de la Segunda Sala). All of these summaries contain information since May 2, 1995 and are updated on a monthly basis; and, 10. Information Module to Provide Current Updates regarding cases pending the Supreme Court (Módulo de Informes). The website has received several awards.

  NOTE: Regading the new composition and functions of Mexico's Supreme Court, please consult: Jorge A. Vargas. The Rebirth of the Supreme Court of Mexico: An Appraisal of President Zedillo's Judicial Reform of 1995. 11 American University Journal of International Law and Policy 2 at 295-341 (1996).
   

B3. CAMARA DE SENADORES (Senate of the Republic)
(www.senado.gob.mx)

Content: The Mexican Senate has a most useful and elegant website in Spanish. It it formed by these ten spaces: 1) Principal Page (Página Principal); 2) The Senate at the LVII Legislature (El Senado de la República en la LVII Legislatura); 3) The Senate as an Organ of the Government of Mexico (Organo de Gobierno); 4) Legislation (Legislación). This is one of the most useful spaces, providing up to date information in these three categories: a) Mexican legislation; b) The Legislative process. This space provides an interesting chart depicting the legislative process from the submission of the bill (Iniciativa), its discussion in each of the two Chambers (Cámaras), and the eventual passing of the bill in most cases. And, c) International Treaties and Diplomatic Conventions. Like the U.S. Senate, its Mexican counterpart plays a decisive role in "approving" (i.e., granting its advice and consent) any type of international intruments. By the way, the Senate has published Mexico's most complete and authoritative Treatise Collection of Mexican Treaties. 5) Virtual Visit to the Mexican Senate (Visita Virtual). This space offers an intriguing historical tour through the corridors of the Mexican Senate. 6) Today, in the Mexican Senate (Hoy en el Senado). This is one of the most fascinating areas of this website. It provides a living narrative of the most current issues discussed by the Senate. It is a most enlightening visit for any foreign visitors fluent in Spanish. Highly recommended. 7) Publications (Publicaciones). The space consists of an Index consisting of 29 titles, ranging, for example, from: a) The Congress of the United States!; b) The Helms-Burton Act; c) Mercosur; d) Mexico and the Immigration Policy of the United States; e) Mexico and the European Union; f) Interparliamentary Meetings between Mexico and the U.S., and Mexico and Canada; g) NAFTA; 8) Social Communication (Comunicación Social); 9) Places of Interest (Sitios de Interés). A source of fascinating vignettes about the Senate; and, 10) Electronic mail (Buzón Electrónico). I was impressed by two spaces: I. Legislatives bills submitted (Iniciativas Presentadas). This space provides the text of each legislative bill formally submitted to the Senate, such as: a) A bill to amend Mexico's Foreign Investment Act of 1993!; b) the Organic Act of the Federal Commission of Telecommunications, etc. Other documents included in this space provided, inter alia, the text of the Interim Agreement between Mexico and the European Union! For U.S. lawyers, investors, entrepreneurs, government officials, journalists and academicians, including bilingual law and business professors, this is definitely the most useful website on Mexican law from an official source in Mexico. The best on legal materials!

   

B4. LEGISLACION FEDERAL DE MEXICO(Federal Legislation of Mexico). Sponsored by the CAMARA DE DIPUTADOS(Chamber of Deputies).
(www.cddhcu.gob.mx/leyinfo)

Content: Similar to its legislative counterpart, this website is composed of these fourteen sections, all in Spanish: 1) Principal Page (Página Principal); 2) Presentation (Presentación); 3) History (History); 4) Legal Framework (Marco Jurídico); 5) Organs of the Government (Organos de Gobierno); 6) Administrative Area (Area Administrativa); 7) The Legislative Process (El Proceso Legislativo); 8) Commissions and Committees (Comisiones y Comités); 9) Directory (Directorio); 10) Social Communication (Comunicación Social); 11) Legislative Museum (Museo Legislativo); 12) Interesting Sites (Sitios de Interés); 13) Virtual Visit (Visita Virtual); and, 14) Electronic Mail (Buzón Electrónico). This website also includes a space on Current Activities (Actividades Relevantes) which reproduces the text of Press Releases (Boletines de Prensa) on a variety of political issues. Each bulletin is given a number. Special emphasis was given, inter alia, to the Presidential Bill to Make Constitutional Amendments in Matters of Insigenous Law and Culture (Iniciativa Presidencial de Reformas Constitucionales en Materia de Derecho y Cultura Indígena). This space also includes the stenographic versions of the first year of activities of this legislature. The content of the website is more political than legal.

   

B5. MEXICAN BANK FOR FOREIGN TRADE (BANCOMEXT)
(Banco Mexicano de Comercio Exterior)
(www.mexico-trade.com/)

Content: This bank, founded in 1937, is the federal government's leading financial institution responsible for the channeling of credit, guarantees, and promotion of services to foster international trade and to facilitate the direct flow of foreign investment into Mexico. Its site is formed by these sections: 1) Directory of Mexican Exporters; 2) Mexico Business Opportunities; 3) Export and Investment Information Offices in Mexico; 4) Mexican Trade Commission Offices Around the World; 5) Trade Leads in Mexico; 6) Mexican Government Agencies and Institutions; 7) Mexican Universities, Research Centers and Institutes; 8) Guest Message Center; 9) Mexico News Sources; 10) Resource Centers and Search Engines; 11) Information on NAFTA; 12) Regional and State Information on Mexico; 13) Legal Resources/Information on Mexico/Latin America; 14) Information on Mexico from U.S. Universities and Research Centers; 15) Quick Reference/Index; and, 16) Monthly Newsletter. This site aspires to be a one-stop Mexico information center. Its information is current, well-presented and quite practical. Highly recommended although not exclusively legal.

   

B6. Precisa
(www.precisa.gob.mx)

Content: This web site is an electronic clearinghouse to access federal agencies. This is not a legal website; however, it is the most comprehensive and useful site providing access to all the numerous agencies of Mexico’s Federal Public Administration which pursuant to Article 49 of the Federal Constitution is divided into three branches: the Executive, the Judicial and the Legislative. This site claims to have links to 2,400 governmental agencies. Recently, it added public access to governmental public information in compliance with the Act for Transparency and Access to Public Governmental Information (Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Informacion Gubernametal).

   
  b) Mexican Academic Institutions
B7. INFOJUS WWW: INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES JURIDICAS, UNAM
(info.juridicas.unam.mx)

Content: 1) Legal Systems; 2) Legislation (Statutes, Constitutions, Regulations) 3) Supreme Court decisions (Case law or Jurisprudencia); 4) Documents, law reviews and books; 5) Legal materials and publications; 6) Legal information; and 7) Bibliographical sources. This is the most comprehensive legal resource on Mexican law in Spanish in operation since June of 1995. Excellent presentation, easy access and outstanding legal, judicial and bibliographical resources. A "must" for any serious researcher interested in Mexican law. This website depends from the Legal Research Institute (Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas or IIJ) of Mexico's National Autonomous University (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México or UNAM). Close to 100 researchers and scholars work at the IIJ, which has the largest and most complete collection of Mexican law materials in Mexico.

   
   
   
 
C. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

C1. COMMISSION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION (CEC)
(www.cec.org/)

Content: This trilingual (English/Spanish/French) site was created to inform on the CEC's activities. Its regular sections include: 1) What's New at CEC? 2) CEC Resources and Publications; 3) NA Fund for Environmental Cooperation; 4) Global Linkages to CEC; 5) Site Map; 6) CEC Profile Programs; 7) Citizen Submissions; 8) Contracts and Job Offers; 9) Independent review Committee of NAAEC; and, 10) Search. Within Section 2 this site contains a Summary of Environmental Law in North America of the environmental laws in Mexico, Canada and the United States. The Table of Contents include the following chapters for each country: 1.Introduction to the Legal System; 2. Institutional Framework for Environmental Protection; 3. Constitutional Provisions; 4.General Environmental Law and Policies; 5. Environmental Information; 6. Public Participation; 7. Environmental Impact Assessment; 8. Protection of the Armosphere; 9. Protection and Management of Water Resources; 10. Protection of the Oceans and Coastal Areas; 11. Chemical Substances and Products; 12. Waste Management; 13. Responding to Environmental Contamination; 14. Environmental Emergencies; 15.Private Land Use Planning and Management; 16. Environmental Management of Public Lands; 17. Conservation of Biological Diversity and Wildlife; 18. Mining; 19. Agriculture; 20. Forests and Forest Management; 21. Energy; 22. Transportation; 23. Military or Federal Facilities; 24. Other Environmental Issues; and, 25. Transboundary and International Issues. In addition, users have access to a) an Acronym List, and b) a Bibliography. This is the best, most systematic and most complete source of Mexican Environmental Law. CEC is to be congratulated for this superb effort.

   
 
NOTE:
Last Updated: July 27, 2003
   
 

Author & General Coordinator:
JORGE A. VARGAS
Professor of Law,
University of San Diego School of Law
Published by ©West Group (1998)
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Book Description  
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The Seven Appendices  
Synopsis 1 thru 20  
Synopsis 21 thru 40  
Recent Developments  
Volume 1 Table of Contents  
Volume 2 Table of Contents  
Volume 3 Table of Contents  
Volume 3 Preface  
Volume 3 Introduction  
Volume 4 Table of Contents  
Volume 4 Introduction  
     
 
Dictionary Description  
Who Should Buy the Dictionary  
Examples of Legal Terms  
Buy this Dictionary  
   
 
1. Introduction  
1.1 Overview of Mexico's Legal System  
1.2 Mexican Law Information in Spanish  
1.3 Mexican Law Information in English  
     
2. Legislative Enactments  
2.1 No Mexican Federal Statutes in English  
2.2 Mexican Federal Statutes in Spanish  
2.3 Mexico's Major Codes in Spanish  
a. Federal Civil Code  
b. Code of Commerce  
c. Code of Civil Procedure  
d. Federal Code of Criminal Procedure  
e. Federal Criminal Code  
f.  Fiscal Code of the Federation  
2.4 Mexico's Diario Oficial de la Federación  
2.5 The Federal Constitution of 1917  
a. Mexico: A Federal Republic  
b. The Executive Power  
c. The Legislative Power  
d. The Judicial Power  
     
3. International Treaties and Conventions  
3.1 Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE)  
3.2 List of International Treaties and Conventions on conflict of laws,
business and environmental questions to which Mexico is a party
 
3.3 International Judicial Cooperation  
     
4. Mexico's Federal Government  
     
5. State Governments  
5.1 Specific State legislation (i.e, State Constitution, codes, laws, etc.)  
     
6. Legal Background and History of Mexico  
     
APPENDIX I Mexico's Federal Legislation  
APPENDIX II Mexico's 18 Secretariats of State Web Sites  
APPENDIX III Web Sites of Mexico's 31 States  
APPENDIX IV Compendium of the Best Mexican Law Web Sites (5 in English and 6 in Spanish)