Volume 1
Chapter 22 Summary

This Chapter addresses the gradual progression of Mexico’s approach to private international law, as charted through three distinct phases. First, as dictated by the concept of absolute territorialism, Mexico applied the same legal standards to foreigners as to Mexican nationals, up until 1932. Second, pursuant to the Civil Code of 1932, Mexico adopted a policy of "absolute territorialism" regarding the application of any foreign law within its borders. Finally, beginning in the 1970’s, Mexico started its journey towards the "Americanization" of its laws. However, it was not until the 1988 Amendments that Mexico changed its policy of absolute territorialism.

This belated third phase, starting in 1988, allowed for the application of foreign law by adopting explicit rules on conflict of laws in Mexico, such as Article 12. Further, with the amendments of 1988, the status of natural persons, movable and immovable assets, and legal acts and contracts were all provided with judicial notice of foreign law through Article 14. Mexican judges could now apply foreign law "as the corresponding foreign judge would." So long as there existed an analogous legal institution in Mexico, no identical institution needed to be present. However, problems do arise in the areas of judicial notice and the novelty of applying foreign law to the nature of the Mexico’s legal system.

Two special areas of mention remain: first, interstate conflicts seem to have not been distinguished from their international counterparts, according to Article 14. Thus, these two categories should be treated much in the same manner. Second, there remain two exceptions to the application of foreign law in Mexico: (1) when it is deemed to be "fraud on the law"; and (2) when "public order" necessitates otherwise.


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Professor of Law,
University of San Diego School of Law
Published by ©West Group (1998)
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About the Author  
Book Description  
Book Reviews  
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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)