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Legal Framework: Litigation and Arbitration

Due to the country’s federal organization, each province has its own judicial branch, and there is also a federal judicial branch, with courts of original jurisdiction and of appeal throughout the Argentine territory.

The head of the federal judicial branch is the Supreme Court of Justice, which was inspired in the American Supreme Court, and has a similar jurisdiction. Cases brought in provincial courts can also resort to the Supreme Court via writ of certiorary (Recurso Extraordinario Federal) if a federal question arises during the proceedings. All courts control the constitutional nature of the laws, but the final decision is made by the Supreme Court.

The constitution and the laws of Argentina include all the most common judicial guaranties such as the writ of mandamus (“amparo” action), habeas corpus, habeas data (protecting against the entry of inaccurate or discriminatory data in public or private records), etc. In addition, the case law of the Supreme Court has accepted class actions in some cases regarding non-economic fundamental rights.

Arbitration, both at national and international level, has become very common in Argentina, especially for contracts with an international point of contact. ICC, AAA and UNCITRAL rules are often referred to in those contracts. In addition, Argentina has ratified several treaties on human rights, and some of them rank pari passu the Argentine Constitution. All of them regularly applied by the courts, whereas several breaches of treaties on human rights have been brought to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Humans Rights, since Argentina has accepted the competence of both entities.

By virtue of the Argentine law, the choice of law in matters not entailing mandatory and non-waivable provisions is widely accepted. As regards competence, the governing principle is that, except for cases in which no jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction of Argentine courts can be elected, the parties have the right to choose foreign courts with respect to matters with an international point of contact, only related to net worth or equity issues.

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