The Senate and Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation assembled in Congress, etc. sanction with force of Law:ARTICLE 1o el Approved the Cooperation and Legal Assistance Agreement in CIVIL, COMMERCIAL, LABAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIA BETWEEN MERCOSUR AND THE REPUBLIC OF BOLIVIA AND REPUBLIC DE CHILE, signed in Buenos Aires on July 5, 2002, which consists of TREINTA and CINCO (35) articles, whose authenticated photocopy is part of this law. ARTICLE 2or . Contact the national executive branch.
IN THE SESSION OF THE ARGENTINE CONGRESS, IN GOOD AIRES, TO THE DAYS OF THE SEPTEMBER OF THE YEAR DOS MIL CUATRO.
EDUARDO O. CHANGE. A. GUINLE. . Eduardo D. Rollano. . Juan Estrada.
COOPERATION AND JURISDICCIONAL ASSISTANCE IN CIVIL, COMMERCIAL, LABAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE MATERIA ENTRE STATES PARTIES OF MERCOSUR AND THE BOLIVIA REPUBLIC AND CHILE REPUBLIC
The Argentine Republic, the Federal Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay, the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, the States Parties to the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) and the Republic of Bolivia and the Republic of Chile, all known as "States Parties" for the purposes of this Agreement;
CONSIDERING the Protocol on Cooperation and Jurisdictional Assistance in Civil, Commercial, Labour and Administrative Matters adopted in the Valley of Las Leñas, Argentina, by Decision No. 5/92 of the Common Market Council, in force in the four States Parties of MERCOSUR;
IN ACCORDANCE with the Economic Complementation Agreement No. 36 signed between MERCOSUR and the Republic of Bolivia; the Economic Complementation Agreement No. 35 signed between MERCOSUR and the Republic of Chile and the decisions of the Council of the Common Market (CMC) No. 14/96 "Participation of third countries associated with MERCOSUR Meetings" and No. 12/97 "Participation of Chile at MERCOSUR Meetings";
REAFFIRMING the will to agree on common legal solutions in order to strengthen the integration process;
DESEOS to promote and enhance judicial cooperation in civil, commercial, labour and administrative matters, in order to contribute in this way to the development of their integration relations on the basis of the principles of respect for national sovereignty and the equality of rights and mutual interests;
Agreed that this Agreement will assist in the equal treatment of nationals, citizens and permanent or habitual residents of the States Parties of MERCOSUR and the Republic of Bolivia and the Republic of Chile and will facilitate free access to jurisdiction in those States for the defence of their rights and interests;
CONSCIENTS of the importance for the integration process of adopting common instruments that consolidate legal security;
Cooperation and Jurisdictional Assistance
States parties undertake mutual assistance and extensive jurisdictional cooperation in civil, commercial, labour and administrative matters. Jurisdictional assistance in administrative matters shall, in accordance with the domestic law of each State, refer to the administrative proceedings in which remedies are admitted to the courts.
For the purposes of this Agreement, States Parties shall designate a Central Authority to receive and process requests for legal assistance in civil, commercial, labour and administrative matters. To this end, these Central Authorities shall communicate directly among them, giving intervention to the respective competent authorities, where necessary.
The States Parties shall, upon depositing the instrument of ratification of this Agreement, communicate such designation to the depositary Government, which shall inform the other States.
The Central Authority may be changed at any time, and the respective State must communicate it as soon as possible to the depositary Government of this Agreement, so that it may inform the other States Parties of the change made.
Nationals, citizens and permanent or habitual residents of one of the States Parties shall enjoy, under the same conditions as nationals, citizens and permanent or habitual residents of another State Party, free access to jurisdiction in that State for the defence of their rights and interests.
The preceding paragraph shall apply to legal persons constituted, authorized or registered in accordance with the laws of any State Party.
No caption or deposit, whatever its denomination, may be imposed on the basis of the quality of a national, citizen or permanent or habitual resident of another State Party.
The preceding paragraph shall apply to legal persons constituted, authorized or registered in accordance with the laws of any State Party.
Cooperation in Mere Transactions and Probations
Each State Party shall send to the jurisdictional authorities of the other State Party, as provided for in articles 2 and 10, the appeals in civil, commercial, labour or administrative matters, where they are intended:
(a) Proceedings such as subpoenas, intimations or notices, locations, notifications or other such;
(b) Receiving or obtaining evidence.
The letters must contain:
(a) The name and address of the requesting jurisdictional body;
(b) Individualization of the file with specification of the object and nature of the trial and the name and address of the parties;
(c) copy of the request and transcription of the resolution ordering the issuance of the letter;
(d) name and domicile of the applicant party in the requested State, if any;
(e) indication of the object of the letter by specifying the name and address of the addressee of the measure;
(f) Information on the time limit available to the person affected by the measure to comply with it;
(g) description of the special forms or procedures for the cooperation requested;
(h) any other information that facilitates the fulfilment of the call.
If the receipt of evidence is requested, the letter must also contain:
(a) a description of the matter that facilitates the evidentiary proceedings;
(b) name and address of witnesses or other persons or institutions to intervene;
(c) text of interrogations and necessary documents
The fulfilment of the appeals shall be ex officio by the competent jurisdictional authority of the requested State and may be refused only when the measure requested, by its nature, is contrary to the principles of public order of the requested State.
Such compliance shall not imply recognition of the international jurisdiction of the judge from whom it emanates.
The required jurisdictional authority shall have jurisdiction to deal with matters arising in the course of the enforcement of the requested diligence.
If the required jurisdictional authority is declared incompetent to proceed with the processing of the appeal, it shall, on its own motion, send the documents and background to the competent jurisdictional authority of its State.
Appeals may be transmitted through diplomatic or consular channels, through the respective Central Authority or by interested parties, in accordance with domestic law.
If the transmission of the letter is carried out through the Central Authorities or through diplomatic or consular channels, the requirement of legalization shall not be required.
If transmitted through the party concerned, it shall be legalized to the diplomatic or consular agents of the requested State, unless the requirement of legalization or substituted by other formality has been abolished among the requesting and requested States.
The letters and documents accompanying them shall be written in the language of the requesting authority and be accompanied by a translation into the language of the required authority.
The requesting authority may request from the requested authority the place and date on which the requested measure shall be effective in order to allow the requesting authority, the parties concerned or their respective representatives to appear and exercise the powers authorized by the law of the requested Party.
Such communication shall be made in due time through the Central Authorities of the States Parties.
The jurisdictional authority responsible for the enforcement of an appeal shall apply its domestic law in respect of the proceedings.
However, it may be granted, at the request of the requesting authority, to grant the request a special procedure or to accept the performance of additional formalities in the proceedings of the appeal, provided that this is not incompatible with the public order of the requested State.
The fulfilment of the letter should be carried out without delay.
In the course of the appeal, the required authority shall apply the coercive measures provided for in its domestic legislation, in cases and to the extent that it must do so to comply with an appeal of the authorities of its own State or an order submitted to this effect by an interested party.
The documents containing the application of the letter shall be returned by means and in the manner provided for in article 10.
Where the appeal has not been fulfilled in whole or in part, this fact, as well as the reasons for the failure to comply, shall be immediately communicated to the requesting authority, using the means referred to in the preceding paragraph.
The fulfilment of the appeal may not result in the reimbursement of any kind of expenditure, except where probationary means are requested to cause special erogations or professional appointments to intervene in the proceedings.
In such cases, the data of the person who in the requested State shall be disclosed in the body of the letter to pay the expenses and fees earned.
Where data relating to the address of the addressee of the act or of the person cited is incomplete or inaccurate, the required authority shall exhaust all means to satisfy the order. To that end, it may also request the requesting State to provide additional data for the identification and location of the person concerned.
Relevant procedures for the enforcement of the appeal do not necessarily require the intervention of the interested party, having to be practiced by the competent jurisdictional authority of the requested State.
Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards and Awards
The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to the recognition and enforcement of judgements and arbitral awards in the jurisdictions of States Parties in civil, commercial, labour and administrative matters. They shall also apply to judgements in respect of damages and restitution of property pronounced in criminal jurisdiction.
The recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards and awards requested by the jurisdictional authorities may be processed through appeals and transmitted through the Central Authority or through diplomatic or consular channels, in accordance with domestic law.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the party concerned may directly process the recognition or enforcement of the judgement. In such a case, the judgement shall be duly legalized in accordance with the law of the State in which its effectiveness is sought, unless between the State of origin of the judgement and the State in which it is invoked, the requirement of legalization has been abolished or replaced by another formality.
The judgements and arbitral awards referred to in the preceding article shall be extraterritorial in States Parties if they meet the following conditions:
(a) That they should be covered by the external formalities necessary to be considered authentic in the State from which they proceed;
(b) That these and the annexed documents that are required are duly translated into the official language of the State requesting recognition and implementation;
(c) that they emanate from a competent jurisdictional or arbitral body, in accordance with the rules of the requested State on international jurisdiction;
(d) That the party against which the decision is to be executed has been duly cited and the exercise of its right of defence has been guaranteed;
(e) That the decision should have the force of judgement and/or enforcement in the State in which it was issued;
(f) That they do not manifestly contravene the principles of public order of the State requesting recognition and/or enforcement.
The requirements of subparagraphs (a), (c), (d), (e) and (f) should arise from the testimony of the judgement or arbitral award.
A party who in a trial invokes a judgement or arbitral award of any State Party shall accompany a testimony of the judgement or arbitral award with the requirements of the preceding article.
When it comes to a judgement or an arbitral award between the same parties, based on the same facts and having the same object as that of another jurisdictional or arbitral proceedings in the requested State, its recognition and enforceability will depend on the fact that the decision is not incompatible with another previous or simultaneous pronouncement in the requested State.
Moreover, execution shall not be recognized or carried out, when a procedure has been initiated between the same parties, based on the same facts and on the same object, before any jurisdictional authority of the requested State prior to the submission of the complaint to the jurisdictional authority which has pronounced the resolution of which the recognition is requested.
If a judgement or arbitral award cannot be effective in its entirety, the competent jurisdictional authority in the requested State may admit its partial effectiveness by means of a request from the interested party.
The procedures, including the jurisdiction of the respective jurisdictional bodies, for the purposes of recognition and enforcement of the judgements or arbitral awards, shall be governed by the law of the requested State.
Public Instruments and Other Documents
Public instruments emanating from a State Party shall have in the others the same evidentiary force as its own public instruments.
Documents emanating from jurisdictional authorities or other authorities of one of the States Parties, as well as public deeds and documents certifying the validity, date and veracity of signature or conformity with the original, which are transmitted through the Central Authority, are exempt from any legalization, apostille or other similar formality when they are to be presented in the territory of another State Party.
Each State Party shall transmit, through the Central Authority, at the request of another State and for exclusively public purposes, the testimonies or certificates of the records of civil status records, without charge.
Information on Foreign Law
The Central Authorities of States Parties shall, in the form of judicial cooperation, and provided that they do not object to the provisions of their public order, civil, commercial, labour, administrative and private international law reports, without any expense.
The information referred to in the preceding article may also be obtained through reports provided by the diplomatic or consular authorities of the State party whose right is concerned.
The State party providing reports on the meaning and legal scope of its right shall not be liable for the opinion rendered or shall be obliged to apply its right in accordance with the answer provided.
A State Party receiving such reports shall not be obliged to apply or enforce foreign law in accordance with the content of the reply received.
Consultations and Dispute Settlement
The Central Authorities of States Parties shall consult on mutually agreed opportunities in order to facilitate the implementation of this Agreement.
States Parties in the event of a dispute over the interpretation, application or non-compliance with the provisions of this Agreement shall endeavour to resolve it through direct diplomatic negotiations.
The present Agreement shall not restrict the provisions of the Conventions that on the same subject have previously been signed between States Parties, as long as they are more beneficial to cooperation.
This Agreement shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the instruments of ratification have been deposited by two States Parties of MERCOSUR and the Republic of Bolivia or the Republic of Chile.
For the other signatories, the thirtieth day after the deposit of their respective instrument of ratification shall enter into force.
The Government of the Republic of Paraguay shall be the depositary of this Agreement and of the instruments of ratification and shall send duly authenticated copies thereof to the Governments of other States Parties.
The Government of the Republic of Paraguay shall notify the Governments of other States Parties of the date of entry into force of this Agreement and the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification.
Made in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, at five (5) days of July 2002, in an original copy, in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, both texts being equally authentic.