In today’s article of Abogados Cabo we will talk about procedural law, which is the set of laws dedicated to the regulation of state and federal jurisdictional activity. Its study includes the organization of the judiciary, as well as the determination of the competence of the officials that comprise it, in addition to the actions of the judges and the parties in a given process.
Procedural Law is the law that regulates the form, means, actions and relations in a judicial proceeding.
Procedural law is also defined as the legal science dedicated to the study of the principles and norms related to the judicial activity carried out through the process by the organs of the state and other intervening parties, in such a way that the judiciary is organized based on its functions, according to the categories of each member, and with the specification of modes and budgets in the procedural process.
What is a process?
The exclusive object of procedural law is the process, which is a legal relationship developed in a progressive manner between the court and the parties. A process is subject to certain legal prescriptions and has the objective of resolving a conflict between two parties through a trial.
Divisions of Mexican procedural law
For the study of Mexican procedural law, we may resort to the classification proposed by Héctor Fix-Zamudio, in his book Juicio de Amparo (1964), in three parts:
- Dispositive procedural law. This is governed by the dispositive principle and includes both commercial and civil law.
- Social procedural law. Oriented by the principle of social justice or equality by compensation. It includes labor procedural law, social security procedural law and agrarian procedural law.
- Inquisitorial or public procedural law. Contains criminal procedural law, family and civil procedural law, administrative procedural law and constitutional procedural law.
All these branches have their origin in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States of 1917, a document in which the duties and obligations of Mexican citizens are defined, at the same time that the sovereignty of the people is established and the right of association and assembly is recognized.
For the analysis of procedural law in Mexico, Articles 17, 14 in its second paragraph, 13 and 16 of the aforementioned constitution should be pointed out.
“No person may take justice into his own hands, nor exercise violence to claim his right. Every person has the right to have justice administered by courts that will be ready to impart it in the terms and periods established by law, issuing their resolutions in a prompt, complete and impartial manner. Their service shall be free of charge and, consequently, judicial costs shall be prohibited.
In this case, provision is made for the free service of the courts and the establishment of the necessary means through federal and local laws to guarantee the independence of the courts, as well as the execution of their determinations.
No one may be deprived of his life, liberty or property, possessions or rights, except through a trial before the previously established courts, in which the essential formalities of the procedure are complied with and in accordance with the laws issued prior to the event.
Article 14. Second paragraph
In this way, the guarantee of a hearing is provided, consisting in the fact that Mexican citizens may not be liquidated, deprived of their liberty, property, possessions or rights without a prior trial before the courts.
In such trial, the essential formalities of the procedure must be complied with; therefore, the guarantee of a hearing constitutes the main defense that a citizen has with respect to the acts of any authority that intends to deprive him/her of his/her property and/or rights.
The guarantee of a hearing constitutes a right before the administrative and judicial authorities, as well as before the legislative authority. Therefore, the necessary procedures in defense of the individual’s interests must be established prior to the act of deprivation. This provides the opportunity to present evidence, in addition to the formulation of allegations.
“No one may be judged by private laws or by special courts”.
“No one may be disturbed in his person, family, domicile, papers or possessions, except by virtue of a written order of the competent authority, which establishes and justifies the legal cause of the proceeding”.
This refers to the obligation of all the organs of authority, including judges, to justify under the law all their acts that imply any affectation, even partial, in the rights of citizens. In addition to these four articles, the Mexican Constitution establishes the basis for the organization of the federal courts as well as the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Importance of Procedural Law
The importance of procedural law lies in the fact that if any error is made in the forms or methods, in the use of the means or in the compliance with the deadlines, there may be delays or a petition may be dismissed. For more information on Mexican procedural law, it is recommended that you seek an attorney with expertise in this area.
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