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By Pablo Sandonato de Leon. He specializes in advising local and foreign clients on fiscal, finance and accounting topics, cross border transactions, international tax structures and setting up operations within Uruguay to serve worldwide clients. He also advises several multinational institutions such as the World Bank Group and the national Industrial Chambers in Uruguay.

She is a frequent author of article and has contributed to several books and journals. She studied at the University of Lima and earned her J. She studied part of her career at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She practiced law for five years in Lima, and afterwards moved to Montevideo to practice law. She received her LL. Both a lawyer and an M. Read the Archive File!

Table of Contents. General Information. Country Information. Form of Government. Administrative Divisions. Institutional Background. Territorial Administration. General Background. Sources of Law. The Law and its Procedures. Interpretation of the Law. Codification and Decodification of the Law. The Resolution of Conflicts. Applicability of International Law in Uruguay.

Conflict of Laws Private International Law. Recognition of Foreign Rulings. The Supreme Court of Justice. Courts of Appeal. Status of Foreigners. Domestic System. Some Treaties to which Uruguay is a Party. Concubine Union Civil Unions.

Child Law. Groups of Economic Interest. Foreign Companies in Uruguay. Temporary Admission. Free Trade Zones. Preferential Trade Agreements. Multilateral Trade Relations. International Regulations Ratified by Uruguay. Environmental Impact Study. Labor Contract and Labor Conditions. Income Tax. Physical Persons Income Tax. Net Wealth Tax. Constitutional Law. Administrative Law. Public International Law.

Integration Law. Human Rights. Family, Matrimonial and Successions Law. Contracts and Obligations Law. Commercial Law. Intellectual Property. Labour Law. Procedural Law. Tax Law. Criminal Law. Uruguay is located in a strategic geographical area in the region, it is a buffer state between Brazil and Argentina and a gateway to the basins of the River Plate and the River Parana.

Its population has a high literacy rate and there is a large urban middle class. Income distribution is relatively even, infrastructure is good, and telecommunications are well-developed. There is an adequate and dependable juridical framework. Regarding governance and governability, Uruguay is known in the region for its political and economic stability.

It is a market-oriented economy in which the state still plays an important role. Uruguay is a major destination for regional and extra-regional investment, and provides market opportunities in information technology, telecommunications equipment and chemicals. More information regarding rankings where Uruguay leads can be found here page 4.

Semi-Presidential, Proportional, Representative Republic. Rule of Law and democratic values are a constant in the civic life of the country, with exceptions in the late 19th Century and between and It also elects the members of the disbursements and payments external control organ Court of Audit. The President of the Republic is elected for a period of five years, non-renewable consecutively. According to most received constitutional doctrine, the President is only the Chief of State; while the office of Chief of Government corresponds to the President acting in Cabinet with his Ministers.

The President acting with one or more Ministers, or with the entire Cabinet depending on the issue, constitutes the Executive Branch. State Ministers can be censured by Parliament. Members of this branch are also elected by universal and secret ballot by means of an integrated system of proportional representation albeit in a weakened version. The House of Representatives has ninety-nine members.

As a remnant of early and mid-twentieth century state interventionism, the state is still engaged in commerce and industry, acting through autonomous entities and decentralized services, which have varying degrees of independence from the Executive Branch. A brief comment about Uruguayan form of government can be found on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , which is published in Spanish.

The Constitution of Uruguay sets the main features of Uruguayan Government. Territorial administration is decentralized and carried out in 19 Departments, each of which has its own non-autonomous executive branch the executive authority is the Mayor, or Governor, known as the Intendente and legislative branch Departmental Council.

The Departmental Council is composed of thirty-one honorary members councillors , who pass regulations which are legally binding within the territory of the department. The Council must approve the departmental budget that is, the budget proposed by the Council itself and the Executive Authority.

The national budget is five-yearly, with yearly balances and indispensable adjustments. The initiative in budgetary issues is the exclusive responsibility of the Executive Branch, except in the cases of the controlling organs and the decentralized services and autonomous entities.

The current Constitution was approved in with amendments in , , and It establishes that laws should be written and passed by Parliament and enacted by the President of the Republic. Uruguay has adopted the Civil Law system; however, sentences issued by jurisdictional justice Courts of the first instance, Higher Courts and the Supreme Court of Justice , are used as a guide in subsequent trials; although they are not binding do not constitute a legal precedent.

In issues pertaining to property rights and their guarantees, secured interests in property and contracts are recognized and enforced. Mortgages exist, and there is a recognized and reliable system of recording such securities.

Nevertheless, execution of guarantees is usually a slow process. The only two sources of Law in Uruguay are the Constitution and the legislation. Custom is only a source of law when the law expressly refers to it, and settled views among scholars and case law are only used as instruments of interpretation. Sources of law are established by the preliminary title of the Uruguayan Civil Code, articles 1, 3, 9 and The structure of the Uruguayan juridical system is strongly pyramidal in shape, with the Constitution at the apex.

Below the Constitution is the Law and Departmental Council decrees—departmental legislative acts which are binding within their territory—the decrees of the Executive Branch, Ministerial Resolutions, etc.

Bills may originate amongst the citizens by means of a popular initiative, both for the passing or the repeal of a law , in the Legislative Branch in any of the two Houses of Parliament or in the Executive Branch. This is established in articles 79, 85, and of the Uruguayan Constitution. In every case, Bills must be considered and passed by both Houses.

On the other hand, if the House receiving the Bill should only have observations or addenda to include, the Bill is returned to the originating House which, if it accepts the observations or addenda, will communicate this fact to the other House and send the Bill directly to the Executive Branch so that the process may continue.

However, if the originating House does not accept the observations or addenda and insists upon the original Bill, an assembly of both Houses may be requested General Assembly , which will reach a decision, by a majority of two-thirds of the votes, passing one of the two Bills or drafting a new one.


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