Fall 2013 - Mexican Public Law
Course ID: 379M Unique # 29420 Credit Hours: 3
11:50 am - 1:05 pm
11:50 am - 1:05 pm
This course is restricted to upper division students only.
The Mexican legal tradition has been shaped by subsequent forces with permanent, as well as partial and conflictive effects in contemporary public law: the autocratic model of the colonial era; the liberal model that prevailed in the XIX century; the social model of that emerged from the Mexican Revolution and the Global model implemented in the last decades.
A manifest effect of the “strata” of Mexican public law is the coexistence of some institutions that are indisputably idiosyncratic of the Mexican legal and political culture: the “juicio de amparo” as a sui generis mechanism of judicial review; the “ejido” as a form of collective property; a dual and centrally coordinated federalism as government regime; the free “municipio” as basic jurisdiction and administrative arena, etc. Among others, these legal icons determine in many ways, for good and for bad, the scope and range of governmental action in Mexico (e.g., the “juicio de amparo” inhibits systematically the prerogative of eminent domain contained in Art. 27 of the Mexican constitution; the “federalist” design of public expenditure undermines accountability; the 3 years constitutional term for municipal authorities and the constitutional banning of reelection in as substantial obstacle to the effective delivery of public services).
In the last decades Mexico has run a series of “transitions”: a political/democratic transition; a Legal/Rule of Law transition; an Administrative/regulatory governance transition. Nevertheless, these institutional reforms need to be accelerated and deepened in other to reach social change –e.g., demography, urbanization, poverty, among other factors, and thus constitute effective instruments for democratic governance. Substantial obstacles arise form the constitutional and legal context, in which the fore mentioned public law institutions do not integrate a coherent platform. On the contrary, some of the most salient institutions of the Mexican Public Law configure a sort of a cage, within which social reform seems unattainable.
The course will develop the three general topics described above. The first part will analyze the genealogy of Mexican Public Law; the second part will focus on the normative and theoretical construction of some of the most salient institutional elements of the Mexican Public Law, and the third part will describe some of the effects of such institutional framework in the scope and range of the reform agenda.
- Zamora et. al.
Oxford University, edition: 2004
Instructor provides reading list.