The new Amparo Law, which is now in force, aims to modernise amparo proceedings and includes several matters that were already recognised in case law, but not included in the previous law. Among the most relevant features of this new law, constitutional protection has been extended in some ways and limited in others.
Following a constitutional amendment in 2011, the new Amparo Law has been approved by both chambers of Congress. Although to a great extent the new law includes positive changes to amparo proceedings and aims to modernise this constitutional challenge procedure, some of the new provisions may be unfavourable to companies and financial institutions.
Amendments to the Mexican class action regime have recently been proposed. Several provisions of the Federal Code of Civil Procedure are intended to be modified to provide wider protection to consumers. However, it is important to consider the impact that the amendments might have on the defence of respondents and the level of exposure that companies will have if they are approved.
A recent Supreme Court decision has established that compensation for damages suffered by a person or company must be determined by the judge on a case-by-case basis. Consequently, indemnity capped by law is unconstitutional. The decision provides persuasive guidance on the court's views with respect to the importance of fully compensating for damages suffered.
Numerous pitfalls await foreign parties assuming that proceedings in Mexican courts unfold in the same way as in the courts of their own jurisdictions. Many foreign companies in Mexico may be unaware of how drastically Mexican litigation procedure can affect a dispute. Whether a company is bringing an action or has been sued in Mexico, it risks losing its case if it does not avoid certain traps for the unwary.
The First Chamber of the Supreme Court recently ruled on the constitutionality of one of the timeframes set by the Bankruptcy Law for filing a proof of claim in bankruptcy proceedings. In extending the timeframe, it may have provided a significant opportunity to complete the formal requirements for filing a proof of claim, given that Mexico's procedural rules are generally strict and often set the bar for compliance too high.
A recent Supreme Court ruling has established that when a judge is presented with contradictory expert opinions, the scientific grounds on which such opinions are based are essential in determining which opinion should prevail. It is a persuasive precedent that could help to tip the balance in cases where the expert opinions submitted in proceedings each appear accurate, yet reach different conclusions.
A party that files amparo proceedings for constitutional protection is entitled to request that the execution of the order or decision in question be suspended. However, if the amparo proceedings are unsuccessful, an opposing party may recover losses and damages suffered as a result of the suspension. The Supreme Court has now indicated the applicable interest rate when calculating loss or damage.
Recently enacted legislation that will enable litigants to pursue class actions in federal courts has been published in the Official Gazette, starting the countdown for the legislation to take effect. A broad range of class action claims will be possible, including claims for harm to consumers and users of goods and services, damage to the environment and damages resulting from monopolistic practices.
A new regulation allows class action lawsuits in a number of broadly defined matters and across a potentially wide range of legal claims, potentially including cases that involve consumer products, financial services or environmental concerns. Among other things, the regulation allows for interim relief and sets procedural rules on the costs and timing of proceedings.
A set of significant changes to the commercial arbitration framework seek to improve the regulations on judicial intervention. Among other things, the reform covers the referral of parties to arbitration, the enforcement of interim measures and a new court proceeding to enforce or vacate an arbitral award.
The Mexico City Congress passed a major reform of the local code of civil procedure in 2009, introducing oral proceedings and the use of electronic service of notifications. The reform also sought to improve the appeals process, foreclosure proceedings and the collection and production of evidence. The results have been positive and may prove a catalyst for wider reform.
After more than a year of legislative deliberations, Congress recently approved the new Federal Law Against Corruption in Public Procurement. According to the law, it is illegal to give or offer to give (either directly or through a third party) to a public official any type of bribe or gift for obtaining or retaining a privilege or business advantage in the area of public procurement.