Latin American Law Law of the “Indies” (colonial heritage) Last updated 03 Oct 11 Spanish pedigree 250BC – 710AD Customary law Fuero juzgo Moorish law Visigoth law Roman law Alhambra Spanish pedigree 710AD – 1492AD Customary law Fuero Real Encomienda Moorish law Corpus Juris Civilis Fueros Siete Partidas Canon law Why study colonial law? “Despite the new constitutions and codes that followed independence, general attitudes towards law continue to be conditioned by the colonial heritage … bureaucratic confusion, administrative delay, mistrust of government officials, and disrespect for law.” Keith S. Rosenn (Univ of Miami) What is colonial law in Latin America? New Spain Recopilacion (1567, 1680, 1805) Nueva Granada Peru Rio de la Plata Council of the Indies (1614) • Viceroys • Captains general • Audiencias (judges) • “The Church” • Corregidor • Cabildos (?) Minister of the Indies (1714) The Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1569-1581) Why does LatAm call for strong leaders? “I obey but do not execute” Real y Supremo Consejo de las Indias The modern administrative state? Spanish colonial law … Sources of public law “royal authority” New Recompilation (1567) Recompilation (1680) (9 books / recompiles 400,000 cedulas) Book I Book II Newest Recompilation Religious affairs (1805) Consejo o Junta de Guerra de Indias, Indies Council, Audiencias, Cancillerias, Juzgados, Orden de prelacion de la legislacion. Book III Virreyes, Capitanes Generales Leyes Book IV Discoveries, Mines, Cabildos Alcaldes, Pleitos de Book ToroV Ord.Corregidores, De Book VI Indios, encomiendas Book VII Alcala Delitos y Penas, “Felonies and punishment” Book VIII Taxes andFueros contributions reales Book IX Casa de Contratacion Fuero Juzgo Sources of private law “hodge-podge” Siete How did Spain claim partidas indigenous lands? Ordenamiento de Alcala 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Accursius glosses Bortolus commentaries Canon law Custom Opinion of doctors Reason (natural law) Roman law Royal fuero Siete partidas Royal fuero Siete partidas Custom if reason if sin Roman law Canon law Accursius Bortolus Alcalá de Henares Opinions What did lawyers study? (what language?) Corpus Juris Civilis Imperialium institutionum Commentarius (Vinnius) Siete partidas Derecho patrio Why no self-government? (peninsulares vs. creoles) Law's failure in Latin America is the standard background for projects of law reform over the past half century. They measure shortcomings based on legal constructs often incommensurate with local arrangements. As a result, no amount of simple law reform can undo such a constant and irrepressible image of failure. Prof. Jorge Esquirol Florida Int’l – College of Law Viewed this way, Latin America's failed law … denies much of any value to existing law anywhere in the region. Consequently, this failed law formula for reform is a harmful device. Taryn Kadar … the colonies in general owe little or nothing to any care of ours, and that they are not squeezed into this happy form by the constraints of watchful and suspicious government, but that, through a wise and salutary neglect, a generous nature has been suffered to take her own way to perfection … Edmund Burke House of Commons (1775) Sam Wellborn Relevance of Napoleon? Portuguese colonial law … No compilations of public law! Ordenacoes • Alfonsinas (1446) • Manuelinas (1521) • Filipinas (1603) San Paolo Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) Brazilian Civil Code (1917) End Puerto Rico Puerto Rico ~ US Constitution? "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? … History will answer the question." Thomas Jefferson 1st Inaugural, 1801 The Iberian conquest fostered a common legal experience in Latin America. This heritage, however, was tainted by • an ineffective and self-serving administration characterized by over-regulation and undercompliance, • which left a legacy of administrative stagnation, bureaucratic confusion, institutional mistrust, and disrespect for the law • that continues to condition general responses and attitudes towards the law throughout Latin America.