Constitution of Argentina (revised version of 1994)

Year of Version:1994
Date of Text (Adopted):May 1, 1853
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
The Constitution of Argentina was adopted on May 1, 1853 and has been amended many times starting in 1860. It was last amended and revised in 1994. The reformed Constitution entered into force on August 24, 1994.

The Constitution defines Argentina as a federal republic (Article 1). The government system of Argentina is based on the division of powers between the federal government and local governments.
The federal government is made up of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial.
The National Congress (Congreso Nacional) is bicameral, consisting of the Senate (72 seats elected by direct vote) and the Chamber of Deputies (257 members elected by direct vote) (Article 44). The Congress has the power to make laws. The adoption of a law requires the approval by both Houses of Congress, and promulgation by the President, who may reject it partially or totally. The presidential veto can be overturned by a majority of two thirds of the votes in each House (Articles 77, 78 & 83). The legislative powers shall not be delegated to the executive branch except for issues concerning administration and public emergency, with a specified term for their exercise and according to the delegating conditions established by Congress (Article 76).
The executive power is exercised by the President, who is elected by direct universal suffrage every four years (Articles 87, 90 & 94). He is both the head of state and the head of government.
The judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and in such lower courts as Congress may constitute in the territory of the country (Article 108).
The local government is composed of 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, also known as the national’s capital and seat of the federal government. (Article 121). Each province and the Capital (Buenos Aires) has its own executive structure, court system and legislature. The powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the provinces (Articles 121 & 126).

The Argentine legal system belongs to the civil law tradition.
The Constitution, laws that are enacted by the Congress and international treaties are the supreme law of the Nation (Article 31). There are two types of legal rules that coexist in Argentina: federal legislation governing the entire country and local legislation within each self-governing province.
The sources of law in Argentina include: Constitution, international treaties, federal laws, decrees issued by the President, and resolutions issued by ministries and government agencies, and provincial constitutions, laws and resolutions.

The Constitution contains provisions relating to the protection of patents, copyrights, and traditional cultural expressions.
Article 17 stipulates '...Every author or inventor is the exclusive owner of the work, invention, or discovery for the term granted by law...’. Article 75(17) recognizes “the ethnic and cultural pre-existence of indigenous peoples of Argentina”. Article 75(19) empowers the Congress to “enact laws protecting the cultural identity and plurality, the free creation and circulation of artistic works of authors, the artistic heritage and places devoted to cultural and audiovisual activities”.
Available Texts: 

Constitution of Argentina (revised version of 1994) Constitution of Argentina (revised version of 1994), Complete document (pdf) [183 KB]


Constitution de l'Argentine (version révisée en 1994) Constitution de l'Argentine (version révisée en 1994), Complete document (pdf) [148 KB]


Constitución de la Nación Argentina (versión reformada en 1994) Constitución de la Nación Argentina (versión reformada en 1994), Complete document (pdf) [133 KB] Constitución de la Nación Argentina (versión reformada en 1994), Complete document (htm) [138 KB] (Version with Automatic Translation Tool)

Related Legislation:
WIPO Lex No.:AR075