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Mexico is formed by thirty-one states and a Federal District, best known as Mexico City.  Every state and the Federal District have their own judicial procedure laws.  This report covers federal law only.

Article 12 of Mexico’s Federal Civil Code provides that foreign law may be applied in Mexico as long as Mexican law specifically provides for its application.[1]  However, cases adjudicated by Mexican courts by applying foreign law could not be located.  It should be noted that a Mexican jurist recently reported the following:

Although Mexican judges are legally empowered to apply foreign law in Mexican proceedings, and no formal or informal survey has been conducted since 1988 to determine the number of substantive cases that have been resolved on the basis of foreign law, empirical data suggests that the number of these cases is close to zero.  In an informal and preliminary survey conducted with judges and court secretaries in the six Mexican states bordering the United States (in addition to Mexico City), no cases of any Mexican court resolving a given case based on American law or any other foreign law were reported.[2]

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Prepared by Gustavo Guerra
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
March 2010

[1] Código Civil Federal [Federal Civil Code], as amended, Diario Oficial de la Federación, May 26, July 14, & Aug. 3 and 31, 1928, available at Mexico’s House of Representatives website, LeyesBiblio/pdf/2.pdf.

[2] Jorge A. Vargas, Mexican Law in California and Texas Courts and the (Lack of) Application of Foreign Law in Mexican Courts, II (No. 1) Mexican L. Rev. 45, 69 (New Series, July-Dec. 2009), available at the Legal Research Institute website of Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM), pdf/mlawrns/cont/3/arc/arc2.pdf.

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Last Updated: 06/09/2015