Reconstituting Constitutions — Institutions and Culture: The Mexican Constitution and NAFTA: Human Rights vis-à-vis Commerce
27 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012 Last revised: 8 Nov 2012
Date Written: 2005
The aim of this Essay is threefold. First, this Essay will focus on the main characteristics of both the great transformation, experienced in the Mexican institutional economic framework during the last thirty-five years, in general, and within the past twenty years, in particular, that were made through constitutional reforms. In addition, the greater expectation that such structural reforms generated in the process of re-enacting the constitution in the political context, should be along the lines of human rights and separation of powers. Second, this Essay will attempt to bring into play the role of treaties in this transformational process, by focusing the debate on whether the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as an international treaty, regardless of its denomination, is constitutional. Furthermore, this debate will concentrate the discussion on the place of treaties in the hierarchy of norms, by critically analyzing a controversial jurisprudential criteria, according to which treaties are above federal laws. Third, this Essay will illustrate that in an eventual conflict between a treaty on commerce and another treaty on human rights, the later ought to prevail over the former.
Keywords: NAFTA, treaties, international law, international constitutions, separation of powers, human rights, Mexican constitution, democracy, reconstituting constitutions
JEL Classification: K30, K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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By Matej Avbelj