Conflict of Laws in Mexico as Governed By the Rules of the Federal Code of Civil Procedure

42 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2007

See all articles by Jorge A. Vargas

Jorge A. Vargas

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: March 29, 2007


Since NAFTA entered into force in 1994, international litigation between the United States and Mexico has grown- and continues to grow-exponentially. In recent years, the application of foreign law in California and Texas has become equivalent to Mexican law, and soon other states will follow suit, including Arizona, New Mexico, Florida and Illinois.

Prior to 1988, the Mexican legal system was not legally equipped to consider the application of foreign law in that country. In other words, until that year, only Mexican law was applied by Mexican judges in Mexican courts. At the same time, Mexico's legal system virtually lacked legal provision in its codes and statutes that allowed for the conduct of certain procedural acts requested by foreign judges (i.e., American judges) such as serving summons, taking evidence, recording depositions and enforcing judgments in that country. However, all of this changed in 1988 when President Miguel de la Madrid made the necessary legislative amendments both to the Federal Civil Code and to the Federal Code of Civil Procedure with the addition of Book Four titled: International Procedural Cooperation.

This article discusses in detail the principles and rules governing the conduct of International Judicial Cooperation between Mexico and other countries, notably the United States, involving service of summons, taking of evidence, and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards by means of letters rogatory with the assistance of Mexico's Central Authority (i.e., Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) or Secretariat of Foreign Affairs) or that of the members of Mexico's consular service. These principles and rules are found in Articles 543-577 of Mexico's Federal Code of Civil Procedure.

Keywords: Mexico's conflict of laws, letters rogatory, enforcement of judgements in Mexico, Mexican judicial cooperation

JEL Classification: K1, K10

Suggested Citation

Vargas, Jorge A., Conflict of Laws in Mexico as Governed By the Rules of the Federal Code of Civil Procedure (March 29, 2007). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 07-93, Available at SSRN: or

Jorge A. Vargas (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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