1994 amendment of the Constitution of Argentina

The 1994 amendment to the Constitution of Argentina was approved on 22 August by a Constitutional Assembly that met in the twin cities of Santa Fe and Paraná. The calling for elections for the Constitutional Convention and the main issues to be decided were agreed in 1993 between President Carlos Menem, and former president and leader of the opposition, Raúl Alfonsín.


On August 22, after three months of deliberations in the cities of Santa Fe (traditional seat of constitutional conventions) and Paraná, the reform of 43 articles was finally approved in Santa Fe. The deliberations did not end without altercations; for instance, Monsignor Jaime de Nevares resigned to his seat claiming the convention to be "vitiated with absolute nullity".

Main points

Amongst the most important points of the reform are:

Other specific provisions

In order to provide an effective protection to individual rights, the 1994 amendment has introduced actions called: "amparo" (injunctions), "hábeas corpus" and "hábeas data". "Amparo" gives the possibility to any person to request that a judge declare the unconstitutionality of an act or ruling on which an action or omission of public authorities or private individuals is based that, in an actual or imminent manner, causes damage or restrains a right recognized by the Constitution, the law or an international treaty. This action requires that no other effective judicial mean be available. "Hábeas corpus" is an action that can be filled to protect the right of physical freedom when it is threatened, limited, modified or injured, or in case of illegitimate aggravation of conditions of detention. "Hábeas data" is an action that can be filled by any individual to take notice of any information referred to him, registered in public or private registers, and to request its suppression, rectification, confidentiality or updating.

Another innovation introduced by the 1994 amendment is that citizens can introduce bills before the House of Deputies that must be considered by Congress within the next twelve months. We must also mention the recognition of the right of every inhabitant to a healthy environment in article 41 that establishes that

all inhabitants are entitled to the right to a healthy and balanced environment fit for human development in order that productive activities shall meet present needs without endangering those of future generations; and shall have the duty to preserve it. As a first priority, environmental damage shall bring about the obligation to repair it according to law. The authorities shall provide for the protection of this right, the rational use of natural resources, the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage and of the biological diversity, and shall also provide for environmental information and education. The Federal Government shall regulate the minimum protection standard, and the provinces those necessary to reinforce them, without altering their local jurisdictions. The entry into the national territory of present or potential dangerous wastes, and of radioactive ones, is forbidden.

From another point of view there are precise provisions referring to: protection of consumers rights, defense of competitions, control of natural or legal monopolies and of public services quality and efficiency.[2]


  1. "Constitution" (PDF). Argentina Government.
  2. From the fuller article; see this article's talk page.
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