Argentina 1853 Constitution (reinstated 1983, reviewed 1994)

Table of Contents


Article 75

The Congress shall have power:

  1. To legislate in customs matters. To establish import and export duties, which, like the appraisals of goods on which duties are imposed, shall be uniform throughout the Nation.
  2. To impose indirect taxes, as a power concurrent with the Provinces. To impose direct taxes proportionately equal throughout the territory of the Nation, for a specified period of time, provided that the defense, common security and general welfare of the State require them. The taxes foreseen by this clause, with the exception of the part or whole of those that are predestined for specific purposes, are subject to co-participation [with the Provinces].A legal covenant, based on agreements between the Nation and the Provinces, shall institute regulations for co-participation in these taxes, guaranteeing the automatic remittal of the funds.

    The distribution between and among the Nation, the Provinces and the City of Buenos Aires, shall be effectuated in direct relation to the competencies, services and functions of each one of them, observing objective criteria for distribution; said distribution shall be equitable, show solidarity, and shall give priority to achieving an equivalent level of development, quality of life and equality of opportunity throughout the entire National territory.

    The legal covenant shall have the Senate as its Chamber of origin and must be passed by an absolute majority of the totality of the members of each Chamber; it may not be modified unilaterally or subjected to regulations, and it shall be approved by the Provinces.

    There shall not be a transfer of competency, services, or functions without the respective reallocation of revenues, as approved by a law of the Congress, if applicable, and by the interested Province or the City of Buenos Aires, as the case may be.

    A Federal fiscal body shall be in charge of controlling and administering the execution of what is established by this clause, as determined by law, which law shall ensure the representation of all the Provinces and the City of Buenos Aires in the body’s composition.

  3. To establish and to modify specific reallocations of revenue [otherwise] subject to co-participation, for a specified period of time, through a special law approved by an absolute majority of the totality of the members of each Chamber.
  4. To borrow money on the credit of the Nation.
  5. To provide for the use and transfer of National lands.
  6. To establish and regulate a Federal bank with the power to issue money, as well as other National banks.
  7. To arrange payment of the domestic and foreign debt of the Nation.
  8. To fix annually, in conformity with the guidelines established in the third paragraph of clause 2 of this article, the general budget of expenditures and the calculation of resources of the National administration, based on the general program of government and on the public spending plan, and to approve or reject the spending account.
  9. To grant subsidies from the National Treasury to those Provinces whose revenues, according to their budgets, are insufficient to meet their ordinary expenses.
  10. To regulate the free navigation of internal rivers, to open the ports it shall consider necessary, and to create or close customhouses.
  11. To coin money, to regulate its value and that of foreign currency, and to adopt a uniform system of weights and measures for the whole Nation.
  12. To enact the Civil, Commercial, Penal, Mining, and Labor and Social Security Codes, in a unified body or separately, without such codes altering local jurisdictions; their application belonging to the federal or provincial courts, depending on which jurisdiction the things or persons [in litigation] come under; and, especially, [to enact] general laws for the whole Nation on naturalization and nationality, in accordance with the principle of nationality by birth and by choice for Argentine citizenship; as well as on bankruptcy, on counterfeiting of currency and public documents of the State; and those general laws that may require the establishment of trial by juries.
  13. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and of the Provinces among themselves.
  14. To regulate and establish the general post offices of the Nation.
  15. To settle permanently the boundaries of the National territory, to fix those of the Provinces, to create new Provinces, and to determine, by special legislation, the organization, administration and government that National territories remaining outside the boundaries assigned to the Provinces must have.
  16. To provide for the security of the frontiers.
  17. To recognize the ethnic and cultural pre-existence of indigenous Argentine peoples.To guarantee respect for their identity and their right to bilingual and intercultural education; to recognize the legal standing of their communities, and the possession and community property over lands they have traditionally occupied, and to regulate the transfer of other lands fit and sufficient for human development – none of which may be alienable, conveyable or susceptible to encumbrances or attachments. To assure their participation in the related administration of their natural resources and of other interests affecting them. The Provinces may exercise these powers concurrently.
  18. To provide whatever is conducive to the prosperity of the country, to the improvement and welfare of all the Provinces, and to the advancement of learning, establishing general and university curricula, and promoting industry, immigration, the construction of railways and navigable canals, the settlement of government-owned lands, the introduction and establishment of new industries, the importation of foreign capital and the exploration of the interior rivers, through laws protective of these goals and by temporary concessions of privileges and incentive awards.
  19. To provide whatever is conducive to human development, to economic progress with social justice, to the productivity of the National economy, to the generation of employment, to the professional development of workers, to the protection of the value of money, to research and scientific and technological development, including its dissemination and utilization.To provide for the harmonious growth of the Nation and for populating its territory; to promote differentiated policies that lead to balancing the irregular development of Provinces and regions. For these initiatives, the Senate shall be the initiating Chamber.

    To pass laws on the organization of and basis for education which consolidate National unity, paying respect to Provincial and local particularities; which assure the undelegable responsibility of the State, the participation of the family and society, the promotion of democratic values and the equality of opportunities and means without any discrimination whatsoever, and which guarantee the principles of free and equitable public education by the State and the autonomy and self-sufficiency of the National universities.

    To enact laws which protect cultural identity and pluralism, the unrestrained creation and circulation of the works of authors, the artistic heritage, and cultural and audiovisual spaces.

  20. To establish tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court of Justice, to create and eliminate offices, to fix the duties thereof, to grant pensions, to decree honors, and to grant general amnesties.
  21. To accept or reject the reasons for the resignation of the President or Vice President of the Republic; and to declare the need to proceed to a new election.
  22. To approve or reject treaties entered with other nations and with international organizations, and concordats with the Holy See. Treaties and concordats have higher standing than laws.The following [international instruments], under the conditions under which they are in force, stand on the same level as the Constitution, [but] do not repeal any article in the First Part of this Constitution, and must be understood as complementary of the rights and guarantees recognized therein: The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the American Convention on Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol; the [International] Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide; the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They may only be denounced, if such is to be the case, by the National Executive Power, after prior approval by two thirds of the totality of the members of each Chamber.

    Other treaties and conventions on human rights, after being approved by Congress, shall require the vote of two-thirds of the totality of the members of each Chamber in order to enjoy standing on the same level as the Constitution.

  23. To legislate and promote proactive measures that guarantee true equality of opportunity and treatment, and the full enjoyment and exercise of the rights recognized by this Constitution and by current international treaties on human rights, in particular with respect to children, women, the elderly and people with disabilities.To enact a special and integral social security system that protects needy children, from gestation through the end of elementary schooling, and that protects the mother during pregnancy and nursing.
  24. To approve treaties of integration which delegate competence and jurisdiction to international organizations under conditions of reciprocity and equality, and which respect the democratic order and human rights. Any rules enacted pursuant thereto have higher standing than laws.The approval of these treaties with Latin American States shall require the absolute majority of the totality of the members of each Chamber. In the case of treaties with other States, the National Congress, by an absolute majority of the members present in each Chamber, shall declare the desirability of approving the treaty, and it shall only be approved by an absolute majority vote of the totality of the members of each Chamber, one hundred and twenty days after the declaratory act.

    Denunciation of any of the treaties mentioned in this clause shall require the prior approval of an absolute majority of the totality of the members of each Chamber.

  25. To authorize the Executive Power to declare war or make peace.
  26. To empower the Executive Power to order reprisals, and to establish regulations for prizes of war.
  27. To fix the size of the Armed Forces in time of peace and war, and to establish the regulations for their organization and administration.
  28. To permit the entry of foreign troops into the territory of the Nation, and the departure of national forces from it.
  29. To declare a state of siege in one or several parts of the Nation in case of internal disturbance, and to approve or suspend a state of siege declared by the Executive during its recess.
  30. To exercise exclusive legislation in the territory of the Nation’s Capital and to establish legislation necessary to achieve the specific goals of the establishments of National utility throughout the territory of the Republic. Provincial and Municipal authorities shall retain police and taxation powers over these establishments, as long as those powers do not interfere with the achievement of the establishments’ goals.
  31. To order the Federal intervention of a Province or of the City of Buenos Aires.To approve or to revoke an intervention decreed by the Executive Power during [a congressional] recess.
  32. To enact all laws and regulations that may be necessary to carry out the foregoing powers, and all others granted by the present Constitution to the Government of the Argentine Nation.

Article 76

Any delegation of legislative power to the Executive Power is prohibited, except in specified matters concerning administration or public emergency, with a fixed period of time for exercise of the delegated authority, which may only be exercised within the terms established by Congress.

The termination [of a legislative delegation] as a result of the passing of the time period provided in the preceding paragraph shall not entail the review of the legal relationships that arose under the rules dictated pursuant to legislative delegation.