Encyclopedia of Private International Law
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Encyclopedia of Private International Law

Edited by Jürgen Basedow, Giesela Rühl, Franco Ferrari and Pedro de Miguel Asensio

The role and character of Private International Law has changed tremendously over the past decades. With the steady increase of global and regional inter-connectedness the practical significance of the discipline has grown. Equally, so has the number of legislative activities on the national, international and, most importantly, the European level. With a world-class editor team, 500 content items and authorship from almost 200 of the world’s foremost scholars, the Encyclopedia of Private International Law is the definitive reference work in the field. 57 different countries are represented by authors who shed light on the current state of Private International Law around the globe, providing unique insights into the discipline and how it is affected by globalization and increased regional integration. The Encyclopedia consists of three inter-linked pillars, enhanced by sophisticated search and cross-linking functionality. The first pillar consists of A-Z coverage of the scope and substance of Private International Law in the form of 247 entries. The second pillar comprises detailed overviews of the Private International Law regimes of 80 countries. The third pillar presents valuable, and often unique, English language translations of the national codifications and Private International Law provisions of those countries. This invaluable combination represents a powerful research tool and an indispensable reference resource.
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Civil Code of 14 December 18551

Consolidated version published in the Official Gazette of 16 May 2000, last amended on 22 October 2015


Article 14. The law is binding upon all inhabitants of the Republic, including foreigners.

Article 15. Chileans will remain subject to domestic legislation governing civil obligations and rights wherever they may reside or [if] abroad are domiciled,

  • with regard to the status of persons and their capacity to perform certain acts that will produce effect in Chile;

  • in the rights and obligations stemming from family relations; but solely those involving their spouse and Chilean relatives.

Article 16. Property located in Chile is subject to the laws of Chile, even when the owners are foreigners and do not reside in Chile.

This Article will be construed notwithstanding the provisions contained in contracts validly issued in a foreign country.

However, the effects of contracts granted in a foreign country are governed by Chilean laws.

Article 17. The form of public documents will be determined by the laws of the country in which they are granted. Their authenticity will be proven according to the rules set forth in the Code of Procedure. The form refers to external formalities, and authenticity to the fact that it was indeed granted and authorized by the persons and in the fashion expressed therein.

Article 18. In those cases in which Chilean law on evidence requires public documents to be introduced, private documents will not be deemed valid, independent of the authenticity granted to them in the country in which they were issued.


Article 57. The law recognizes no distinction between Chileans and foreigners with regard to the acquisition and enjoyment of the civil rights governed herein.


Article 135 subsection 2. Those persons married abroad are regarded in Chile as having complete separation of property, unless they register their marriage in the Registry of the First Section of the Township of Santiago and agree there to community property or shared marital property profits, making due note of [said choice] in the registration.


Article 955. Succession of a person’s estate will be initiated at the final domicile at the time of death; barring those cases expressly excepted.

Succession is governed by the laws of the domicile in which it initiates; barring legal exceptions.


p. 3066Article 997. Foreigners are called to intestate successions in the same fashion and in accordance with the same rules as Chileans.

Article 998. In the intestate succession of a foreigner who dies within or without the territory of the Republic, Chileans have the same right to inheritance or maintenance as they would in accordance with Chilean laws on the intestate succession of a Chilean.

Interested Chileans may request that they be assigned all effects due them from the property owned in Chile by the foreign decedent.

The same applies, if necessary, in the case of the succession of a Chilean who leaves property abroad.


Article 1027. Wills granted in writing abroad are valid in Chile when the formalities thereto are shown to have been effected in accordance with the laws of the land in which they were granted and, furthermore, once the authenticity of the corresponding document has been proven in the customary manner.

Article 1028. A will granted in a foreign country shall also be valid in Chile when the following requirements are met:

  • only a Chilean or a foreigner domiciled in Chile may bequeath in this fashion;

  • only an Ambassador, a Chargé d’Affairs, a Secretary of a diplomatic legion appointed as such by the President of the Republic, or a Consul holding appointment as such; but not a Vice Consul, may authorize such a will. Express note must be made of the aforementioned title and appointment;

  • witnesses are Chileans or foreigners domiciled in the city where the will is granted;

  • all other regulations on the granting of a solemn will in Chile are met; and

  • the document carries the seal of the Legation or Consulate.

Code of Civil Procedure of 28 August 19022

Law No 1552, Official Gazette of 30 August 1902, last amended on 21 April 2015


Article 76. When proceedings are required in a foreign country, the corresponding communication is to be directed to the appropriate civil servant by the Supreme Court which will send the same to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that the latter may process the request in the form set forth by current treaties or the general rules adopted by the Government.

The communication is to state the name of the person or persons to be empowered to perform the tasks requested, or will state that the same may be effected by the bearer or any other party.

By the same conduit and in the same form, communications requesting proceedings in Chile will be received from foreign courts.


Article 242. Judgments delivered in a foreign country enjoy in Chile the authority granted to them by the corresponding treaties; and for their enforcement will follow the procedures set forth by Chilean law to the extent not modified by such treaties.

Article 243. Should no treaties exist with the nation delivering the judgments with regard to the subject matter, they will be granted the same authority as those judgments handed down in Chile.

Article 244. If the judgment is delivered by a country that does not enforce judgments delivered by Chilean courts, it will not be enforceable in Chile.

p. 3067Article 245. If it proves impossible to apply any of the three preceding articles, judgments by foreign courts will have the same authority in Chile as if they had been issued by Chilean courts, when the following conditions are met:

  • that the ruling contains nothing in violation of the laws of the Republic. However, the laws of procedure that would have applied in Chile in the course of the proceedings will not be taken into consideration;

  • that such [judgments] do not violate national jurisdiction;

  • that the party against whom action was filed has been duly served. In any case, the parties may prove that, for other reasons, they were unable to exercise their right to defense; and

  • that the judgment is final and binding, in accordance with the laws of the country in which it was granted.


Law on Civil Matrimony of 7 May 20043

Law No 19.947, Official Gazette of 17 May 2004, last amended on 21 April 2015


Article 80. The requirements of form and substance of marriage will be those of the place where it is celebrated. Thus marriages performed in a foreign country in accordance with the laws of that country will produce in Chile the same effects as if they had been performed on Chilean territory, provided the people united are a man and a woman.

Notwithstanding the above, a marriage celebrated in a foreign country may be held null and void under Chilean law when it has been contracted in violation of Articles 5, 6 and 7 hereto.

Nor will a marriage contracted abroad be valid in Chile without the free and spontaneous consent of the intending spouses.

Article 81. The effects of marriages performed in Chile are governed by Chilean law, even if the intending spouses are foreigners and do not reside in Chile.

Article 82. A spouse domiciled in Chile may sue the other spouse for maintenance in Chilean courts and in accordance with Chilean law.

Equally, a spouse residing abroad may file for maintenance from the spouse domiciled in Chile.

Article 83. Divorce will be governed by the law applicable to the marital relationship at the time the action is filed.

Divorce decrees and marriage annulment rulings delivered by foreign courts will be recognized in Chile in accordance with the general rules established in the Code of Civil Procedure.

In no case will a divorce be enforceable in Chile unless delivered by a court or [if it] in any way contravenes Chilean ordre public.

Nor will judgments obtained by fraudulent use of law be recognized. Such fraud is deemed to have been committed when divorce is granted in a jurisdiction other than that of Chile even though the spouses resided in Chile at any time in the three years preceding the judgment whose enforcement is sought, if both spouses acknowledge that their cohabitation ceased three years prior or, if disagreement arises regarding the length of separation, in the five years preceding the ruling. The agreement or disagreement between the spouses regarding the period of separation may be reflected in the decision proper or argued during processing of the exequatur.

Article 84. The law governing divorce and annulment of marriage will also apply to its effects.

[…]p. 3068

Organic Court Code of 15 June 19434

Law No 7421, Official Gazette of 9 July 1943, last amended on 6 November 2015

Article 1. The power to hear criminal and civil cases, adjudicate them and enforce such decisions will reside exclusively with the courts established by law.


Article 6. The following crimes and misdemeanours perpetrated outside the territory of the Republic of Chile are subject to Chilean jurisdiction:

  • crimes or misdemeanours perpetrated by a Chilean diplomatic or consular officer in the performance of his official duties;

  • embezzlement of public monies, frauds and illegal exactions, breach of trust in the custody of documents, disclosure of confidential information, bribery by Chilean public officials or foreign public officials working for Chile;

  • crimes or misdemeanours against sovereignty or State security, perpetrated by Chileans, either born in Chile or naturalized as Chileans, and those in paragraph 14, Title VI, Book II, Criminal Code, where they pose a threat to the health of Chilean inhabitants;

  • crimes or offences perpetrated by Chileans or foreigners on board a Chilean vessel on the high seas, or on board a Chilean warship at anchor in the waters of a foreign country;

  • falsification of State seals, national currency, credit documents issued by the State, Municipalities or public agencies, perpetrated by Chileans or foreigners staying on Chilean territory;

  • crimes and misdemeanours perpetrated by Chileans against Chileans if perpetrators return to Chile without having been tried by the authorities of the country where the crime or offence was perpetrated;

  • piracy;

  • crimes or misdemeanours included in treaties concluded with other countries;

  • crimes or misdemeanours punished under Title I, Decree No 5,839, of September 30, 1948, which stated the final wording of the Law on Democracy Permanent Defense, perpetrated by Chileans or foreigners working for the Republic of Chile; and,

  • crimes included in Articles 366, Article 9 b and c quinquies, 367 and 367 bis(1) of the Criminal Code when the sexual indemnity or freedom of a Chilean is endangered or harmed or [if such crimes] were committed by a Chilean or a person habitually resident of Chile; and the crime contained in Article 374 bis, subparagraph 1 of the same Code when the pornographic material involved in the illegal conduct was produced using Chileans under the age of 18.


Article 148. The judge competent to hear petitions for inheritance, disinheritance, validity or lack thereof of provisions of wills will be the judge at the place where the succession proceedings on [the estate of] the deceased initiate, pursuant to Article 955 of the Civil Code.

The same judge will have jurisdiction to hear all judicial proceedings regarding the initiation of probate, inventory, valuation and division of the decedent’s assets.

Article 149. When succession proceedings are initiated abroad and involve assets located within the territory of Chile, effective possession of the inheritance is to be requested at the place of the last domicile in Chile of the decedent or at the domicile of the petitioner should the former have had no such domicile.

Unofficial Translation by Prof. Eduardo Picand Albónico, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile).

Unofficial Translation by Prof. Eduardo Picand Albónico, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile).

Unofficial Translation by Prof. Eduardo Picand Albónico, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile).

Unofficial Translation by Prof. Eduardo Picand Albónico, Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile (Chile).