Edited by Jürgen Basedow, Giesela Rühl, Franco Ferrari and Pedro de Miguel Asensio
Appendix to the Civil Code1
Law No 10084 and Law No 16063
The status and capacity of persons are subject to the laws of their domicile.
The existence and capacity of legal entities are subject to the laws of the state in which they have been recognized as such. However, in order to enable such entities to undertake their regular activities pursuant to their specific purpose within the national territory, the laws of Uruguay will apply.
The capacity of persons to enter into marriage, and its form, existence and validity will be determined by the laws of the place where the marriage takes place.
Personal relations between spouses, separation and divorce, and relations between parents and children, are governed by the place of domicile of the married couple.
In matters pertaining to the matrimonial property regime, governing laws are those of the state of the first domicile of the married couple in every aspect not prohibited by the laws of the place where the assets are located, as regards issues of a strictly in rem nature.
Assets of any nature are exclusively governed by the laws of the place where such assets are located regarding their quality, possession, total or partial transferability, and all in rem legal relations they may be subject to.
Legal acts are governed, with respect to their existence, nature, validity and effects, by the laws of the place where they must be performed, in accordance with the rules of construction of articles 34 to 38 of Montevideo’s Treaty on Civil Rights of 1889.p. 3975
The laws of the place where the inherited assets are located at the time of the death of the person whose assets are inherited, govern all matters pertaining to legal or testamentary succession.
In disputes arising from international legal relationships, the courts of the state whose law governs such relationships have jurisdiction on the matter. In the case of personal economic actions, they may also be tried, at the request of the plaintiff, before the courts of Uruguay in which the defendant is domiciled.
Procedural requirements are governed by the laws of the place where the proceedings take place.
The rules on jurisdiction and applicable laws laid down under this Title may not be modified by the intention of the parties. It will only act within the scope permitted by the applicable law.
In no case will foreign laws which manifestly contravene the essential principles of international public order on which Uruguay bases its legal identity be enforced in Uruguay.
Code of Civil Procedure2
Law No 15982
Title X – International Procedural Regulations
Applicable provisions.- In the absence of a treaty or convention, the courts of Uruguay will follow the provisions of this Title.
Article 525 Procedural rules
Proceedings and their related matters, whatever their nature, are subject to the procedural laws of Uruguay.
Evidence will be admitted and assessed in accordance with the laws applicable to the legal relation which is the object of the proceedings. Evidence prohibited by national laws is excluded.
p. 3976Courts will apply and construe ex officio foreign law in the same way as the courts of the state whose law pertains to the matter would do. Notwithstanding its application ex officio, the parties may prove the existence, validity and content of foreign law.
All actions and remedies foreseen by local laws will be admitted in those cases in which foreign law is applied.
Courts may only declare inapplicable the provisions of foreign law which manifestly contravene the essential principles of international public order on which Uruguay bases its legal identity.
Chapter II International Judicial Cooperation
Article 526 Rules of performance
For the performance of procedural acts of a merely formal nature abroad, such as service of process or summonses, and the reception and obtaining of evidence and reports, courts will issue letters rogatory. The same will apply regarding letters rogatory issued by foreign courts.
Consular officers or diplomatic agents may be empowered by treaty or convention to perform the proceedings referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Article 527 Letters rogatory
Letters rogatory may be transmitted by the interested parties themselves, through diplomatic or consular agents, or through the competent administrative authority in the matter or, failing this, through judicial channels.
Whenever letters rogatory are transmitted through consular or diplomatic channels or through the administrative authority, legalization will not be required
Letters rogatory will be executed in accordance with the procedural rules of the state of destination.
At the request of the judicial authority issuing the letter rogatory, courts may execute the letter through a special procedure, or accept the observance of special formalities in performing the act requested, provided this procedure or the observance of those formalities is not contrary to local laws.
The letter rogatory and the appended documentation will be duly translated.
Article 528 Effects of execution
Execution of letters rogatory in Uruguay does not imply ultimate recognition of the jurisdiction of the judicial authority issuing the letter rogatory or a commitment to recognize the validity of the judgment it may render. Such judgment is subject to the provisions of Chapter IV of this Title.
Article 529 Jurisdiction
The courts of Uruguay have jurisdiction to determine any issue arising as a result of the execution of the measure requested in the letter rogatory. Should a court find that it lacks jurisdiction to execute the letter rogatory under local laws, it will ex officio and immediately forward the case to the competent court.p. 3977
Chapter III International Judicial Cooperation in the Matter of Preventive Measures
Article 530 Preventive measures
Local courts will comply with preventive measures ordered by competent international foreign courts and will render the necessary orders to those effects, provided that the measures are not prohibited by local laws or contravene the international public order (Article 525.5).
The grounds for a preventive measure will be decided in accordance with the laws and by the courts of the place of the proceedings. However, its execution and the counter-preventive measure or guaranty will be determined by the courts of the place where execution is sought, in accordance with its law.
Article 531 Intervention of third parties and objections
When an attachment or any other preventive measure involving property has been executed, the person affected by this measure may plead his third-party claim or pertinent objections before the local courts, for the sole purpose of having that claim communicated to the court of origin when the letter rogatory is returned.
The objection or third party intervention will be heard by the court of the principal proceedings, in conformity with his law. Any objector or intervener who appears before the court after the letter rogatory has been returned must accept the existing status of the case.
If the third-party claim excludes ownership or rights in rem over the property attached, or the objection is based on possession of the property attached, it will be decided by the courts of Uruguay in accordance with its laws.
Article 532 Effects of execution
The execution of preventive measures does not entail any commitment to recognize and execute the foreign judgment that may have been rendered in the proceeding concerned.
Article 533 Measures prior to enforcement
The court to which the request for execution of a foreign judgment is addressed may, without additional proceedings and upon petition of one of the parties, order the necessary preventive measures, in accordance with the laws of Uruguay.
Article 534 Preventive measures in relation to minors or persons lacking legal capacity.
When the preventive measure relates to the custody of minors or persons lacking legal capacity, the local courts may limit, in their territory, the scope of the effects of the measure pending the final judgment of the court of the principal proceedings.
Article 535 Authority to order preventive measures
The courts of Uruguay, upon a well-founded request by one of the parties, will order and execute all preventive or urgent measures of a territorial nature whose purpose is to p. 3978guarantee the result of a pending or potential suit, provided that the object that the measure will affect is located in the territory of Uruguay. This will apply regardless of which is the competent court in the international sphere.
If the case is pending, the court that ordered the measure will immediately inform the foreign court of the principal proceedings.
If proceedings have not been instituted, the court that ordered the measure will set a date, in accordance with its local laws, by which the petitioner must appear in court to assert his rights, subject to the expiration of the measure (Article 311.2).
If the complaint is filed within the term set, the parties will abide by the final judgment on them rendered by the competent judge in the international sphere.
The courts of Uruguay will order, when appropriate, preventive measures to be enforced abroad.
Article 536 Processing
Processing of preventive measures will be addressed by the interested parties themselves, through consular or diplomatic agents, or through the administrative competent authority in the matter, or failing this, by judicial channels.
Chapter IV Recognition And Enforcement Of Foreign Judgments
Article 537 General rules
This chapter applies to judgments issued in a foreign country in matters of civil, commercial, family, labour and public administrative law; it also applies to judgments rendered in such areas by international courts, when such judgments refer to persons or private interests.
Similarly, this Chapter applies to judgments rendered in criminal matters with regard to their civil effects.
The nature of the court that rendered the foreign judgment and its subject matter will be qualified by the courts of the state where such judgment was rendered and is subject to its laws.
Article 538 Effects of foreign judgments
Foreign judgments are endowed in Uruguay with imperative, evidentiary and final effect, subject to the provisions of this Chapter.
Foreign judgments will be recognized and enforced in Uruguay, as appropriate, without the need for reviewing the merits of the cases in which such judgments were rendered.
Recognition is the act or sequence of procedural acts that seek to determine whether a foreign judgment meets the essential requirements laid down in this chapter.
Enforcement is the act or sequence of procedural acts that seek the execution of foreign judgments subject to execution.
Article 539 Validity of foreign judgments
Foreign judgments will be valid in Uruguay, provided they comply with the following conditions:
Foreign judgments must comply with the external formalities required to be considered valid in the state where they were issued;
p. 3979The judgment and the accompanying necessary documentation must be duly legalized in accordance with the laws of Uruguay, unless the judgment has been remitted through diplomatic or consular channels, or through the proper administrative authorities;
The judgment must be duly translated, as appropriate;
The Court issuing the judgment must be competent in the international sphere entitling it to rule in the matter, in accordance with its laws, unless the matter is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the local courts;
The defendant must have been duly notified or summoned, in accordance with the laws of the state where the judgment was rendered;
The rights of defence of the parties must have been respected:;
The judgments must have the status of res judicata in the state in which they were rendered; and
The judgments may not manifestly contravene the principles of international public order of Uruguay.
In order to request the execution of the foreign judgment the following documentation will be required:
Authenticated copy of the judgment;
Authenticated copy of the necessary exhibits providing evidence that the requirements laid down in items 5° and 6° above have been complied with.
Authenticated certification of evidence that the judgment has the status of res judicata.
Article 540 Imperative and evidentiary effects
In order to uphold the imperative and evidentiary effects of a foreign judgment, such judgment must be submitted to the corresponding court and include all the documentation referred to in Article 539.2.
In this case, the court will render its opinion on the merits of the foreign judgment, as regards the intended effect, after verifying compliance with the terms and conditions referred to in Article 539.1 above, in consultation with the Public Prosecutor.
Article 541 Enforcement
Enforcement of a foreign judgment will be limited to judgments which are subject to enforcement.
Requests for enforcement will be submitted to the Supreme Court of Justice.
Once the petition has been submitted, summons will be served on the opposing party in accordance with Section II, Chapter II, Title VI of Book I, within a twenty-day period.
The Court Prosecutor will be heard and a resolution will be issued. Such resolution will not be subject to appeal.
If enforcement is confirmed, the judgment will be remitted to the competent court, for it to follow the proceedings that correspond to the nature of the judgment. (Title V of Book II).
Article 542 Non-contentious proceedings
Foreign non-contentious proceedings have effect in Uruguay provided that they comply with the requirements laid down in Article 539, as appropriate.
Article 543 Foreign arbitral awards
This Chapter applies to arbitral awards rendered by foreign Arbitral Tribunals, as appropriate.
Unofficial translation by Maria Federica Brugnini, Certified Public Translator, Universidad de Montevideo (Uruguay).
Unofficial translation by Maria Federica Brugnini, Certified Public Translator, Universidad de Montevideo (Uruguay).