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Section I: The Legislative Power

Chapter IV

The Powers of Congress

Article 75. The Congress shall have power:

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.

Chapter VII

Of The Defender of the People

Article 86. The Defender of the People is an independent body created within the ambit of the National Congress, which shall operate with full functional autonomy, without taking orders from any authority. Its mission is the defense and protection of human rights and other rights, guarantees and interests protected by this Constitution and by the law, against deeds, acts, and omissions of the Administration, and the review of the exercise of public administrative functions.

The Defender of the People has standing to litigate. He is appointed and removed by Congress by a vote of two-thirds of the members present in each one of the Chambers. He enjoys the immunities and privileges of legislators. He shall remain in office for five years, and may be reappointed only once.

The organization and operation of this institution shall be regulated by a special law.

Translation by Jonathan M. Miller & Fang-Lian Liao
©Jonathan M. Miller, reproduced with permission

Note:  Except where otherwise noted, this translation follows the text published in the Boletín Offical of August 23, 1994, including use of italics to indicate sections that were reformed by the Constitutional Convention of 1994 and the use of bold for emphasis.

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