“Despite the new constitutions and codes that followed independence, general attitudes towards law continue to be conditioned by the colonial heritage … bureaucratic confusion, administrative delay, mistrust of government officials, and disrespect for law.” Keith S. Rosenn (Univ of Miami)
Recopilacion (1567, 1680, 1805) Council of the Indies (1614) Viceroys Captains general Audiencias (judges) “The Church” Corregidor Cabildos (?) Minister of the Indies (1714) Peru New Spain Nueva Granada Rio de la Plata
The Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1569-1581) Why does LatAm call for strong leaders?
Real y Supremo Consejo de las Indias “I obey but do not execute” The modern administrative state?
Siete partidas New Recompilation (1567) Sources of private law “hodge-podge” Recompilation (1680) (9 books / recompiles 400,000 cedulas) Newest Recompilation (1805) Fuero Juzgo Fueros reales Ord. De Alcala Leyes de Toro Sources of public law “royal authority” Book I Religious affairs Book II Consejo o Junta de Guerra de Indias, Indies Council, Audiencias, Cancillerias, Juzgados, Orden de prelacion de la legislacion. Book III Virreyes, Capitanes Generales Book IV Discoveries, Mines, Cabildos Book V Corregidores, Alcaldes, Pleitos Book VI Indios, encomiendas Book VII Delitos y Penas, “Felonies and punishment” Book VIII Taxes and contributions Book IX Casa de Contratacion How did Spain claim indigenous lands?
Ordenamiento de Alcala 1.Accursius glosses 2.Bortolus commentaries 3.Canon law 4.Custom 5.Opinion of doctors 6.Reason (natural law) 7.Roman law 8.Royal fuero 9.Siete partidas Siete partidas Roman lawCanon law Opinions Accursius Bortolus if sinif reason Custom Royal fuero Alcalá de Henares
Corpus Juris Civilis Siete partidas Derecho patrio What did lawyers study? (what language?) Imperialium institutionum Commentarius (Vinnius) Corpus Juris Civilis
Why no self-government? (peninsulares vs. creoles)
Law's failure in Latin America is the standard background for projects of law reform over the past half century. They measure shortcomings based on legal constructs often incommensurate with local arrangements. As a result, no amount of simple law reform can undo such a constant and irrepressible image of failure. Viewed this way, Latin America's failed law … denies much of any value to existing law anywhere in the region. Consequently, this failed law formula for reform is a harmful device. Prof. Jorge Esquirol Florida Int’l – College of Law Taryn Kadar
… the colonies in general owe little or nothing to any care of ours, and that they are not squeezed into this happy form by the constraints of watchful and suspicious government, but that, through a wise and salutary neglect, a generous nature has been suffered to take her own way to perfection … Edmund Burke House of Commons (1775) Sam Wellborn
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? … History will answer the question." Thomas Jefferson 1st Inaugural, 1801
The Iberian conquest fostered a common legal experience in Latin America. This heritage, however, was tainted by an ineffective and self-serving administration characterized by over-regulation and under- compliance, which left a legacy of administrative stagnation, bureaucratic confusion, institutional mistrust, and disrespect for the law that continues to condition general responses and attitudes towards the law throughout Latin America.