Tim Dockery


This Note argues that Argentina's acceptance of de facto laws, regardless of their nature, hinders the transition to democracy, a factor that outweighs considerations for the public's expectations of rights vested by de facto laws. Part I analyzes Argentina's political history, particularly the nation's experiences with constitutional and de facto governments. Part I also offers a synopsis on how the Argentine Supreme Court has treated de facto laws throughout the Republic's history. Part II presents arguments supporting the legitimacy of de facto laws and the need to protect expectations based upon them. Part II also examines arguments positing that de facto laws are illegitimate because of their source and that acceptance of them would create a dangerous precedent. Part III argues that the legitimization of de facto laws by express or tacit congressional ratification as set forth in Aramayo offers the best solution as it both protects the rule of law and legitimate expectations based upon de facto laws while helping to create foundations for democratic institutions in Argentina. This Note concludes that Argentina's existing treatment of de facto laws as legitimate endangers Argentina's transition to democracy, especially, the creation of strong democratic institutions.