Covid-19: Latin America Overview | Litigation

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentine Nation and the superior courts of the provinces ordered an extraordinary judicial recess.

The extent and duration of the said provision has varied for each jurisdiction, depending on the degree of advance of the pandemic in each region. The jurisdictions that registered a low rate of infection have normalized the judicial activity. Other jurisdictions that still have a considerable rate of infection, have prolonged the recesses and continue with a regime of limited judicial activity (for example, the National Judicial District).

In addition, measures have been taken in order to implement the digital file and the continuation of some processes by electronic media. Notwithstanding the foregoing, those measures are not yet operative in an adequate and sufficient way.

Among these measures, it is necessary to highlight the following ones:

The Supreme Court, by Resolution 6/2020, ordered the extraordinary recess for all federal and national courts and other agencies that constitute the National Judice, from March 20 to 31. This recess is currently in force, as it has been extended by successive resolutions.

Likewise, by Resolution 12/20 dated April 13, provided the possibility of entering into agreements by virtual means and enabled the filing of lawsuits and direct appeals and complaints to courts, requesting the corresponding authorization to litigate during the recess.

Resolution 14/20 dated May 11, commissioned courts to i) organize to work during the recess, so that the service of justice can be guaranteed and to serve for dealing with urgent cases that cannot be delayed; ii) extend the matters to be considered during the extraordinary recess; iii) enable final judgments and interlocutors in those proceedings that are able to be resolved and are not involved in the above list; iv) give treatment and resolution of all the resources that are interposed or are in course.

Finally, Resolution 17/20 dated June 2, removed the extraordinary recess in the Federal Courts in the jurisdictions of Tucumán, Corrientes, Comodoro Rivadavia, Mendoza and Córdoba.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Justice of Buenos Aires Province, by Resolution 420/20, resumed as from April 29 the time limits for the dictation of all types of resolutions and sentences and their electronic notification. In addition, resumed as from May 6 the deadlines for electronic presentations and compatible procedural acts. Also, it established the suspension of hearings in person and the replacement of the oral procedural act by a written procedure and/or video conference, and the possibility of initiating lawsuits that require urgent treatment or in which the prescription of the action is imminent. All submissions must be made in digital format and original documentation is not required.

By last, the Council of the Magistracy of the City of Buenos Aires, by Resolution 58/2020 dated March 16, ordered the suspension of all procedural deadlines except for those referring to ordinary causes, amparos, precautionary measures and fiscal executions of the Contentious Administrative and Tax Court of the city if they are completely digitized, and have an electronic address constituted by the parties, or those ordinary causes of action and amparos that have been ordered and consented to. Likewise, the Council ordered to maintain the processing of urgent matters of the Contentious Administrative and Tax Jurisdiction, Criminal Jurisdiction, Contravention and Misdemeanor Jurisdiction, allowing the initiation of lawsuits only of urgent matters and in a digital way.