Amparo Constitucional

Discussion in 'Legal Terminology' started by denicles, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. denicles New Member

    Hi everyone, this is my first question, but I have been a follower of for a long time. Thanks for the great service.
    So I'm translating an Attorney's CV from Spanish to English and I have two doubts. It is stated that this attorney taught:

    "Garantias Constitucionales: El recurso de revision extraordinaria"


    "Seminario: Amparo Constitucional"

    I am having trouble translating these two into US equivalents. Any ideas?
  2. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    Garantías Constitucionales: Fundamental Rights. (The term is used here in the sense of constitutional protections, equivalent to the Bill of Rights which comprises the summary of rights and liberties of the people, or the principles of constitutional law deemed essential and which guarantee the rights and privileges to the individual, such as the first Ten Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America.) (Campbell Black, Henry, Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed., St. Paul, Minnesota, Abridged, West Publishing Co., 1991, P. 113 and 115).

    Acerca del recurso de revisión extraordinaria, tendríamos que saber en qué materia y que combate, dado que a veces la terminología, especialmente de los recursos, varía de entidad a entidad.

    Tengo duda en cuanto a “Amparo Constitucional”, dado que por definición el juicio de Amparo se intenta en contra de violaciones a la Constitución, por lo que en ese orden de ideas no tendría sentido.

    Además, desconozco si existe una traducción para “juicio de Amparo”, dado que es una figura sui generis. En el foro se han dicho varias cosas al respecto.

    Por ejemplo: “There is no English term to apply to these many types of writs, which may be appeals of decisions in courts of first instance or they may be actions brought for injunctive relief in a court of first instance.” (

    Podría abundar más:

    “Amparo Suit: called Juicio de Amparo or Juicio de Garantías is a native Mexican legal institution. It is a constitutional remedy to obtain relief against violation of constitutional civil rights committed by the government or by a court of law. It has no equivalent in US or in English proceedings. Its purposes are: to preserve the rights and freedoms granted by the Federal Constitution to private persons against executive, legislative and court acts and to preserve Federal, State and local sovereignty in interstate or Federal-State disputes. Relief applies only to the petitioner and the decision serves only as a reference for subsequent cases (and does not have the same force and effect as precedent does under US or British law). (Becerra, Javier F., Dictionary of Mexican Legal Terminology, México, Escuela Libre de Derecho, 1999,Note 3, P. 488)”
  3. denicles New Member

    Thank you so so soooo much for your extensive response. I think I'll go with :

    "Garantias Constitucionales: El recurso de revision extraordinaria"
    Constitutional Protections: Motion for extraordinary review


    "Seminario: Amparo Constitucional"

    Seminar: Writ for Injunctive Relief

    I hope that works!
  4. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    Quizá “motion” sea lo menos indicado para referirse a un recurso. En varios hilos, por ejemplo este,, se ha intentado dejar claro que debe entenderse por un “motion”.

    Independientemente de lo que ahí se haya dicho, “motion” se aparta del sentido de recurso. Un recurso no es una petición: en la manera como se busca nulificar, modificar o confirmar una decisión, habitualmente de un órgano inferior.

    Se dice en ingles a menudo que “remedy” puede emplearse para “recurso”, aunque “appeal” es también usado no solo para referirse al recurso de apelación sino en general, para referirse a los recursos.

    Por ello, no creo prudente emplear “Motion for extraordinary review” como una buena opción para “recurso de revisión extraordinaria”. En primer término, no conozco el alcance del recurso, ni contra que se interpone, por lo que puede denominarse de varias maneras.

    Por otra parte, yo dejaría “amparo” tal cual, y adicionaría una explicación de lo que es. Como mencioné, no hay un equivalente preciso para ello en inglés.
  5. denicles New Member

    So would you say Brief instead of motion? Would you say Writ? I'm confused :(
  6. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    No entiendo eso de “brief”. Quizá si pudieras precisar qué es exactamente un recurso de revisión extraordinaria podríamos ayudarte mejor.

    En general, los recursos se interponen “en contra de una sentencia o una acuerdo (auto)”. Ese es el término: interponer, no otro diverso. "To File " en inglés

    Quizá writ of amparo sería correcto.

    Argentina's writ of amparo was modeled on the Mexican writ, which has 5 separate functions: libertad (like a habeas corpus), contra leyes (challenge to unconstitutional laws and regulations), casación (appeals of decisions on constitutional grounds), (administrativo) where no administrative route of appeal exists, and social agrario, particular to the Mexican system of communal land ownership. There is no English term to apply to these many types of writs, which may be appeals of decisions in courts of first instance or they may be actions brought for injunctive relief in a court of first instance. Generally speaking, I translate an amparo filed to appeal a lower-court decision an appeal, and when it is brought as a new action to challenge a law or regulation or administrative acton on constitutional grounds, I call it an application for an injunction or a suit for injunctive relief. If it is the appeal of a criminal sentence of a challenge to incarceration, it can be called a writ of habeas corpus. Long answer to short question, but you have to figure out what kind of amparo it is before you can come up with an equivalent term.
  7. denicles New Member

    Hi Iuris, sorry for not being more precise, but the issue is that this is a Curriculum Vitae so I basically only have a list of things this person has taught or seminars he's attended, so I also have no context for it. From his resume I can extract that he is a specialist in Administrative Law in Venezuela. I am Bolivian but we have similar codes. In Bolivia, a "Recurso de Amparo" is a petition before the Supreme Court (never a lower court) requesting relief when you believe a law has been wrongfully applied and/or your constitutional rights have been violated. It is heard before the Supreme Court (like a mini trial). The Supreme Court may declare this petition or Recurso de Amparo "Procedente" or "Improcedente" (Granted or Denied). If it's granted, the case is sent back to the lower courts and the judgment is invalidated. Then, the lower courts regain jurisdiction to retry the case.
    I know that in the US procedure is different but thought perhaps that filing a Writ for Injunctive Relief could be similar? I am not sure that I want to leave a term in Spanish and then explain it in this particular case.
    Thanks for your time Iuris.
  8. Iuris Tantum

    Iuris Tantum Banned

    Mexican Spanish
    Constitutional Protection: Extraordinary Appeal for Review

    Seminar Writ of Amparo

    Como te he mencionado, no existe un término preciso para traducir “amparo”, dada la amplitud que tiene éste.

    En los países que detallas, el amparo es un recurso, mientras que en sus orígenes (y al fecha en México) es un juicio, aun y cuando sus efectos pudieren equipararse a los de un medio de impugnación por si mismo.

    Viene la problemática de determinar su equivalencia en otro idioma. Creo que tratar de poner una palabra no sería tan preciso como dejarlo en español y adicionar la nota correspondiente.

    Entiendo que quizá no sea “bien visto”, pero no se me ocurre qué hacer ante la inexistencia de un término equivalente.

    Mil perdones por no ser de mayor utilidad.

  9. denicles New Member

    Thanks Iuris, you've been amazingly helpful. I followed your advice and just left it in Spanish with a footnote. :) This forum is the best! Cheers.
  10. robjh22 Senior Member

    U.S.A. & English
    Occasionally you hear people say "file a writ," but it's really "file a petition for a writ."

    One cannot "file" a "writ." The writ is the end result of that which the litigant or filer is seeking. Think of it as a court order.

    Explaining the difference between writ and order is probably beyond the scope of your query, but writs usually are orders directed at officials, like a lower court, a jail, or a court clerk. Orders are directed at lay people, for example the husband gets a child custody order enforceable against his wife.
  11. denicles New Member

    Hi Rob, thanks for the clarification. I actually did not know this. I appreciate the valuable contribution! :)
    Now I'm off to look for types of court filings in the US.
  12. CoonAndFriends Member

    Edinburgh, Scotland.
    Spanish - Bolivia
    I've seen it translated as "writ of protection" in Richard B. Cappali's paper "Comparative South American Civil Procedure: A Chilean Perspective." I hope this helps.

    Just to clarify, the "Amparo Constitucional" in Bolivia is a petition before a Court of Appeals, not the Supreme Court, regarding a violation of a person's constitutional rights and freedoms. It doesn't necessarily have to be filed against a judicial authority, it can also be against an administrative authority or layperson. In Bolivia, Courts of Appeals have a double-function, one is ordinary (in which they decide on whether to confirm or revoke a lower court's decision) and another is constitutional (in which they resolve an "amparo constitucional"). It is perfectly possible for an Appeals Court to overturn a ruling issued by the Supreme Court (despite of its inferior position in the judicial hierarchy) when it is acting as a "Tribunal de Amparo," though this rarely happens.

    I've known other Latin American countries to have the "Amparo Constitucional" serving the same function, but the procedure is usually slightly different.

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