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Sat Aug 1, 2015, 01:41 PM

Civil Code that modernizes rules for everyday life comes into effect in Argentina

Same-sex marriage, assisted fertilization, the right to choose the order of the surnames that a child will have, and the protection of the environment are some of the rights consecrated in the new Civil and Commercial Code that will come into effect today and change several key laws and rules on everyday life.

“This is the Code of democracy,” said Justice Secretary Julián Álvarez, one of several government officials who celebrated the enactment of the Code that was drafted by a commission that was led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti over one year. “There are no longer differences between men and women. The new Code has an updated language,” Álvarez said. “If someone wants to get divorced, he or she will be able to do it without needing to feel ashamed.”

Álvarez also said that the Code expands the rights of children and youth in line with international conventions. “You can’t start to have rights only when you turn 18,” he explained.

The Code — which unified the Civil and Commercial Code — was welcomed by several sectors as it brings order to a reality that did not exist when Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield wrote the original version in 1869. It did, however, come under fire from conservative sectors — such as the Catholic Church — and also criticized by progressive groups for having left behind several issues.

Family
The new Code incorporates the right of same-sex couples to get married in tune with a law passed in 2010 by the ruling Victory Front (FpV) and its progressive allies. “The Code not only respects the idea of equality and non-discrimination for sex or gender orientation but also incorporates regulations to assisted fertilization techniques,” expert Marisa Herrera explained to the Herald last year.

The Code also simplifies divorce, which was one of the issues that angered Catholic leaders.

Adopting a child has been an onerous process for people over the past few years. Reformers sought to simplify the paperwork and grants unmarried couples the right to adopt a child. The new Code highlights that the child’s right to identity has to be preserved as is his or her right to have a voice in the adoption process.

Life
A heated controversy emerged when the Senate decided to modify Article 19 of the bill, which makes reference to the origin of life. In order to gain conservative votes, an essential part of it was removed, leaving only the idea that life starts since conception and removing the previous idea that life also starts when the embryo is implanted in a womb.

The changes are a result of a request from the Catholic Church. That was something that really annoyed many as it is necessary to divide the state from Catholic authorities and was seen as contradictory with the ongoing human rights policy,” Herrera said.

Lawmakers also decided to remove the idea of surrogacy amid criticism from conservative groups, though it was ultimately included in the bill submitted by the drafting commission in March 2012.

Compromises
In conversation with the Herald last year, former Mendoza justice Aída Kemelmajer conceded that the Code was conservative in some aspects. “This is the Code that was possible,” the well-know jurist said.

Last year, the Centre for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) called the Code a “classist bill,” as it did not include the idea of the social purpose of private property. “Housing deficit is a worrying problem and incorporating this to the Code was a way to make it visible,” CELS Executive Director Gastón Chillier told the Herald last year.

The human rights organization also complained due to the idea that the state civil liability was going to be discussed in a separate law. “That law did not include the idea that the state is liable for human rights violations and has to pay compensations,” Chillier also explained. The government decided to remove that chapter from the bill and to discuss it as a separate law, which was passed by the Senate in 2013.

At: http://buenosairesherald.com/article/195373/civil-code-that-modernizes-rules-for-everyday-life-comes-into-effect

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Reply Civil Code that modernizes rules for everyday life comes into effect in Argentina (Original post)
forest444 Aug 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Aug 2015 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2015, 04:54 PM

1. Huge step forward, isn't it? Great thought, too, that a person's rights don't start simply at 18.

The spectrum of points addressed is admirable. A lot of thought and work went into this massive effort.

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