The immunities of States and international organisations

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Database of the CAHDI "The immunities of States and international organisations" - contribution of Mexico - Law of 01/09/2013

Introduction to the Law



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As a preliminary note, it must be asserted that in accordance with articles 102(A), 107(XV) and 89(X) of the Mexican Constitution; article 28 of the Organic Law of the Mexican Public Administration, and articles 13(XXII) and 15(I)(II) of the Internal Rules of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the former has the right to intervene in any internal judicial case that concerns the foreign interests of the Mexican State. Furthermore, the Mexican OLA generally forwards its opinion to an internal court that is seized of a matter that concerns the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign State or international organization, with a view to respect the Mexican state international obligations.

Furthermore, Mexican practice regarding foreign State’s jurisdictional immunities has been generally based in the prerogatives conferred in this respect to foreign embassies by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations of 1961 and 1963, respectively. As a matter of fact, every legal suit filed on a Mexican local court against a foreign State is then notified to the legal representation of that State within Mexican territory (i.e. its Embassy in Mexico.) By notifying that legal suit to such offices, it is frequent for a Mexican local court to ipso jure recognize the jurisdictional immunities owed by Mexico to the Embassy, but not to the State as such, and thus abstain itself from resolving the merits of the case. It must be noted that this kind of procedure is not an application of the customary rules of international law regarding foreign State’s immunities estrictu sensu, but rather of a treaty based international rule regarding foreign embassies immunities. Hence, currently, OLA is taking active steps to facilitate the implementation of the applicable rules by drafting an act to be presented for discussion and vote to the Mexican legislative branch regarding the rules of foreign State immunities, not embassies, that are to be applied by Mexican courts in accordance with the rules of customary international law in this respect whenever a legal suit against a foreign State independently of the fact that the notification of the referred suit is to be made via the concerned State embassy in Mexico. A preliminary draft of this act is attached as Annex 1 (Spanish version only).

In light of all the previously noted, the only judicial practice that has treated the customary rules of international law regarding foreign entities immunities are those of the Mexican Supreme Court concerning International Organizations jurisdictional immunities, not States immunities. An abstract and extract of the most important decision in this respect is translated below.

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