BUENOS AIRES – The implementation of a new Civil and Commercial Code will change daily life for Argentine citizens starting this Saturday, as it supplants the previous legislation that was in force for 144 years.
Passed last October by the Argentine Congress, the new code unifies civil and commercial law in a single text.
Aspects such as marriage, adoption and commercial contracts are some of the areas where the new regulations have made important changes.
The code also modifies such matters as assisted reproduction, parental responsibility, consumer protection and safeguards for indigenous communities.
The legislation no longer states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and also simplifies procedures for getting a divorce, which beginning immediately can be requested by either spouse without giving a reason.
“The enactment of the new Civil and Commercial Code represents great progress and a change in our social relations, as is the case with the new adoption system, the recognition of cohabitational unions, quick divorces and procreation rights,” said Esteban Paulon, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals.
“However, we can’t fail to mention the aspects still pending in the text, many of which were left along the wayside due to the pressure of the Catholic Church hierarchy on Congress,” he said.
One of the new code’s more controversial issues since the debate in the legislature is the identification of embryos as persons, including those conceived “in vitro.”
For Florence Bauer of Unicef Argentina, “the change in adoption regulations is very positive, because it protects the right of children and teenagers to live and develop in a family that cares for them and satisfies their need for affection along with their material necessities.”
Another of the novelties is the protection of consumers’ rights against standardized contracts with insurance companies, banks and companies the deal in prepaid medicines, as well as against abusive provisions and fraudulent advertising.
The new code also introduces respect for the customs of native peoples and regulates indigenous community property.