Guatemala - Enforcement of Money Judgments
Originally from Enforcement of Money Judgments
I. PRESENT ATTITUDE TOWARD ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN MONEY JUDGMENTS
A. Describe the receptiveness of your government (including courts) toward enforcement of foreign money judgments.
The Republic of Guatemala has a civil law system, similar to other Latin American nations. Its government is republican, democratic and representative and is divided into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Our legal system is based on a written Constitution. The Judicial Branch must serve justice with complete independence from the other government branches, subject to the Political Constitution and the law.
Guatemalan legal provisions are contained in written laws and jurisprudence complements them, while custom is applicable only in specific cases set forth by the law, provided that it is not contrary to moral or public order. General principles and rights regarding civil and commercial conduct as well as contracts are mainly provided in the Civil Code and the Commercial Code. Judicial procedures are established in the Civil and Commercial Procedures Code. Crimes and infractions are regulated by the Criminal Code, while the applicable judicial procedures are set forth in the Criminal Procedures Code. The Labor Code includes individual and collective rights, as well as procedures.
Pursuant to Guatemala’s Civil and Commercial Procedures Code, all complaints, petitions and other submissions to the court are made exclusively in writing. For evidence purposes some limited hearings are held and the law establishes how evidence should be considered by judges. Court rulings and judgments are also rendered in writing. Procedures are therefore time consuming and judgments and court rulings are not delivered promptly. The Civil and Commercial Procedures Code reform has been under study for several years but all the proposed bills have not passed through Congress.