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LAW No. 19,549

Buenos Aires, 3.4.72

Under the powers conferred by Article 5 of the Constitution of the Argentine Revolution,



Administrative Procedures: Scope of Application

Article 1: Rules of procedure to be used in relation with the National Public Administration, both central and local, including autonomous bodies, except for military, defence and security agencies, shall comply with the provisions of the present law and the following requirements:

General Requirements: Ex Officio Instigation and Conduct of Proceedings

(a) Proceedings shall be instigated and conducted ex officio without prejudice to the participation of interested parties therein:

Speed, Economy, Simplicity and Efficiency of Proceedings

(b) Speed, economy, simplicity and efficiency shall govern the proceedings, and the Executive shall be empowered to regulate the disciplinary regime to ensure decorum and good order in the proceedings. The regime includes the power to apply fines of up to 100 pesos - unless otherwise provided in the specific law - by decisions which, when confirmed, shall be enforceable;


(c) Failure by interested parties to comply with non-essential formal requirements which can be fulfilled subsequently shall be excused;

Working Days and Hours

(d) Actions and proceedings shall take place during official working days and hours, but other days and times may be permitted ex officio or at the request of a party;


(e) Time-limits:

1. Shall be binding on interested parties and the Administration;

2. Shall be counted in official working days subject to contrary legislation or authorization ex officio or at the request of a party;

3. Shall be counted from the day following notification. In the case of time-limits concerning acts subject to the requirement to publish, the provisions of Article 2 of the Civil Code shall apply;

4. In cases where no specific time-limit has been set for proceedings, notifications and summons, compliance with notifications and summons and replies to notifications, hearings and reports, the time-limit shall be 10 days;

5. Prior to the expiry of a time-limit the administration, ex officio or at the request of the interested party, may extend the time-limit for such time as it deems reasonable, giving grounds for its decision and provided that it is not prejudicial to the rights of third parties. A refusal shall be notified at least two days prior to the expiry of the time-limit for which an extension was requested;

Lodging of Appeals Out of Time

6. Once the time-limits established for lodging administrative appeals have expired, the right to submit them shall be lost. This shall not prevent the appeal being considered by a higher authority as a complaint of illegality, unless the higher authority shall resolve otherwise for reasons of legal safety or, having exceeded reasonable time-limits, it is deemed to constitute a voluntary waiver of that right;

Interruption of Time-Limits for Lodging of Appeals

7. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 12, the lodging of administrative appeals shall interrupt the running of time-limits, even where such appeals have been improperly defined, contain insignificant formal flaws or were made through an excusable error to a body that was not competent;

Loss of Right Due to Failure to Exercise it Within the Time-Limit

8. The administration may deem a right which has not been exercised within the corresponding time-limit to have lapsed, without prejudice to the prosecution of the appropriate proceedings at its own instance and without repeating any stage in the proceedings provided that the matter does not fall within the provisions of the following paragraph;

Lapse of Proceedings

9. After 60 days from the time when proceedings have stopped for reasons attributable to the party concerned, the competent body shall notify that party that if a further 30 days elapse without any action being taken, the authorities shall declare the proceedings lapsed, and file the case. Exceptions are proceedings concerning social security and those that the Administration considers should continue due to the particular circumstances or because they are of public interest. Once the proceedings have lapsed, the interested party may, however, exercise his claims in new proceedings, in which he may rely on the evidence already produced. Actions involving the competent body shall result in the suspension of legal and regulatory time-limits, including those concerning prescription, which shall recommence from the date when the order declaring the proceedings lapsed is confirmed;

Due Process

(f) Right of the parties to due process, including the opportunity:

Right to be Heard

1. To set out the grounds for their claims and defences before acts relating to their civil rights or legitimate interests are issued, to lodge appeals and to be professionally assisted or represented. When an express rule allows representation in the administrative headquarters to be exercised by persons who are not professional lawyers, qualified legal assistance shall be mandatory in cases where legal questions are raised or debated;

Right to Offer and Produce Evidence

2. To offer evidence and to have it produced if pertinent, whereupon the administration shall request and produce reports and opinions necessary to clarify the facts, taking into account the interested parties and their representatives, who may submit pleas and rebuttals once the period for the presentation of evidence has been concluded;

Right to a Reasoned Decision

3. That decision itself shall expressly set out the principal arguments and issues put forward, in so far as they led to a decision of the matter.

Special Procedures Excluded

Article 2: Within a time-limit of 120 days counted from the entry into force of the procedural rules to which Article 1 refers, the Executive Power shall determine which special procedures currently applicable shall continue in force. It is also empowered to:

Progressive Adaptation of Special Regimes to the New Procedure

(a) Substitute legal rules and regulations of a strictly procedural nature under any remaining special regimes, with a view to adapting them progressively to the new system of procedures and administrative remedies introduced therein, to the extent that this does not affect the substantive law to which the aforementioned special regimes refer or apply;

The present law shall be of suppletory application in the administrative proceedings for which there remain special regimes;

(b) to decide the administrative procedure to govern military bodies and, defence and security agencies, as proposed by them, adopting the basic principles of the present law and its corresponding regulations;

Reserved or Secret Proceedings

(c) to determine the circumstances and competent authorities to qualify as reserved or secret such actions, measures, reports or opinions which should have such a character, even though included in public proceedings.


Competence of the Organ

Article 3: The competence of administrative organs shall be that drawn, as applicable, from the National Constitution, laws and regulations issued thereunder. Exercise of such competence constitutes an obligation on the part of the corresponding authority or organ and cannot be delegated or substituted except where expressly authorized; removal to a higher authority shall apply unless expressly otherwise provided by law.

Questions of Competence

Article 4: The Executive Power shall resolve issues of competence arising between Ministers and those arising between authorities, agencies or other autonomous bodies exercising their activity within different Ministries. Heads of such Ministries shall resolve issues of competence arising between authorities, bodies or autonomous agencies acting within their respective Departments of State.

Negative and Positive Contentions

Article 5: When an organ, ex officio or at the request of a party, declares itself incompetent, it shall refer the proceedings to the body it considers competent. If the latter, in turn, refuses to take proceedings, it shall submit them to the authority competent to resolve the conflict. If two bodies consider themselves competent, the latest to have the case referred to it shall submit the matter, ex officio or at the request of a party, to the authority who is responsible for deciding it.

The final decision on issues of competence shall be taken, in both cases, without any substantiation other than the opinion of the corresponding judicial service and, if absolutely necessary, the technical opinion required by the case. The time-limits envisaged in this Article for the submission of proceedings shall be two days, and for production of opinions and decisions, five days.

Challenging and Excusal of Officials and Employees

Article 6: Officials and employees may be challenged for the reasons and on the occasions laid down in Article 17 and 18 of the National Civil and Commercial Procedures Code, and their immediate superior must intervene within two days. The prior involvement of the official or employee in the matter shall not be considered a cause for challenge. If the challenged official admits the grounds, his immediate superior shall designate a replacement, if appropriate. In the contrary case, his superior shall decide the matter within five days. If it is considered necessary to produce evidence, the time-limit may be extended for a further five days. The excusal of officials and employees shall be governed by Article 30 of the above-mentioned code and shall be immediately referred to the official's direct superior, who shall decide the matter within five days without substantiation. If he accepts the excusal, a replacement shall be appointed. If he does not accept it, he shall return the proceedings to the inferior official to continue dealing with the matter.

Decisions given in relation to cases of challenge or excusal and those resolving them shall be without appeal.


Essential Requirements of Administrative Acts

Article 7: The following are essential requirements of an administrative act:


(a) it must be issued by a competent authority;


(b) it must be supported by facts and precedence serving as grounds and by the applicable law;


(c) the subject must be certain, and physically and legally possible; it must decide all the applications formulated, but may involve others which were not proposed, following a hearing of the interested party and provided that it does not affect acquired rights;


(d) prior to issue of the act, the essential and substantial procedures provided for or implicit in the judicial order must be fulfilled. Without prejudice to the provisions of any other special provisions that may be established, the opinion of the permanent legal advisory services must be considered essential when the act might affect civil rights or legitimate interests;


(e) the act must set out the grounds on which it is based, specifically expressing the reasons for issuing the act, including, in addition, the safeguards set out in subparagraph (b) of the present Article;


(f) the purpose ensuing from the legislation granting the relevant powers to the issuing entity must be fulfilled, and other ends, public or private, distinct from those which justify the act, its grounds and subject must not be covertly pursued. Measures invoked by the act shall be correspondingly appropriate to that purpose.

Contracts concluded by the State, licences and administrative concessions shall be governed by their respective special laws, without prejudice to the analogous application of the rules under this Title, if applicable.


Article 8: Administrative acts shall be published expressly and in writing; they shall state the place and date of issue and shall contain the form of authority issuing them; only exceptionally and if circumstances so permit may an alternative form be used.

Flagrant Irregularity

Article 9: The Administration shall refrain from:

(a) behaviour involving flagrant administrative irregularity injurious to a constitutional right or guarantee;

(b) implementing an act while there remains pending any of the administrative remedies which by law expressly involve suspension of the execution of the act, or which has not been notified following the decision.

Silence or Ambiguity of the Administration

Article 10: Silence or ambiguity of the administration in relation to claims which require a specific decision on its part shall be interpreted as negative.

Only by express provision may silence be deemed consent.

If the special rules do not provide for a specific time-limit for a decision, this shall not exceed 60 days. On the expiry of the appropriate time-limit, the interested party shall require immediate action and if a further 30 days elapse without any decision being taken, the administration shall be deemed to be silent.

Effectiveness of the Act: Notification and Publication

Article 11: In order for any particular administrative act to become effective it must be notified to the interested party and be the subject of general publication. Those subject to the decision may, however, prior thereto, seek execution of those acts if such acts do not injure the rights of third parties.

Presumption of Legitimacy and Executive Force

Article 12: An administrative act enjoys a presumption of legitimacy. Being enforceable, the administration is empowered to execute it by its own means - unless the law or the nature of the act require judicial intervention - and any appeal introduced by those subject to the decision shall not suspend its execution and effects, unless it is expressly otherwise provided.

Nevertheless, the administration may, ex officio or at the request of a party and by a reasoned decision, suspend the execution for reasons of public interest or to avoid serious injury to the interested party or where there are justified claims for absolute nullity.

Retroactivity of Acts

Article 13: An administrative act may have retroactive effects - provided that acquired rights are not injured - when it is issued in substitution for another act which has been revoked or when it is to the advantage of the parties subject to the decision.


Article 14: An administrative act is absolutely and irrevocably null in the following cases:

(a) When the will of the administration has been thwarted by fundamental error; fraud, in that non-existent or false grounds are held as existing facts; physical or psychological violence exercised against the agent; or absolute misrepresentation;

(b) when it has been issued by an incompetent authority either in terms of territory, time or level of authority except, in the latter case, if the delegation or substitution were permitted; lack of grounds where the facts or the law invoked did not exist or were false; or violation of the applicable law, of the essential forms or of the purpose which gave rise to the act.


Article 15: If there has been a minor irregularity or omission or an error which does not prevent the existence of one of its essential elements, the act may be annulled by a court.

Invalidity of Incidental or Accessory Clauses

Article 16. The invalidity of an incidental or accessory clause of an administrative act shall not result in its nullity, provided that the clause in question is separable and does not affect the essential substance of the act.

Revocation of a Void Act

Article 17. An administrative act which is deemed absolutely null and void shall be considered irregular and must be revoked or substituted on the grounds of illegitimacy at administrative level. However, if the act has given rise to measures which are in progress, the maintenance of such measures and their outstanding effects can only be stopped by a judicial declaration of nullity.

Revocation of a Regular Act

Article 18. A regular administrative act which has given rise to civil rights may not be revoked, amended or substituted at administrative level once it has been notified.

Nevertheless, it may be revoked, amended or substituted ex officio at administrative level if the interested party was aware of the defect, if the revocation, amendment or substitution of the act is beneficial to him without causing injury to third parties and if the right was expressly and validly granted on doubtful authority. It may also be revoked, amended or substituted for reasons of expediency, merit or convenience, with indemnification of damages caused to parties subject to the measure.


Article 19. A voidable administrative act may be legitimized by:


(a) ratification by a higher authority, when the act was issued by an authority which lacked competence due to its level and provided that the referral, delegation or substitution were appropriate;


(b) confirmation by the authority which issued the act, correcting the error contained in it.

The effects of the legitimization shall be retroactive to the date of issue of the ratified or confirmed act.


Article 20. If the valid elements of a void administrative act permit them to be included in another act which is valid, it may be converted to the latter with the consent of the party subject to the measure. The conversion shall take effect from the moment when the new act is complete.

Lapse of an Administrative Act

Article 21. The Administration may unilaterally declare an administrative act to have lapsed when the interested party does not meet the conditions established therein, but shall allow a delay prior thereto and grant a reasonable additional time-limit for the purpose.


Article 22. A confirmed act may be reviewed at administrative level:

(a) When there are contradictions in the substantive part, whether or not their clarification has been requested;

(b) when subsequent to issue of the act, decisive documents are recovered or discovered, the existence of which was unknown or which could not be submitted as evidence on grounds of force majeure or the act of a third party;

(c) when it was issued on the basis of documents which were not known to have been declared false or incorrect or which have been declared false or incorrect after the issue of the act;

(d) when it had been issued under coercion, deception, violence or any other proven fraudulent device or serious irregularity.

The application shall be made within 10 days of notification of the act in the case of subparagraph (a). In the remaining cases, application for review shall be made within 30 days of recovery or discovery of the documents or the cessation of force majeure or the act of a third party; or when the matters indicated in subparagraphs (c) and (d) are legally proven.


Judicial Challenge of Administrative Acts

Article 23. An act of individual scope may be challenged by judicial process:

(a) When it is definitive and all administrative processes have been exhausted;

(b) when, although no decision has been taken on the substance of the issue, it totally prevents the processing of the claim submitted;

(c) in the case of the silence or ambiguity to which Article 10 refers;

(d) when the Administration violates the provision of Article 9.

Article 24. An act of general scope may be challenged by judicial process:

(a) When the civil rights of an interested party who is or may be subject to the act are certainly and imminently affected, and that party has made an appeal to the issuing authority and the result was adverse or there arose one of the outcomes provided for in Article 10;

(b) when the authority executing the act of general scope has implemented it through definitive measures and administrative remedies against those acts have been exhausted without success.

Time-Limits Within Which the Challenge Must be Entered
(By Action or Appeal)

Article 25. An action against the State or its autonomous agencies shall be initiated within the mandatory period of 90 days, counted as follows:

(a) In the case of acts of individual scope, from date of notification to the interested parties;

(b) in the case of acts of general scope, against which a claim has been made which has been decided negatively by express decision, from the date of notification of the refusal to the interested party;

(c) in the case of acts of general scope subject to challenge through individual applications, from the time of notification to the interested party of the express measure which exhausts the administrative recourse;

(d) in the case of flagrant administrative irregularity or fait accompli, from the time it occurs.

When as a result of an express legal provision the challenge to an administrative act must be made by appeal, the time-limit for entering it shall be 30 days from notification of the final resolution which exhausts the administrative procedures.

Article 26. The application may be initiated at any time when the act acquires a definitive character after the expiry of the time-limit set out in Article 10 and without prejudice to the relevant rules of prescription.

Challenge of Acts by the State or its Autonomous Agencies; Time-Limits

Article 27. There shall be no time-limit for taking proceedings in cases where the State or its autonomous agencies are involved, subject to the related rules of prescription.

"Amparo" (Enforcement of Constitutional Rights) on Grounds of Delay by the Administration

Article 28. A party to an administrative expedient may conditionally request the issue of an order for immediate execution. Such an order shall be applicable when the administrative authority has allowed the fixed time-limits to expire - and in the absence of such time-limits, where a time exceeding what is reasonable has expired - without issuing the order or decision on procedure or substance required by the interested party. On presentation of the application, if the court deems it appropriate having regard to the circumstances, it shall require the administrative authority concerned, within the time-limit set by the court, to inform it as to the cause of the delay in question. When the requirement has been answered or the time-limit has expired without compliance, the relevant matters concerning the delay shall be decided, and if appropriate an appropriate order shall be given to the administrative authority responsible to take measures within a reasonable time as established by the court depending on the nature and complexity of the order or outstanding proceedings.

Article 29. In the event of failure to comply with the order for prompt execution, the provisions of Article 17 of Decree Law No. 1285/58 shall apply.

Administrative Claim Prior to Judicial Application

Article 30. Except in the circumstances set out in Articles 23 and 24, the State may not be the subject of judicial application without prior administrative claim, directed to the Ministry or Commander in Chief concerned.

The claim shall be based on the same facts and rights as those to be invoked in a possible judicial application and shall be decided by the Executive Power or by the above-mentioned authorities if such power is delegated.

Article 31. The decision on the claim shall be made within 90 days of its submission. On the expiry of this time-limit, the interested party shall require immediate execution, and after a further 45 days may initiate an application at any time, without prejudice to any relevant provisions relating to prescription.

Article 32. The prior administrative claim to which the above Articles refer shall not be necessary if an express law so establishes and when:

(a) An ex officio act can be executed before the time-limits in Article 31 expire;

(b) before an act is issued ex officio by the Executive Power, the party subject to the measure has submitted a contrary claim;

(c) in the case of claiming repayment from the State for an amount paid pursuant to enforcement or reclaiming a charge paid that was not due;

(d) claims for damages and injuries against the State or an action for evacuation against it or an action that does not follow the normal procedures;

(e) there is clear conduct by the State that leads to the presumption of the certain failure of the procedure, so that the prior claim becomes a futile formality;

(f) the claim is against a decentralized agency with the right to take part in court proceedings.

Article 33. The present law shall enter into force 120 days following its publication in the Official Gazette.

Article 34. This law shall be proclaimed, published, transmitted to the National Directorate for Official Records and filed.


Carlos A. Rey
Carlos G. N. Coda
Ismael E. Bruno Quijano


Buenos Aires, 3.4.72

BEARING IN MIND AND CONSIDERING: the provisions of Law No. 19,549 and the proposals of the National Minister of Justice,



Article 1. The annexed provisions, which constitute Regulations under the National Law on Administrative Procedures, are approved.

Article 2. The approved regulations shall enter into force 120 days following their publication in the Official Gazette and shall apply to administrative proceedings initiated ex officio or at the request of a party with effect from that date.

Article 3. The Ministry of Justice shall immediately invite the heads of the various legal services of the central and local National Public Administration, including autonomous agencies, meeting in committee, for the purpose of proposing which special procedures currently applicable shall continue in force. Their conclusions shall be submitted to the Executive Power, together with the proposed regulations, 30 days after the end of the time-limit laid down in Article 2 of the law.

Article 4. Each of the heads of the above-mentioned legal services shall progressively propose to the Executive Power, through the Department of State or body of which they form part, the measures to which Article 2, paragraph (a) of the law refers. Likewise, the heads of the military, defence and security legal services shall make their proposals through the Commanders in Chief of their respective arms and agencies, concerning the administrative procedures to which paragraph (b) of the same Article refers.

Article 5. This Decree shall be proclaimed, published, transmitted to the National Directorate of Official Records and filed.


Carlos A. Rey
Ismael E. Bruno Quijano
Carlos G. N. Coda




Competent organs

1. Administrative proceedings shall be handled and resolved through the action of the organs to which a law or decree has assigned competence to do so. In the absence of such a law or decree, action shall be taken by the bodies determined by the internal regulations of the Ministry or the governing body of the decentralized agency, as appropriate.

Powers of the higher body

2. Ministers and governing bodies of decentralized agencies may direct or instigate action by lower bodies by means of orders, instructions, circulars and internal regulations, in order to ensure speed, economy, simplicity and efficiency of proceedings; delegate powers to them; intervene in them; and take over the proceedings from the lower body and decide on a matter unless exclusive competence is attributed by law to the lower body.

The above is without prejudice, where applicable, to hearing the appropriate appeals which may be entered in the matter.

Initiation of proceedings. Interested party

3. Administrative proceedings may be initiated ex officio or at the request of any natural or legal person, whether public or private, who invokes a civil right or a legitimate interest. Such persons shall be considered interested parties in the administrative proceedings. Other interested parties are those whose civil rights or legitimate interests may be affected by the act to be issued and who have participated in the proceedings at the request of the original interested party, whether spontaneously or having been summoned by the body concerned when it becomes aware of their existence during the course of those proceedings.

Adult minors shall have full capacity to intervene directly in administrative procedures as interested party to defend their own civil rights or legitimate interests.

Instigation ex officio and at the request of an interested party

4. All administrative actions shall be instigated ex officio by the competent body, which shall not prevent the interested party also instituting proceedings. Excepted from this principle are proceedings concerning only the private interest of the parties subject to the measure unless, notwithstanding, the resolution to be issued could in any way affect the general interest.

Duties and powers of the competent organ

5. The competent organ shall direct the proceedings and endeavour:

(a) To transact proceedings in order and decide them as soon as they are in a position to be resolved. The order of proceedings and decision may be changed only by a reasoned resolution;

(b) To include in a single resolution all proceedings which, by their nature, can be instigated simultaneously and concentrate in a single act or hearing all the relevant proceedings and evidence;

(c) To indicate, before proceeding with any request, any defects it contains, and order that they should be corrected ex officio or by the interested party within such reasonable time-limit as it shall determine, dealing in the same manner with proceedings necessary to prevent them being void;

(d) To require at any time the personal appearance of the interested parties, their legal representatives or those holding power of attorney to require such explanations as it deems necessary and to reduce discrepancies which might exist on matters of fact or law, keeping records thereof. The summons shall state the specific purpose of the hearing.

Disciplinary powers

6. In order to maintain order and decorum in the proceedings, the competent body may:

(a) Strike out any insulting phrase or any phrase couched in offensive or impolite terms;

(b) Exclude any person disrupting a hearing;

(c) Caution or take of those responsible;

(d) Apply the fines authorized under Article 1(b) "in fine" of the law, and any other sanctions including financial sanctions, set out in other laws in force. The confirmed fines shall be executed by the respective judicial representatives of the State following the procedure under Article 604 and 605 of the National Civil and Commercial Procedures Code;

(e) Dismiss those with powers of attorney for failure to act or for clearly delaying the proceedings, indicating to the principal that he should participate directly or through a new attorney, subject to notice of suspension of the proceedings or continuing them without his participation, as appropriate. Infractions committed by agents of the administration shall be governed by their special laws.


Concerning proceedings: identification

7. The identification under which a record of proceedings is initiated shall be retained throughout successive proceedings regardless of the bodies participating them. It shall be prohibited to assign another number or identification system to a record of proceedings other than the one allocated by the initiating body.


8. Records of proceedings shall be compaginated in numbered documents not exceeding 200 pages, except where such a limit would require division of written material or documents constituting a single text.