In brief

The Federal Congress passed a bill introduced by Senator Ricardo Monreal (Morena) to amend the Amparo Law with respect to the effects of stays related with the enforcement of general laws contested by means of an Amparo proceeding. Currently, the President of the Republic is pending to enact and publish the decree so that this bill would enter into force and effect.

In more detail

This amendment to the Amparo Law removed the last paragraph of Article 129 and added a new paragraph to Article 148. The last paragraph of Article 129 allowed judges to issue stays to prevent the enforcement of actions or laws subject to an Amparo -exceptionally- when they deemed that the public interest would be affected if they deny such measure, rather than if they simply grant it. The deleted paragraph reads:

The Amparo courts may exceptionally grant the stay, even in one of the cases established under this Article, if according to his or her criteria the denial of this suspension may cause a greater impact to the social interests.

On the other hand, the new paragraph added under Article 148 prohibits the issuance of a stay with “general effects” at an Amparo against a law:

In the Amparos regarding the constitutionality of general norms, in no case the stays granted shall have general effects.

Potential consequences:

By eliminating the last paragraph of Article 129 of the Amparo Law, the legislator eliminated the possibility of allowing Amparo judges to grant a stay at an Amparo when they believe that denying such measure would be worse for the public order and social interest, than to grant it.  This belittles the legal significance of the weighing that Amparo courts should conduct between the rights of the plaintiff (analyzed prima facie) and the potential adverse effects to the public order, and may result in decisions based more in procedural issues, rather than merits.

On the other hand, the express prohibition to grant a stay with general effects in an Amparo against a law may give room for interpretations and, therefore, injustices, as Amparo judges may deny a stay if they believe that its nature may be of general nature (as opposed to solely protect the legal sphere of the plaintiff). Thus, it could be the case that the Amparo judges may cease to provide a provisional remedy to protect the individuals filing for the Amparo under the excuse that, due to the general nature of the law subject to the Amparo, the effects of the stay may also be general. At the same time, this new paragraph leaves the Amparo against a law with no mechanism to provisionally protect the plaintiff when such plaintiff filed the Amparo defending collective rights.


Alfonso Cortez is a member of the Litigation and Government Enforcement Steering Committee for North America and Chair of that practice at the five Mexican offices. He has over 25 years of experience. Also he is highly regarded in a wide range of litigation and arbitration matters. He has been a professor in the law department of the Universidad Cervantina, and is a member of the international law fraternity Phi Delta Phi. He has been first vice president of the National Association of Corporate Lawyers (ANADE-NL), was coordinator of the Constitutional Rights Commission of the Mexican Bar Association, Nuevo Leon Section (BMA – NL), as well as counselor in the steering committee of the BMA – NL. Alfonso specializes in domestic and international litigation and arbitration proceedings. He has experience in administrative litigation, particularly in relation to energy matters, in public tenders. He also handles litigation in the areas of insolvency, civil, commercial, real estate and constitutional law, and frequently advises on alternative means of dispute resolution.


Emilio Gonzalez-Guzman has been serving as counsel to private entities, individuals and non-profit organizations for five years, helping them to resolve disputes through extrajudicial negotiations or before the competent courts. Mr. Gonzalez-Guzman's areas of practice include civil, commercial, administrative and family matters. He is authorized to practice law in all the states of Mexico.