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The Civil Code of the Republic of Argentina :

its past, its present, and its future



Luis F. P. Leiva Fernandez

路易斯· F · P ·雷瓦·费尔南德斯

宋旭明 译



It is a great pleasure for me to be among you.

Thankfully, this was possible owing to the invitation the authorities of the Xiamen University granted me in order to lecture some issues of the Argentine Civil Code: about its past, its present, and its future .



I come from a young Country in South America . And we really hope we get to know the Chinese millenarian civilization.



May I give you respectful regards of the Dean of the School of Law of Buenos Aires University , together with its student's warmest regards.

请让我代表布宜诺斯艾利斯大学法学院院长以及学生向大家致以崇敬而最热切 的问候。


The purpose of this lecture is to give information about the Argentine Civil Code. Moreover, we expect this lecture could bring advantage all along the civil codification process in China .









My Country, the Argentine Republic, was governed by the Spanish Kingdom since the discovery of America in the fifteenth century until 1810.

Spain civilized and Spain provided education.

我们阿根廷共和国从 15 世纪美洲的发现直至 1810 年都处于西班牙王国的统治之下。


In Spain , at the beginning of the fifteenth century, a question arose whether Native American had soul or not.

This issue which, nowadays, makes somebody smile; nonetheless, it had important consequences in South America .

In fact, as Native Americans had soul, they could get religious education by priests, who also provided education related to the use of language and science. As aborigines had soul, Spanish people mixed their race with them; conversely, Anglo-Saxon colonization did not do so.

15 世纪之初的西班牙曾经出现美洲土著人是否有灵魂的问题。这个问题在今天令一些人哑然失笑,但是在南美洲却曾经具有重要的后果。实际上,当土著人有了灵魂,他们才能通过牧师接受宗教教育,同时也获得与语言和科学的运用相关的教育。当土著人有了灵魂,西班牙人也才与之发生了种族融合;而盎格鲁撒克逊殖民者未曾这样做。


Spanish people also provided to all South America with the civil law in force at that time in Spain . The said civil law was Roman law, which was handed down in several legal documents.

Specially, Las Siete Partidas or the seven books of law passed by King Alfonso X.

西班牙人也为整个南美洲提供了当时施行于西班牙的民法。这种民法是罗马法,通过几个法律文件得以传承下来,特别是《七章律》,即阿尔方索十世( Alfonso X )通过的七编法律。


However, Spanish Acts were not entered into force the like they were in Spain .

Indeed, they underwent adaptation in order to go into effect in South America . Hence, the applicable law was the seven books of law passed by King Alfonso X and the Digest of “Leyes de Indias ”

然而,西班牙的法律在南美洲并没有直接生效,而是经过了修改才生效。从此,那里适用的法律是前述阿尔方索十世颁布的《七章律》 《“西印度群岛法律”汇纂》

It was not until 1776 that Spain decided to create the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata ( River of Silver ) so as to improve its administration.

The said Viceroyalty administered the Argentine territory as well as the Uruguayan, Paraguayan and Bolivian ones.

直到 1776 年,西班牙才决定设立拉普拉塔河总督区以加强管理。该总督区下辖阿根廷、乌拉圭、巴拉圭以及玻利维亚等殖民地。


Thirty four years afterwards, Argentina gained independence from Spain ; however, it continued to apply the Spanish civil law.

34 年之后,阿根廷从西班牙获得独立,但继续适用西班牙民法。








It is well known that before its independence, Argentina was not one of the most relevant territories of Spain .



Argentina , the name given to this territory, is an adjective which means “Silver” –the precious metal-. Besides, the name “Rio de la Plata ” ( River of Silver ), together with Argentina came to be just mere wishes instead of reality. Never was Silver found there.

给予这一块殖民地的名字——“阿根廷( Argentina )”,是一个形容词,表示“银子”这种贵金属。另外,“拉普拉塔河( Rio de la Plata )”(银河)的名字和“阿根廷”一样,仅仅成其为愿望而不是现实,那里从未发现过银子。


The Pampas were a green sea where many efforts wrecked. For such reasons, neither the first university nor the first civil code in South America was Argentine.

潘帕斯草原曾是一片 无数努力都毁灭于斯 的绿海。因此,南美洲的第一所大学和第一部民法典都没有诞生在阿根廷。


However, the Argentine Civil Code enacted in 1869 –which author was Velez Sarfield, acquired a standing reputation in America and the rest of the world. This led the argentine civil law and its doctrine could be highly considered.

然而,由贝内斯·萨尔斯菲尔德( Velez Sársfield )创作、于 1869 年颁布的阿根廷民法典却在美洲以及世界上的其他地方获得了永久名望。这使阿根廷民法及其学说配受高度评价。


Even though, the Argentine Civil Code was enacted before the discovery of electric power during this period of one hundred and thirty two years, the Civil Code has been updated on studies undertaken by professors and writers of treatises of civil law.

尽管如此,阿根廷民法典生效于电力的发现之前。在这 132 年间,该法典根据写作民法论著的教授、作家们所作的研究与时俱进。


The whole Argentine Civil Code is in a straight line of the Roman Law. Moreover, the contributions made by Spanish and French laws are in some way Roman Law.



On many occasions, the Civil Code was intended to be amended. There came to be in 1926 the Draft of Juan Bibiloni; three other Drafts in 1936, 1954, 1987; two Drafts in 1993; and the last Draft in 1998.

In the latter one I took part as the Secretary of the Commission responsible for drawing it up.

在许多场合,民法典都被打算修订。历史上曾出现了 1926 年的胡安·比比罗尼( Juan Bibiloni )草案; 1936 年、 1954 年、 1987 年的另外三个草案; 1993 年的两个草案;以及最后的 1998 年草案。在最近这个草案中,我以委员会秘书的身份负责起草。


The Argentine Civil Code is old-fashioned; however it was not born old. Conversely, it was a modern code at the time of its creation.



For instance, the system of reaching an agreement between to parties which are absents from each other; the introduction of International Private law; the scheme laid out for the marital properties and the systematisation of the personal right to withhold property law.



During these one hundred and thirty two years, the Argentine civil law had influence upon the Uruguayan civil law. As a matter of fact, the author of the Uruguayan civil code was an Argentine lawyer, Tristan Narvaja. Moreover, the Republic of Paraguay decided to apply the Argentine Civil Code until 1986.

在这 132 年间,阿根廷民法影响了乌拉圭民法。事实上,乌拉圭民法典的作者德里斯坦·纳尔巴哈( Tristan Narvaja )就是一名阿根廷律师。另外,巴拉圭共和国直到 1986 年都适用阿根廷民法典。


In addition to this, the Argentine Civil Code was, to a certain extent, the foundation of much legislation as shown recently by Professor Alterini .

I am referring to the Panamanian Civil Code in 1916, the Philippines 's Civil Code in 1950, the Japanese Civil Code in 1898, the Nicaragua 's Civil Code in 1904; and likewise, the Spanish Civil Code, which took as a basis several sections from the Argentine Civil Code.

除此之外,诚如阿尔特里尼( Alterini )教授最近所指出,阿根廷民法典在某种程度上还是许多外国立法的基础。我指的是 1916 年巴拿马尼亚民法典、 1950 年菲律宾民法典、 1898 年日本民法典、 1904 年尼加拉瓜民法典;以及西班牙民法典,它采用了阿根廷民法典的几个条文。


Lately it has been the contribution of Professor Saúl Litvinoff to the making up of the Civil Code of Louisiana as well as my own contribution to the Draft Civil Code of Puerto Rico.

最近的则是阿根廷教授萨乌尔·里德威诺夫( Saúl Litvinoff )对路易斯安那民法典的贡献和我自己对波多黎各民法典草案的贡献。


At this stage of the lecture, I must highlight the greatest honour granted by Professor Xu Guodong when he made use of some sections of the Argentine Civil Code and the Argentine Draft Civil Code of 1998 in order to draw up the Draft Civil Code of China.

说到这里,我必须特别强调 徐国栋 教授所惠赐的最大的荣誉,他使用了阿根廷民法典和 1998 年阿根廷民法典草案的一些条文,致力于制订一部中国民法典草案。


Now, in Argentina , the studies of Law last five years. And in order to get into the School of Law , there is one more year at the very beginning of the study courses. The Law Program of Study bases its syllabus on five courses of civil law: General Part, Obligations, Contracts, Real Property Law and Family together with Succession Law.

现在,在阿根廷读法律需要五年时间。而且,要进法学院的话,事先还得加学一年的课程。 法律学习纲要上的民法课程包括五门:总则、债法、合同法、物权法以及家庭与继承法。



III.- About the future



The aforementioned Argentine Draft of 1998 is still under the Congress analysis.

Whether it is passed to be an Act, this masterpiece points out several tendencies I will explain following.

前面提到的 1998 年阿根廷民法典草案还处于议会讨论之中。但无论能否得到通过而成为一项法案,这一杰作都体现了我下面将要说明的几个趋势。


1).- continuation of codification Process .

1 .法典化进程的继续


Codification process is strengthening. Nowadays, it is dying out the process of not codification during de twentieth century. Today, decodification is turning into recodification.

For instance, it is being studied Amendments to the Civil Code of Peru, Puerto Rico, Quebec, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Argentina.

法典化的进程正在加强。当前, 20 世纪的非法典化进程已经日薄西山,解法典化正在向重订法典转变。例如,秘鲁、波多黎各、魁北克、玻利维亚、哥斯达黎加和阿根廷的民法典修正案都在酝酿之中。


Additionally, there are new Civil Codes, or at least those Codes in force have been amended.

To mention some, there are in Moldova in 1964; in Somalia in 1973; in Bolivia and Argelia in 1975; the former Democratic Republic of Germany in 1976; Hungry in 1978; Venezuela in 1982; Peru in 1984; Cuba and Paraguay in 1987; in Québec and Holland in 1991; in Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia in 1994; Vietnam in 1995, Russia Federation in 1996, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in 1997; Armenia in 1998; Tajikistan in 1999, as well as in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Brazil also had its new Civil Code in 2003.

另外,出现了一些新的民法典,或者至少那些已经生效的法典得到了修正。比如, 1964 年的摩尔多瓦、 1973 年的索马里、 1975 年的玻利维亚和阿尔及利亚、 1976 年的前民主德国、 1978 年的 匈牙利、 1982 年的委内瑞拉、 1984 年的秘鲁、 1987 年的古巴和巴拉圭、 1991 年的魁北克和荷兰、 1994 年的白俄罗斯、哈萨克斯坦和蒙古、 1995 年的越南、 1996 年的俄罗斯联邦、 1997 年的格鲁吉亚和吉尔吉斯斯坦、 1998 年的亚美尼亚、 1999 年的塔吉克斯坦、阿塞拜疆、土库曼斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦。巴西也于 2003 年颁布了新的民法典。


Hence, the Codification system is a process which will last for a long time in civil law.



Among several countries, the civil law consolidation always starts within the field of contracts.



2).- Legislative Drafting

2 .立法起草


Firstly, I should draw attention to the magnitude of the use of clear rules of legislative drafting.



Probably, the first rule is the uniformity of the language and ways of writings, as a means to obtain understandable norms.



The clarity is the elegance of the law



In my opinion, the second rule is to create general set of laws in order not to give into temptation and try to rule every circumstance, which, in fact, it is not possible to do at all.

第二个规则 , 我认为是创设一套法律的一般规则,以免滋生出对任何情形都设以规定的诱惑和尝试,实际上,那是根本不可能做到的。


The third rule is that alongside the whole drafting work a clear structure without exemption could be followed.



3 ).- Inclusion of a General Part

3 .总则的设立


There is a tendency towards the existence of a general part in Civil Codes. In fact, the Civil Code of Japan (1896), Germany (1900), Brazil (1916), the Soviet ones (from 1924), the Holland 's civil code (amended in 1970) and the Civil Code of Cuba (1988).

民法典存在一个设立总则的趋势。例如,日本( 1896 )、德国( 1900 )、巴西( 1916 )、苏联( 1924 年起)、荷兰( 1970 年修订)以及古巴民法典( 1988 )。


The Civil Code in force in Argentina does not have a general part; however, it was included in all the Drafts –seeing that that General Part is being taught since 1910 .

阿根廷现行民法典没有设立总则,但是所有草案中都有——因为从 1910 年起就在法律教学中采用总则。


In South America, the Civil Code of Brazil of 2003 and both Drafts of Puerto Rico and Argentina of 1998 have just introduced a general part.

在南美洲, 2003 年巴西民法典和波多黎各民法典草案与 1998 年阿根廷民法典草案就引入了总则。


Moreover, there are small general parts within the regulation of Contracts and Property Law in the Argentina Draft of 1998 and the Brazilian Civil Code in force since 2003.

另外, 1998 年阿根廷草案和 2003 年生效的巴西民法典在合同法和财产法的中都设有小总则。


4).- Inclusion of any Rights

4 .各种权利的纳入


Any Rights are introduced through Constitutional Law in Civil Codes as a way of acknowledge of said Rights.



I am referring to those rights that normally are ruled in constitutional texts, Such as the right to honour, the right to life, the right to security, the right to physical integrity , the right to heath, the right over one's own body, one's own image or one's own voice.



The Draft Civil Code of Bolivia, Peru , Puerto Rico and the last Argentine draft regulate these rights.



5).- Unification in the field of civil and commercial obligations.

5 .民事、商事规范领域的统一


In several international conferences, it has been fostered the unification of civil and commercial obligations.


This unification exists in the Civil Code of Switzerland of 1912, the French and Italian draft civil Code, the civil code of Tunes of 1906, the Morocco's civil code of 1912, the Turkish Civil Code of 1926, the Lebanon's Civil Code of 1934, the Civil Code of Poland of 1934, the Civil Code of Madagascar, Senegal. And said unification is partially ruled in the civil code of Italy , former Soviet Union , Peru , Paraguay , Cuba , Holland , Mongolia , Vietnam , the Russian Federation , Taiwan , Thailand , Québec, the General Principles of Civil law in China Republic of 1987, and the Argentine drafts of 1987, 1993, and 1998 .

实现这种民商合一的有 1912 年瑞士民法典,法国、意大利债法草案和 1906 年突尼斯民法典, 1912 年摩洛哥民法典, 1926 年土耳其民法典, 1934 年黎巴嫩债与合同法典, 1934 年波兰民法典,马达加斯加、塞内加尔民法典;部分实现这种民商合一的有意大利、前苏联、秘鲁、巴拉圭、古巴、荷兰、蒙古、越南、俄罗斯联邦、台湾、泰国、魁北克等国家和地区的民法典、 1987 年中华人民共和国民法通则以及 1987 年、 1993 年和 1998 年的阿根廷草案也是如此。


Moreover, the Peruvian draft also unifies the rules governing both civil and commercial obligation.



The new Brazilian Civil Code of 2003 derogated , in part, the Commercial Code, which had a major backwards. For instance, section 273 regulated the issue of slaves.

2003 年巴西新民法典部分地废除了商法典,该商法典已大大地过时。比如,其第 273 条规定了 奴隶问题 。


6).- unification in the field of contractual and non contractual liability.

6 .契约与非契约责任领域的统一


The last four Argentine Draft Civil Codes unify both contractual and non contractual liability systems. There is also a strong tendency among the Peruvian doctrine.



Specially, the European Economic Community has passed the Directive 374/85/EEC by which both contractual and non contractual systems concerning liability for defective products are unified. This led to amend the laws of Great Britain , Greece , Italy , Luxemburg , Denmark , Portugal , Germany , Holland , Belgium , Ireland , Spain , Austria , Finland , Sweden and France .

特别是,欧共体已经通过了 374/85 指令,据此统一了关于缺陷产品责任的契约与非契约制度,这导致了英国、希腊、意大利、卢森堡、丹麦、葡萄牙、德国、荷兰、比利时、爱尔兰、西班牙、奥地利、芬兰、瑞典及法国修改自己的法律。


Something similar may happen in the United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (1994).

类似的事情也可能发生在“联合国关于国际贸易中的运输终端操作员责任的公约( 1994 )”中。


7).- Limitation on amount of compensation concerning civil liability

7 .民事责任赔偿数额的限制


There is another tendency regarding the limitation on amount owed as compensation concerning civil liability.



In this respect, it is possible to get a quick collection of compensation and that parties may reach an agreement on an insurance contract .



Nowadays, rated compensation is a common rule on air and maritime transportation. Within the Mercosur, it has also been applied rated compensation in transport since 1994.

当前,额定赔偿是航空、航海运输中的一项普遍规则。在南方市场( Mercosur )范围内,自 1994 年起,在一般运输中也适用额定赔偿。

(译者注: Mercosur ,即 Mercado Comun de Sur, 是中南美洲在区域整合进程中出现的最主要的区域组织,原始会员国包括阿根廷、巴西、巴拉圭及乌拉圭四国。 1991 年 3 月,中南美洲各国出于财经困境,签署亚松森协定,决定成立南方共同市场,并于 1995 年 1 月 1 日 开始运作。之后智利与玻利维亚分别于 1995 年及 1997 年与 MERCOSUR 签署自由贸易区协定,预计于 2006 年组成自由贸易区。目前, MERCOSUR 拟于 2005 年以前与安地诺集团 <Andean Group ,会员国包括玻利维亚、哥伦比亚、厄瓜多尔、秘鲁、委内瑞拉 > 达成南美自由贸易区协定 <South American Free Trade Agreement , SAFTA>, 并与中美洲共同市场及加勒比海共同市场 <Garibbean Community and Common Marker , CARICOM ,会员国包括安地卡、巴贝多、贝里斯、多米尼克、格瑞那达、盖亚那、牙买加、门索雷特、克里斯多、圣露西亚、圣文森、千里达以及巴哈马 > 整合,并进一步与 2005 年与北美自由贸易区共组美洲自由贸易区 <FATT> 。)


This issue is also fostered in the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963).

这一结论在“关于核损害民事责任的维也纳公约( 1963 )”中也得到支持。



8 .夫妻财产制的更改


In addition, it can be seen a tendency towards initial options growing on the matrimonial regime. An as a consequence, there is a possibility to change said regime once the marriage is celebrated.

另外呈现出来的一个趋势是深入影响着夫妻财产制的更改 初始选择权的 倾向。因此,婚礼一经举行,即存在更改上述制度的可能。


Argentine Draft Civil Code of 1998 and 1993, the new Brazilian code and the Peruvian Draft Civil Code grant permission to change the matrimonial regime during the marriage.

This subject matter was in force in Spain since 1978.

1998 年和 1993 年阿根廷民法典草案、巴西新民法典以及秘鲁民法典草案都允许在婚姻存续期间改变夫妻财产制。西班牙关于这一主题的立法自 1978 年起生效。


On several decisions, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico has taken this position regarding the question of making matrimonial regime changes during the marriage. So, I would guess it to be an alternative when that part of the Draft would be drawn up.





IV.- China y Argentina. China and Argentina



These were only a few issues from many others -at least, as many issues as a Civil Code has. And those issues not being considered would really deserve to be taken into consideration.



However, my own language limitations do not allow me to do so.



I wish both Universities reach an agreement by which Chinese and Argentine Professors and Students interchange their knowledge.



In my opinion, Professor Xu Guodong has the merit of having been the first one to know the Argentina civil law. To him I am thankful. If it were not for his gentle contribution, I would not have been among you.

我认为, 徐国栋 教授的功绩在于他是认识阿根廷民法的第一人。我对他深表感谢。如果不是因为他的鼎立支持,我们就不会有今天的相会。


Everything is going to be performed. The future is ours.



The World is looking at China with respect and admiration; and Argentina as well.


Professor at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the National University of La Plata (Argentina ) Secretary of the Pre-legislative Commission for the Amendment the Argentine Civil Code of 1998; Advisor of the Commission for the Amendment of the Civil Code of Puerto Rico.

阿根廷布宜诺斯艾利斯大学和拉普拉塔国立大学教授; 1998 年阿根廷民法典修正案预备立法委员会秘书;波多黎各民法典修正案委员会顾问。


ALTERINI, Jorge “The influence of the Argentine Civil Code in other codifiaction processes” , in “The codification process: its foundation and prospective”. Buenos Aires. Ed. El Derecho. 2004 p. 183


LLAMBíAS. Jorge Joaquín. Treaty of Civil Law. General Part. Buenos Aires. Ed. Perrot. 1978- T-I. p. No.304 p. 234.


See the Note written by Atilio A. Alterini to the Congress about the Draft Civil Code of 1998 to the Republic of Argentina , 18th of december of 1998.


LóPEZ CABANA, Roberto. “The unification of contractual and non contractual civil liability”, in ALTERINI, PICASSO, WAJNTRAUB. Modern Private Law Institutions. Ed. Abeledo Perrot. Bs. As. 2001 p. 215 y ss.



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