1994 amendment of the Constitution of Argentina

The 1994 amendment to the Constitution of Argentina was approved on 22 August 1994 by a Constitutional Assembly that met in the twin cities of Santa Fe and Paraná. The calling for elections for the Constitutional Convention and the main issues to be decided were agreed in 1993 between President Carlos Menem, and former president and leader of the opposition, Raúl Alfonsín.


On August 22, 1994, after three months of deliberations in the cities of Santa Fe and Paraná, the reform of 43 articles was finally approved in Santa Fe. The deliberations did not end without altercations; for instance, Monsignor Jaime de Nevares resigned his seat, claiming the convention to be "vitiated with absolute nullity".

Main points

Amongst the most important points of the reform are:
In order to provide an effective protection to individual rights, the 1994 amendment has introduced actions called: "amparo", "hábeas corpus", and "hábeas data". "Amparo" gives the possibility to any person to request that a judge declare the unconstitutionality of an act or ruling on which an action or omission of public authorities or private individuals is based that, in an actual or imminent manner, causes damage or restrains a right recognized by the Constitution, the law, or an international treaty. This action requires that no other effective judicial means be available. "Hábeas corpus" is an action that can be filled to protect the right of physical freedom when it is threatened, limited, modified, or injured, or in case of illegitimate aggravation of conditions of detention. "Hábeas data" is an action that can be filled by any individual to take notice of any information referred to him, registered in public or private registers, and to request its suppression, rectification, confidentiality, or updating.
Another innovation introduced by the 1994 amendment is the right of citizens to introduce bills before the House of Deputies that must be considered by Congress within the next twelve months. A further innovative provision is the recognition of the right of every inhabitant to a healthy environment in article 41 that establishes that
Additionally, there are precise provisions referring to protection of consumers rights, defense of competition, control of natural or legal monopolies, and of public services' quality and efficiency.