Revista Ekos – Between lawyer and woman: María Cecilia Romoleroux

woman-lawyer-maria-cecilia-romoleroux

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DATE: 3-01-2020

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-María Cecilia Romoleroux

MEDIA: Revista Ekos

María Cecilia Romoleroux is a career lawyer and has excelled in various fields at a national and international level. Her passion for the law has allowed her to be a pioneer in areas where women were not easily accepted.

Her career is marked by gender inequality, but this was not an impediment to being the first Ecuadorian woman to be part of the board of directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA) or of the Programming Committee of the International Association for Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI).

In an interview with Ekos Magazine, María Cecilia shared her experiences on the empowerment of women and the work that must be done in Ecuador to achieve gender parity. Her history began in the classrooms of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador where only a small group of women could complete their studies, one by one they started to drop out due to various circumstances.

“For two years I worked in a free clinic for abused women. A situation that humanizes you and allows you to understand the need to empower women”, said Maria Cecilia, who stressed that no person should be an “appendix ”of anyone.

Thus, she decided to enter a more technical niche; the world of intellectual property. After a successful performance she joined a local association where she became vice president. However, when she was ready to be promoted to the presidency, they closed the doors for her because “they were not ready for a woman to be president much less on such a specific field”

“They took me out of the local sphere but I started working internationally. I joined various associations and tried to make a name of myself”, she said.

Some time later, María Cecilia joined CorralRosales as a partner and also has had an extensive career as a mediator and judge / judicial assistant. She is one of the few professionals who holds a partnership in a national law firm. According to Romoleroux, this is due to the fact that “women do not give themselves the opportunity to go far. It is necessary to work from dawn to dusk, travel and possibly miss many family-related activities.”

“You have to combine the roles between mother and lawyer.”

“Many times society does not help professional woman reach high positions”, says Maria Cecilia; an issue that was ratified by the Ekos Group Research Unit who conducted a survey to find out the number of women who hold CEO and management positions. The result shows that only 37.3% of women have such positions in contrast to that of men 62.7%.

“This reality is not very far from the realm of law. In such sexist communities it is difficult to be a mother, wife and professional at the same time”, said the expert. That is why there are countries – like Italy – that have limited spaces for women to be partners or directors of consortia or legal groups. On the other hand, factors such as the Ecuadorian work environment causes men to have an advantage above women at time of selection or hiring for new positions.

In spite of all the social obstacles, last year María Cecilia was recognized as “Women Chambers in Law 2018 for Ecuador” in the annual awards ceremony for Chambers and Partners Legal Directory within the Diversity and Inclusion Awards category, where her career, achievements and especially her legacy were analyzed; that is, the projects she is taking on to leave a mark or a way forward in the country.

Finally, María Cecilia Romoleroux shared what her motivation to dedicate herself to this legal field was and her answer was a simple: “life gave me this”.

Education:

1990: Doctor of Jurisprudence at the Catholic University of Ecuador

1991: Paralegal program at Georgetown University, United States of America

1993: International Relations – Ship for the World Youth, Japan

1997: Master Lucentinus in Copyright at the University of Alicante

Experience:

2000-2014: Mediator of the Ecuadorian-American Chamber

2002-present: Partner in intellectual property and regulation, CorralRosales

1999-2000: Secretary of the Ecuadorian Association of Industrial Property Agents

2001-2003: Vice President of the Ecuadorian Association of Industrial Property Agents

2003-2019: International Intellectual Property mediator for International Trademark Association

2009-2012: Judicial Assistant of the Administrative Contentious Court

2012-present: Mediator and arbitrator for ASIPI

2017-2019: INTA board member

2019-2021: Member of the Programming Committee at the Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété intellectualle

2019-2021: ASIPI President of the Committee of Counterfeiting

Achievements:

2017: President of the first Latin American INTA conference in Cartagena

2018: Winner of the Chambers “Lawyer of the Year” award

2019: Nominated International Program Leader for INTA Boston

2020: Chairman of the Host Committee for ASIPI Quito

If you want to read the interview in spanish, press here

Teleamazonas – Annual and/or monthly taxes apply from January 1st

teleamazonas-andrea-moya-tax-reform

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FECHA: 2-01-2020

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS:: 

-Andrea Moya

DATE: Teleamazonas

Our Partner, Andrea Moya, has been interviewed by the Teleamazonas news to explain the tax amendments introduced by the “Tax Simplification and Progressivity Law” and the date on which the amendments come into force.

“When taxes must be paid on an annual or monthly basis, the amendments entry into force from the first day of the following month. All amendments, in general, are effective as of January 1, with certain exceptions. The first exception is the distribution of dividends. This amendments entry into force on December 31,” Andrea Moya said in the interview.

Another of the points analyzed by our Partner was the amendment to the sub capitalization limit. “Previously, in credits between related parties you had a sub capitalization rule. Now this limit for interest expense changed to 20% of the profit. This should only affect contracts signed as of this date,” she explained. However, this has not been clarified in the law.

Another of the reforms that will come into force in 180 days, is the VAT for digital services, such as Uber or Netflix. “All the concepts that the law does not regulate specifically, the Tax Authority will have to issue a regulation” Andrea Moya points out during her interview.

All these changes could mean an amount of 600 million US dollars in revenue for the Government.

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Public-Private Partnerships in Ecuador

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DATE: 11-12-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Jimmy Rodríguez

Ecuador is committed to accelerate the construction of infrastructure and the provision of public services through Public-Private Partnerships (“PPP”). For this purpose, it is essential to plan and prioritize strategic projects by sector; a transparent and predictable legal framework; and, above all, an inter-institutional structure with defined competencies and with the capacity to coordinate, monitor, and control.

The State and the private sector can be complementary agents in the provision of goods, jobs, and services to citizens. One of the fundamental responsibilities of the central and regional governments is to provide high-quality infrastructure and public services in a timely manner. By associating with the State, the private sector contributes with capital, as well as experience and specific knowledge. This figure is known as Public-Private Partnerships.

Chile, Colombia and Peru have had PPP regulations and experiences for at least a decade. In Ecuador, the Law of Incentives for Public Private Partnerships and Foreign Investments was enacted on December 18, 2015. So far, several APP contracts have been signed between the Central Government and private[1] partners. As part of the National Development Plan, The Ministry of Transport has 5 road projects in public tender and 9 other projects on the agenda[2]. On the other hand, although there are some initiatives promoted by the private sector, it is still a pending task of the regional governments to crystallize projects through this instrument.

The PPP scheme ensures the legal stability of the contract and grants access to tax benefits for the private partner, such as income tax 10 year´s exemption, tax outflow (ISD) exemption on imports, financing and payment of dividends, and the reduction of tariffs and VAT applicable to imports related to the project. The applicable law provides the possibility to submit any dispute that may arise between public entities and private partners to a national or international arbitration process.

The timely execution of the projects and the absence of conflicts derives from the capacity of the State to coordinate and monitor the execution of the projects, and cooperation between institutions. For this purpose, the State should have adequate material and human resources to ensure the success of the projects.

Given that the State has limited and scarce economic resources, it is decisive that Ecuador maintains the incentives contained in the Law of Incentives for Public-Private Associations and Foreign Investments, and that it applies a modern and transparent system of PPP which will contribute positively to the development of the country.

If you want to read this article in Spanish, click here


[1] The relevant infrastructure projects are: Posorja Port, Bolívar Port ; Río 7 – Huaquillas Highway; Guayaquil viaduct; and, Chongón – Santa Elena road system.

[2] Ver: https://www.obraspublicas.gob.ec/asociacion-publico-privada-2013-2017_esp/ (2019-11-22)

Idealex – Technological Tools in the Workplace

technological-tools-edmundo-ramos-rafael-serrano-idealex

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FECHA: 24-11-19

PROFESIONALES EN LA NOTICIA: 

-Edmundo Ramos
-Rafael Serrano

MEDIA: Idealex

Most companies provide their employees with technological tools (“ICTs”) such as corporate email, mobile phone, and computers in order for them to fulfill their tasks. It is common for the worker to use them for personal purposes, resulting in situations of unauthorized use of work ICTs, or the incorrect handling of information owned by the employer.

Since the employer is the owner of the ICTs, he may establish limits for the proper use of them. Article 46 of the Ecuadorian Labor Code does not establish any laws regarding the treatment of information and the consequent right of the employer to access and control it. Nevertheless, the employer must respect constitutional rights granted for the protection of data, correspondence and privacy. 

The right to inviolability and secrecy protects the communications made by the worker. For this reason, the employer will not be able to access email or information contained in the company’s computer or cell phone without the worker’s consent.

Communications can also be protected by the constitutional right to personal data protection: “The right to personal data protection, which includes access to and decision on information and data of this nature, as well as their corresponding protection. The collection, archiving, processing, distribution, or transferring of this data or information will require the authorization of the holder or the mandate of the law.”

Personal data is all the data or information that makes a person identifiable. In general, corporate emails refer to names, surnames, or positions of the person to whom the email is assigned, just as the cell phone number is linked to a specific person. The definition of personal data would include both the email and the cell phone number. Therefore, since this information can be considered as personal data, the authorization of the holder is required to access and review this information. 

Finally, the right to privacy also protects the use and access to ICTs. The American Convention on Human Rights recognizes this right, which provides the following: “No one can be subjected to arbitrary or abusive interference in his private life, his family, his home or his correspondence, nor of illegal attacks on his honor or reputation.”

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has indicated, “… The scope of privacy is characterized by being exempted and immune from abusive or arbitrary invasions or attacks by third parties or the public authority.” The right to privacy would apply to personal communications made by the worker using work ICTs.

The rules that define the use and control of technological tools must be in writing in the different legal documents of each company, in order to have the necessary support to sanction their misuse:

Employment Contract: the employer must establish in the employment contract the delivery of technological tools and the use of them. The contract shall also recognize the rights of the employer to recover the ICTs and obtain a backup of the information contained therein.

Internal Work Regulations: It is essential to incorporate in this document, rules that regulate the use of technological tools. Employers may establish sanctions in their Internal Labor Regulations for their misuse or the inclusion of employee’s data and personal information. The internal regulation must establish the ownership of the information contained in these tools, as well as the periodicity for monitoring or supervision.

Internal Policy of the Company: these documents must explain the rights and obligations that the workers have regarding the ICTs. The policies shall establish the right of the employer to access and obtain copies of all the information within these technological tools. Workers must be notified and informed to the worker.  

Delivery / Receipt certificate: At the time the technological tools are delivered, the employer must establish the limitations and conditions under which the tools are delivered. It is important to detail the physical state and the data content of the tools so that, at the time of their return, the worker is responsible for any deterioration not attributable to their normal use.

Training: The employer shall conduct training for workers regarding the importance and limitations of the use of technological tools.

In conclusion, technological tools facilitate the execution of the functions performed by the workers, but their use must be regulated in detail so that both the employer and the worker know the limits and the sheer work-related purpose that must be given to them. The adequate protection of the company’s ICTs and information that they contain will be possible only if there is clarity in the rights and obligations regarding the use of such tools.

Edmundo Ramos’s Bio:

Edmundo Ramos is a partner at CorralRosales. He has more than twenty-five years of expertise representing local and international clients in labor and social security matters. Edmundo leads the CorralRosales Labor Department and participates actively in the area of ​​Dispute Resolution in the management of labor disputes.

Rafael Serrano’s Bio:

Rafael Serrano is an associate at CorralRosales. He has more than five years of expertise in the TMT industry. He leads the Data Protection Department with an emphasis on personal data protection, electronic commerce, and emerging technologies.

If you want to read this article in Spanish, click here

Gestión Digital – Draft Law for Fiscal Transparency

fiscal-transparency-gestion-digital-Andrea-Moya

DETAILS

DATE: 7-11-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Andrea Moya

The following is a summary of the main amendments proposed in the draft of the “Draft Law for Fiscal Transparency, Optimization of Tax Expenditure, Encouragement of Job Creation, Strengthening of the Monetary and Financial Systems and Responsible Management of Public Finance”

Income tax

Dividends:

  • The taxable income will be 40% of the dividend effectively distributed. The concept of global dividend is eliminated (dividend distributed plus taxes paid by the company) and consequently the tax credit for taxes paid by the company.
  • The exemption for dividends paid to companies and for individuals residing abroad is eliminated. The applicable withholding percentage will be 25%.
  • In the case of dividends distributed in favor of individuals residing in Ecuador, the Tax Authority will establish the withholding percentage.
  • If the company that distributes the dividends fails to report its corporate structure, the withholding percentage applicable to the dividend paid abroad will be 35%.
  • It is ratified that the capital increase with retained earnings (stock dividend) will not be taxed.

Deductions:

  • Interest paid on loans granted by related or independent parties may not exceed 20% of the entity’s profit. Interest paid in excess of this ratio will be considered non-deductible.
  • Indirect expenses allocated from abroad by related parties will be considered non-deductible expenses.
  • The following additional deductions are reduced from 100 to 50%: (i) net increase in employment, (ii) medical insurance and / or prepaid medicine expenses granted to employees; (iii) depreciation of assets that reduce the environmental impact; and, (iv) certain expenses incurred by micro, small and medium businesses, such as: research and development expenses, expenses to improve productivity, and travel and promotion expenses for accessing international markets.
  • The deductibility of advertising and promotion costs and expenses will not be limited.

Others:

  • Payment of the advance income tax is no longer mandatory.
  • The reduction of the income tax rate for exporting entities that reinvest their profits goes from 10 to 8 percentage points.
  • Income obtained abroad that has been subject to tax in the country of origin will no longer be exempted from paying income tax in Ecuador. The tax paid abroad will be considered as tax credit.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

  1. The following goods will be subject to 0%VAT:
    • Flowers.
    • Test strips for glucose.
    • Newsprint.
  1. Digital services:

Digital services will be subject to 12% VAT. Digital services are those provided and / or contracted through the Internet that are automated and require minimal human intervention.

In the case of import of digital services, VAT will be paid by the importer of the service. Credit card issuing entities will withhold the VAT when the digital service provider is not registered in Ecuador.

Excise Tax

  1. Taxable base: The presumptive minimum profit margin to be applied on the ex-customs or ex-factory price is increased from 25 to 30% based.
  2. Taxed goods: The following goods are taxed at the rates described below:
    • Liquids containing nicotine to be administered through nicotine administration systems (electronic cigarettes): 50%
    • Soft drinks with sugar content less than or equal to 25 grams per liter and energy drinks: 11%
    • Soft drinks with sugar content greater than 25 grams per liter: US$0.20 per 100 grams of sugar.
    • Vehicles: the calculation formula is modified according to the sale price of the vehicle to avoid leaps in the rates.
    • Post-paid mobile phone service provided to individuals: 10%
    • Craft beer: The rate is reduced from US $ 2.00 per liter to US $ 1.5 per liter.
    • Industrial beer: The rate is increased according to market share.
    • Plastic bags: US$ 0.10 per bag

Currency Exit Tax

Exemptions:

  • Loans granted abroad: (i) there is no longer required that term of the credit is at least 360 days, and, (ii) the loan may be used to invest in shares issued by Ecuadorian entites.
  • Dividends: Dividends paid to entities or individuals residing in tax havens is exempted.

The tax rate applicable to the import of raw materials and capital goods, is reduced from 5 to 2.5%; however, the right to tax credit for such imports is eliminated.

Single and Temporary Tax

Who are obliged to pay? Companies whose gross income in fiscal year 2018 exceeded one million dollars.

How much should be paid? The amount to be paid is shown in the following table. The amount shall not exceed 25% of the generated, declared or determined income tax of fiscal year 2018.

Gross taxable income from (USD $) Gross taxable income up to (USD $) Rate
1,000,000 5,000,000 0.10%
5,000,001 10,000,000 0.15%
10,000,001 Onwards 0.20%

When should it be paid? Until March 31 of fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Capital Repatriation Regime

The tax residents of Ecuador can benefit from this regime if as of December 31, 2018:

  • They have maintained abroad revenues subject to income tax in Ecuador or, have made monetary transactions subject to outflow tax (ISD), which have not been declared or if the tax has not been paid.
  • Have kept assets abroad which have been acquired with these revenues and, that have not been registered in the equity declaration.

If taxpayers decide to repatriate and invest the income in Ecuador, they will be subject to the following rules:

  • If the income is declared until March 31, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 1%;
  • If the income is declared from April 1, 2020 until June 30, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 2%; and
  • If the income is declared from July 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 4%
  • If taxpayers decide to declare their income, assets or investments abroad, but not repatriate and reinvest in Ecuador, it will be subject to pay a tax rate equal to 8%.

The income will be regarded as invested in Ecuador if it remains in Ecuador for a minimum period of 12 consecutive months counted from the date on which the investment is made and if it’s purpose is one of those established in the law, such as: investments and financial products provided by financial institutions, stock exchanges and stock brokerage houses, acquisition of real estate and other assets necessary to carry out economic activities in the country or, investments destined to research and development of technology.

If you want to read de article in Gestión Digital, click here

IPWatchdog – Ecuador May Soon Reap the Benefits of the Patent Prosecution Highway

prosecution-highway-patents-ipwatchdog-Francisco-Gallegos

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DATE: 2-11-19

TEAM MEMBERS IN THE NEWS:

-Francisco Gallegos

MEDIA: IPWatchDog

Ecuador has been participating in a pilot program of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) since 2016 but has as of yet failed to implement the system for a number of reasons. However, with the announcement in July that Ecuador may join the Pacific Alliance next year under its new President, Lenin Moreno, and a general market-friendly shift in government, it is expected that the PPH could soon become effective.

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Gestión Digital – Forms of associations in Ecuadorian Public Procurement

public-procurement-ricardo-mancheno

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DATE: 2-10-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Ricardo Mancheno

Ecuadorian legislation regulates the use of the association or joint accounts and the consortium as forms of associations for public procurement, which facilitates the participation of the private sector in business with the State.

As part of the development of commercial activities, it is common for natural and legal persons to use forms of associations that allows them to jointly and efficiently conduct businesses in the private and public sectors. A summary of the legal framework applicable to these forms for public procurement is presented below.

The law establishes as forms of association: the association or joint accounts, the consortium or consortium agreement; and, joint venture.

In the area of public procurement, the legislation only admits the use of the association and the consortium. The latter is the most widely used in practice.

The association or joint accounts defines the Corporate Law as a contract whereby a merchant gives one or more persons participation in the results of one or more operations or of all their commercial activity, in exchange for a certain participation or contribution. The management and accountability of the business is the responsibility of the person in whose business third party participation occurs; the law grants the participants ample freedom to agree on the terms of the association.

The consortium or consortium agreement is a contract provided in the Commercial Code, whereby two or more people, natural or legal, are associated with the purpose of participating in a contest, project or contract, or in several at the same time. Associates do not lose their independence and autonomy. Participants in a consortium respond jointly and severally for the obligations acquired by the consortium. In other laws the consortium is usually called “temporary union.”

For contracting with public entities, the law provides that the consortium agreement must be constituted by public deed and that, therein, regardless of other provisions or regulations of the relations between the participants, the declaration of their joint and several liability for the fulfillment of its obligations derived from the contract with the public entity. In addition, you must obtain the Unique Registry of Suppliers, RUP.

To participate as an offeror in the pre-contractual stage of a public procurement procedure, the law allows the presentation of a partnership or consortium commitment, which must also meet specific requirements such as the declaration of the obligation to constitute the consortium previous to the subscription of the respective contract.

The association and the consortium have no legal status of their own. However, for tax purposes they are considered as independent subjects of their members. As such, they must obtain their own unique taxpayers registry or RUC and keep their accounts as if they were a company.

Each of the participants is jointly and indivisibly responsible for fulfilling the obligations arising from the contract. In this sense, public procurement regulations explicitly ratify that the participation in an association or a consortium does not make up for the loss of the legal status of each of the participating suppliers, since the association or consortium does not constitute a different legal entity. In this way, the same regulations provide that the responsibility for the execution of the contract is indivisible and complete for the associates. In order to determine the experience and compliance of the consortiums in previous contracts with the public sector, the contracting entities must consider the sum of the experiences of the participants when evaluating the offers.

The association or consortium cannot be dissolved or terminated by the will of the contracting parties, nor may it change its conformation until the end of the contract, unless expressly authorized by the contracting entity

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El Economista – What do companies seek in their legal service provider?

legal-service-rafael-rosales-el-economista

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DATE: 23-09-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Rafael Rosales

MEDIA: El Economista

Our Partner Rafael Rosales published a detailed article in the Spanish specialized medium El Economista, in which he analyzes the characteristics and needs of companies when they seek a legal service provider. The development of technological tools has led to everything going faster, and therefore, decision making by executives must be at full speed. Moreover, the advice should provide that speed.

“Far is the time when the responses of the offices to the inquiries of their clients were broad legal disquisitions. Executives have no interest in knowing the legal texts and the respective doctrine, nor the time to review extensive documents. Therefore, concise and easy-to-read reports and responses, without excessive citations from authors and jurisprudence, are highly valued,” says Rosales in his article.

One of the key points highlighted by our Partner is the communication between the two parties. Companies expect a constant flow of communication with their legal advice, and in addition to that, they must be proactive. “It is very important to participate in the development of the client’s business and even help in the execution and generation of new projects, in short, to be an active part of the company,” he adds in the article.

Rosales also points to billing as one of the factors to consider. Legal advice is not exempt from the tight budgets that companies manage and therefore, they must have an added value to offer their clients. “Beyond the high quality of the advice and the recognition of the client, receiving an unexpected invoice will cause discomfort in the consultant, who may even find other alternatives for later occasions,” says our Partner Rafael Rosales.

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WTR Dialy – Ecuadorian IP Office deals blow to parasitic trademark applications

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DATE: 30-08-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

-Ian Wall

MEDIA: WTR Dialy

Our Associate Ian Wall has published an article in WTR Daily explaining and reflecting on the resolution of the Ecuadorian IP Office in which they accepted the opposition filed by the cosmetic brand Huda Beauty against the application for an identical mark. As explained by Ian, in addition to the rejection of the application, the Ecuadorian IP Office was responsible for reviewing the WIPO online trademark database to verify the right in the opponent’s country of origin, and to accept the aforementioned online results as evidence of such right.

“Ecuador’s trademark system is based on the rst-to-le principle. This means that simply using a mark in Ecuador confers few or no rights. The problems faced by brand owners in Ecuador that fail to secure registration of their trademark rights is compounded by the fact that the authorities have been slow to recognise even famous marks that are not yet in use in the country”, tops the article Wall..

This decision represents a relaxation of the evidentiary requirements and demonstrates a proactivity rarely seen from the Ecuadorian IP Office. This suggests the willingness of the Ecuadorian trademark authorities to protect large brands against applications for parasitic marks.

“The IP Oce incorrectly failed to acknowledge the priority claim and proceeded to reject the opportunistic application on the basis of Article 6 quinquies of the Paris Convention. More importantly, the IP Oce took it upon itself to review the online WIPO trademark database with regard to the opponent’s country of origin right and to accept the online entry as evidence of this right”, as explained by Ian.

If you want to read the full article, click here.

Evolution of the Legal Sector in Ecuador 2008-2018

DETAILS

DATE: 10-08-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

Francisco Corrales

MEDIA: Idealex

To better understand the legislative evolution in this decade, it is necessary to take into account that the presidency of the Republic was exercised by a single character from 2007 to 2017: Rafael Correa, an unprecedented case in Ecuadorian history. There have been presidents who have exercised the presidency for a total of more than 10 years, but not continuously.

In 2008 a new Constitution, the twenty-second, was issued for which a Constituent Assembly was convoked. Its mission was to draft a political letter which to enter into effect required the favorable vote of the majority of citizens expressed in a referendum convoked for the effect. President Correa had an absolute majority in the Assembly and managed to have the 2008 Constitution built to suit his political project: The Ecuadorian version of the so-called 21st Century Socialism. The main ideologues of this movement who played the same role in the constitutions of Venezuela and Bolivia were two Spanish professors belonging to the extremist group “Podemos”.

The 2008 Constitution that currently governs the country, with 23 modifications introduced in three separate occasions, consists of 444 articles, 30 transitional provisions and a transition regime developed in 30 additional articles. The constitution has 52,831 words, compared to that of 1998 with only 29,162 words. It is a convoluted, contradictory, incoherent, and regulatory political letter which strengthens the presidential power to the extreme. In addition, it was shielded in such a way that its reform requires long procedures along with qualified majorities and for certain matters even the convocation of a new Constituent Assembly.

To consolidate the indefinite political power of the XXI Century Socialism sought in Ecuador during the period under review, large numbers of codes and laws were dictated; most of them penned by the presidency of the Republic. There is hardly any law whose initiative came from the Legislative Assembly itself. The assembly members of the political group led by President Correa were an absolute majority which allowed them, without the need for agreements or alliances, to approve as many laws as they considered necessary to suit their interests.

Among others, the following laws were issued: Organic Monetary and Financial Code, Commercial Code, Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization, Organic Code of Judicial Function, Administrative Organic Code, General Organic Code of Processes, Code of “Ingenios” (Organic Code of the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation), Organic Law of the Legislative Function, Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control, Organic Law of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, Organic Law of Higher Education, Organic Electoral Law and Political Organizations, Organic Law of Ombudsman, Organic Law of Land Transportation, Traffic and Road Safety, Organic Law of the National Public Procurement System; To this extravagant number of codes and laws, we must also add reforms of all kinds due to the fact that 11 reforms were issued in the period under review only with regard to tax laws.

Therefore, it is correct to affirm that between 2007 and 2017 Ecuador endured a legislative incontinence of new laws, reforms and counter reforms that have thwarted the institutional and legal structure of the Republic. The vast majority of members from this movement in the government have had the sole goal of strengthening the presidential power and facilitating the fulfillment of the political objectives of the group that held power, that is, its indefinite command of the Republic. This situation has become such a problem that several private and public sectors have suggested that the least traumatic way to end the current legal chaos would be to convoke a referendum in which the people would repeal the 2008 Constitution replacing it with the 1998’s. Therefore, the legislature would adapt the current secondary laws to the constitutional norms of 1998.

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