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Researching Cuban Law : Other Web Resources

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There are numerous free websites that can assist in locating Cuban primary law, as well as secondary information on Cuban legal topics.  Links to available English translations (extremely limited) of Cuban law are listed below at right.

The Cuban Judiciary

Article 3 of the 1976 Cuban Constitution (as amended to June 26, 2002) establishes a 3-tier court system, plus a system of military courts.  All courts operate with professional and lay judges per Article 124 of the Constitution.

The People's Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo Popular) (TSP) has a Governing Council (Consejo de Gobierno del Tribunal Supremo Popular) (CGTSP) that issues instructions (instrucciones), agreements (acuerdos), and opinions (dictámenes), that are binding on all courts per Article 121 of the Constitution. 

The Office of the Attorney General (Fiscalía General de la República) (FGR) has national, provincial, municipal, and military offices.  

Communist Party of Cuba (Partido Comunista de Cuba) (PCC)

The Preamble and Article 5 of the 1976 Cuban Constitution outline the PCC as the governing force of society and the State.  It is the only approved political party in Cuba.  At the top of its organizational structure are the Secretariat (Secretariado), the Central Committee (Comité Central), and the Politburo (Buró Político). The PCC also has provincial and municipal committees. There have been seven congresses of the PCC since 1975. 

The PCC's website is well-populated with information, including a historical overview and documents from six PCC Congresses. Spanish only. 

 

Constitution

The following versions of the 1976 Cuban Constitution (as amended to June 26, 2002) are available on the WWW.  Note that the subscription database "World Constitutions Illustrated" in HeinOnline, offers historical versions of the Cuban Constitution, as well as an English-language translation of the 1976 Constitution with amendments incorporated. 

English-Language Translations of Primary Law

 

Other than the 1976 Constitution, there is little Cuban primary aw available in English translation.

Codes, Legislation, and Administrative Law (in Spanish)

The main sources of law in Cuba are the Constitution; laws (leyes) (promulgated by the National Assembly); decree-laws (decretos-leyes) promulgated by the Council of State;  and decrees (decretos) promulgated by the Council of Ministers.  There are also numerous regulatory instruments, including resolutions (resoluciones) and regulations (reglamentos). Some subject-specific laws and administrative provisions are posted on the related government department or ministry's website.

WWW Resources

Subject Guide

Julienne Grant's picture
Julienne Grant
Contact:
Loyola University School of Law Library
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611
312.915.8520

The Legal Profession

Attorneys work in various settings, although they are not allowed to be self-employed. Most lawyers practice in collective law firms (bufetes colectivos) that are overseen by the National Organization of Collective Law Firms (Organización Nacional de Bufetes Colectivos) (ONBC). 

The National Union of Cuban Jurists (Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba) (UNJC) serves as a type of national bar association and has its own Scientific Societies (Sociedades Científicas). 

Some lawyers have been practicing independently at their own risk, such as those at the human rights firm, Centro Cubalex, in Havana.  The head of that office, Laritza Diversent, however, was recently granted asylum in the United States.  

EcuRed

EcuRed is the Cuban version of Wikipedia.  Its sponsorship is not entirely clear, but it is seemingly controlled by the Cuban government.  It can be a good starting point for research on Cuban law and related topics. Spanish only. 

Cuban Political & Mass Organizations

Political and mass organizations serve important political and social functions in Cuba, and they represent diverse sectors of the population.  Only a few, however, have their own websites.  For descriptions of the various political and mass organizations, see EcuRed.  Among the largest and most important are the Cuban Workers Federation (Central de Trabajadores de Cuba) (CTC), the Association of Small Farmers (Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños) (ANAP), and the Federation of University Students (Federación Estudiantil Universitaria) (FEU).

Castro Speech Database

The Database contains Fidel Castro's speeches, interviews, and press conferences in English translation.  Coverage is 1959-1996, and the source was the United States' Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).  The Database was compiled by LANIC, the Latin American Network Information Center at the University of Texas at Austin. 

NatLaw World Database

The National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade, which is affiliated with the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, maintains the NatLaw World Database. This database contains laws, regulations, case law, and secondary source materials related to trade and investment for countries in the Americas. Most of the materials are in Spanish, although many English translations are available.  Access to the majority of the database's content is by subscription, although some free materials are available.

NatLaw World Database

NatLaw World Database (Cuba)