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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

Cuba has a three-tier court system, plus a system of military courts.  All courts operate with professional and lay judges.

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), which are binding on all courts.

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 PCC 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. Raúl Castro is the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC, a role he is expected to give up in 2021. 

 

Constitution

The following versions of the new 2019 Cuban Constitution 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 newly approved 2019 Constitution, which went into effect on April 10, 2019. 

English-Language Translations of Primary Law

 

Other than the 2019 Constitution, and the sources listed below, there is little Cuban primary law available in English-language translation. Lawrence Publishing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, however, recently published a three-volume English-language translation of Cuban civil, commercial, and public laws.  The LUC Law Library has a copy of this set.  

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

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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 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