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There are numerous free websites that can assist in locating Chilean primary law, as well as secondary information on Chilean legal topics. Links to available English-language translations of Chilean law are listed below at right.
Chilean Government Information (Spanish)
Chilean Government Information (English)
The Chilean Courts and Associated Entities
The following websites are available in Spanish only.
Defensoría Penal Pública
The Public Defender's website offers information about the office's functions and objectives, as well as access to videos and photographs.
The Public Prosecutor's website provides information about the office's functions, as well as links to statistics and publications.
Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos
The Chilean Ministry of Justice and Human Rights' site provides access to the full texts of relevant laws and regulations, as well as information on judicial reform.
Poder Judicial de la República de Chile
This is the central website for the Chilean judiciary. The site includes links to opinions from the Chilean Supreme Court and appellate courts.
Created by law in 2012, the Chilean Environmental Courts hear claims of violations of environmental laws and regulations.
Tribunal Constitucional de Chile
The Chilean Constitutional Court's website provides accesss to information about the Court, as well as opinions.
Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia
Includes links to antitrust-related decisions, orders, and resolutions.
Tribunales Tributarios y Aduaneros
Chile's specialized courts for tax and customs litigation. The website includes access to norms and jurisprudence.
A small sample of websites related to the regime and prosecution of Augusto Pinochet is listed below.
SSRN (Social Sciences Research Network)
SSRN is an electronic repository for international social sciences scholarship that includes the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN). Thousands of downloadable abstracts, working papers, and published papers are available without charge. Users need to go through a free registration process in order to create an account.
The following versions of the 1980 Chilean constitution are available on the WWW. Note that the subscription database "World Constitutions Illustrated" in HeinOnline, contains an English-language translation of the constitution as codified by Supreme Decree No. 100 of September 17, 2005, as amended to Law no. 21,096 of June 5, 2018.
On October 25, 2020, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of drafting a new constitution. On May 15 and 16, 2021, Chileans again went to the polls to elect 155 representatives to the Constitutional Convention.
Constitution of 1980 (Spanish)
This is the text of the Chilean Constitution of 1980, current through the date indicated in the text. The text is posted on the website of the Library of the Chilean National Congress (BCN) and amendments are incorporated as approved. Click on "Imprimir PDF" to open the document in PDF format.
The Constitute Project includes an English translation of the Chilean constitution through the 2015 amendments and also offers the ability to search for constitutional clauses by topic and make cross-constitutional comparisons.
Legislation and Regulations (Spanish)
For a description of the various types of Chilean legal instruments, see the article, "Essentials of the Chilean Legal System" (2019), posted on GlobaLex. Texts of bills, laws, and regulations, are easily searchable on the Library of the Chilean National Congress' website (see below). Many subject-specific laws and regulations are also posted on the related government department or ministry's website.
Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional (BCN)
This is the website of the Library of the Chilean National Congress. The site provides access to bills, individual laws, and legislative history. The full texts of the Chilean codes (Civil, Criminal, Criminal Procedure, Tax, etc.) are also provided.
Diario Oficial de la República de Chile
This is the Chilean government's daily gazette, similar in function to the U.S.' Federal Register.
The purpose of this website, jointly administered by several international organizations (FAO, IUCN, and UNEP) is to provide the "most comprehensive possible global source of information on environmental law." The site includes a database of national environmental legislation, which includes Chile.
Foreign Investment Law (Law no. 20,848)
Enacted on June 16, 2015, published in the Gaceta Oficial on June 25, 2015. Effective January 1, 2016. Available on the Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional website.
Gender Identity Law (Law no. 21,120)
Passed in November 2018, the law allows transgender people over the age of 14 to update their names on legal documents.
Law Regulating the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy on Three Grounds
Law no. 21,030, passed in September 2017, allows abortions under three specific circumstances: there is risk to the life of the mother; the fetus is unviable; or the pregnancy resulted from rape and no more than 12 weeks of gestation have passed (14 weeks in the case of a girl under 14 years of age).
The International Labor Organization (ILO) maintains NATLEX--a database of national labor, social security, and human rights legislation. The database currently contains over 65,000 records, covering more than 190 countries. Chilean laws are included in the database.
UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws
This is a database of national cultural heritage laws that may be searched by country, heritage category, theme, type of instrument, and also by language. Chile is included in the database.
WIPO Lex: Chile
WIPO Lex is an international database of Intellectual Property laws and treaties, maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The database is searchable by country and subject, and there is also keyword search capability.
World Bank Doing Business "Law Library": Chile
Links to a number of Chilean business laws such as those on bankruptcy, securities, and tax. Select "Chile" under "Choose Economies."
Legislation and Regulations (English)
Some Chilean government and NGO/IGO websites post Englis-language translations of Chilean legal materials. Note that the translations may not be official or reflect the most current versions.
Carey News Alerts
Periodic English-language legal alerts prepared by attorneys at Carey, the largest law firm in Chile.
Doing Business: Chile
This page provides access to the current "Doing Business" English-language guide for Chile, based on annual World Bank surveys. The guide provides detailed information on starting a business, dealing with permits, hiring workers, etc.
Electoral.cl is a website that is guided and maintained by a private group of Chilean professionals with expertise in political analysis, communication, and consulting. The site offers a variety of information on Chilean elections, electoral laws, and political parties.
Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS Online)
Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, the Handbook is an interdisciplinary bibliography of published works pertaining to the general topic of Latin American Studies. The Handbook is updated annually.
Imagen de Chile "This is Chile"
This site, administered by the Fundación Imagen de Chile, provides current information on Chile, including a section on "Doing Business." Spanish and English.
LatAm-Studies: Estudios Latinoamericanos
According to the publisher, LatAm-Studies is "is a database service dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of research on Latin America and the Caribbean." Although this is a subscription service, some content is available without charge via the website. Most sources are in Spanish.
Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC): Chile
LANIC is a comprehensive website dedicated to a variety of Latin American topics, including law and justice, political science, and human rights. According to LANIC's editors at the University of Texas at Austin, the site contains over 12,000 urls and is one of the largest sources of Latin American content on the WWW. Note that LANIC is no longer being updated as of July 2015.
LatinLawyer Online: Chile
This is the website of the print publication, Latin Lawyer, which focuses on business law developments in Latin America. Some content is available on the website without a subscription. See under the "Reference" tab for access to information on specific areas ot Chilean law, including IP and Labor.
Lex Mundi: Guide to Doing Business in Chile 2015
This guide is part of a large collection of English-language overviews of conducting business in various foreign jurisdictions. The authors of the guides are members of Lex Mundi, a global organization of attorneys representing over 100 countries. Authors of this guide on Chile are members of the Claro y Cia. law firm.
LibGuide: Inter-American System of Human Rights
This research guide, created by Ellen Schaffer and posted on the Pence Law Library's (American University) site, includes information on the history, the institutions, and the principal instruments of the Inter-American System. Separate tabs are included for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the Organization of American States (OAS).
Peace Palace Library
Located in The Hague, the Peace Palace Library serves the International Court of Justice and has been collecting international legal materials since 1913. The Library's website provides access to its online catalogue, as well as various research guides.
Political Database of the Americas
This is a large source of political information on Latin America. Links to primary law are included, along with extensive information on national political parties and electoral data and systems. According to the site, it is a "non-governmental project of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Georgetown University in collaboration with institutions like the Secretariat for Political Affairs of the Organization of American States and FLACSO-Chile, and also with the support of other organizations and entities in the region."
Refworld: UNHCR: Chile
Refword is an international database, organized by country, and maintained by the United Nations High Commmission on Human Rights (UNHCR). The database contains a collection of reports and policy documents relating to refugee status and human rights issues. There are over 800 documents pertaining to Chile, some of which are available in English.
SICE: Foreign Trade Information System: Chile
SICE is a centralized website for trade information on the Americas, maintained by the OAS. SICE's entry on Chile includes Spanish language texts of trade policy documents and the 2009 "Trade Policy Review" in English.
State of Privacy: Chile
This is a current overview of privacy laws in Chile, including descriptions of the legal infrastructures for communication surveillance and data protection.
Pan-Latin American news service, sponsored by the Bolivian, Cuban, Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan, and Uruguayan governments. Bilingual.
U.S. Department of State Judicial Assistance Pages: Chile
Includes information on various procedural topics, including service of process, depositions, and obtaining evidence.
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
This is an extensive online collection of 60,000+ human rights treaties and other human rights documents. Numerous links are also provided to human rights websites. Additionally, there is a site-specific search engine available, and a section on "Resources for Researching Country Conditions."
World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII): Chile
Several non-profit regional legal information initiatives created and now maintain World LII. The site offers legal subject-based links for individual countries.
Sites listed in English are in English or have an English-language site option.
Digests of Latin American Jurisprudence
The Due Process of Law Foundation has published several digests on Latin American national case jurisprudence:
The 2013 Digest on Indigenous People's Rights compiles and analyzes high court decisions related to indigenous rights in nine Latin American countries. The countries covered are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru. In Spanish only.
The 2015 Digest on the Rights of Victims is available in English.
Two digest volumes on International Crimes (2010 and 2013) are also available in English.
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
The first PowerPoint accompanied a talk on Chilean legal research given at the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Seattle on July 16, 2013. The speaker was Sergio Stone, Robert Crown Law Library, Stanford University. (Posted with permission.)
The second set of PowerPoint slides was prepared for the LUC Law School course, "Comparative Law Seminar: Legal Systems in the Americas."