Issue #
October 2007

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Recent Case Decision on Issues Related to Sanctions for Tax Fraud and Trafficking in Contraband.

October 24, 2007

The First Chamber of Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice established that Article 101 of Mexico’s Federal Tax Code (Código Fiscal dela Federación) is constitutional and does not violate Article 21 of the Mexican Constitution. The substitution and commutation ofsanctions or other interests of parties convicted of tax crimes involving illegal contraband or fiscal fraud is improper. The idea ofsubstituting the sanction was based on Article 18 of the Constitution. The substitution will be effective once the judicial decision isissued and the party granting judgment may or may not grant it to the prisoner, it being a condition that the state substitute the originalsanction if the judicial authority considers it will be of lesser severity.

Mexico’s Half Hour of Rest Work Rules.

October 24, 2007

The Second Chamber of Mexico’s Supreme Court recently decided that for purposes of an offer of reinstatement of work to return to ajob with a full day work schedule, in the context of a labor lawsuit, such offer of reinstatement would be considered to be made in goodfaith if it includes a one-half hour lunch break. Based on the provisions of Article 63 of the Federal Labor Law, the court’s decisiontook into account that the inclusion of such rest period in the work day is a minimum condition recognized by the worker, and that itshould be formally included in the work day. As a result, an employee is entitled to regular pay during such break. In this sense,despite the common perception that an employee working a full day shift is required to work eight hours, with the employer granting ahalf-hour rest break for a total of eight hours thirty minutes, such perception is not correct. The court held that Article 63 of the FederalLabor Law provides a minimum half hour rest break, which must be within the eight hour shift, so that in reality the employee worksseven hours thirty minutes, with a minimum half hour break, which is included in the computation of the full work day. Thus, if anemployee works the half hour instead of taking the break, such half hour of work should be treated as overtime. In addition, the courtconfirmed that employees may take their lunch break either on-site or off-site, at their discretion.

Amparo Appeals of Mexican Judicial Decisions regarding Letters Rogatory and Judicial Requests for Cooperation.

October 24, 2007

The First Chamber of the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice recently held, contrary to previous decisions, that an indirect amparo writof appeal could proceed against prior Mexican court decisions in the areas of letters rogatory or requests for judicial cooperationreceived from non-Mexican governmental authorities in the following instances: (i) when said international document does not meet therequirements established in international treaties and Mexican federal laws for their legal existence and compliance; and (ii) when suchinternational document is not notified or served in conformity with Mexican law. The above points will have a direct impact on thelegal status of an affected party, and will be considered as outside the scope of the legal proceeding and a violation of legal andprocedural guaranties. In this manner, an affected party may seek protection from Mexican federal courts in order to obtain a judicialorder directing the foreign authority that issued the international document to correct such document or properly serve the letter rogatoryor request for judicial cooperation that was not properly served, in accordance with a treaty or applicable Mexican federal law.