Recent media reports featured that a 13 year-old teenager shocked his parents when he told them he learned to drive a car from information obtained on the Internet. It is just as surprising for people without any medical expertise to search the Internet in order to diagnose illnesses or diseases, or to search for prescriptions to cure such ailments, and even obtain information on rehabilitation after they have suffered an illness. Naturally, inherent risks exist, which pose a serious danger from learning to drive motor vehicles and diagnosing illnesses based solely on Internet searches. It is even more dangerous when people choose to apply remedies they have found online. With respect to legal practice, numerous websites have been created in Mexico providing information that may be used for legal consultation. The legal information contained on such websites is generally free and useful to a certain degree. However, one should exercise caution as not all opinions are accurate, based on the fact that every legal issue is different, and it is dangerous to make generalizations. Some useful websites clearly exist and includewww.ordenjuridico.gob.mx , which contains an updated directory (almost always) of federal laws and regulations, as well as links to state laws, and www.juridicas.unam.mx , the website for the Legal Research Institute of UNAM, with links to reliable articles of interest. In addition, Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton maintains three websites with information that may be of interest:www.mexicoreport.com , which includes all editions of this publication in both English and Spanish; www.mexicanautomotive , which includes all editions of our sister publication titled “MexicanAutomotive” on the automotive and auto parts industry in Mexico, in both English and Spanish; and www.mexicanlaw.com, which offers various articles and links of interest. Unlike other websites previously mentioned, MexicanLaw.com is available in English. Nevertheless, non-lawyers searching the Internet for legal advice should exercise caution, given that answers to the questions presented and the advice generated are not always in accordance with applicable law
Given the likelihood of a much commented and controversial energy reform that would allow greater participation by the private industry in the energy sector, it is necessary to be aware of the proceedings and formalities present when private parties enter into contracts with Mexican federal or local government bodies. On the federal level, the laws that govern public contracting are the Public Sector Acquisition, Leasing and Services Law and the Public Works and Related Services Law, depending on the subject matter of the contract in question. However, in 2008, various reforms were published, excluding acquisitions, leases and contracting of public works and services from the application of these laws, dealing exclusively with substantive production activities referred to in the Regulatory Law of Article 27 on the Petroleum Industry, in which case the provisions of the Mexican Petroleum Law will apply. According to both laws, public contracting may occur through: a) public bidding; b) invitation to at least three parties; or c) direct award, with public bidding being the main form of contracting. In this regard, and without discussing the specifics of each one of the above-referenced laws, it must be noted that in public contracting in Mexico participants must comply with each and all of the rules and requirements of the bidding process or contracting process, as minor or insignificant as some elements may seem. This is because for the purpose of carrying out a transparent and objective contract proceeding, unless an express exclusion applies under such requirements or in the corresponding meetings held to brief participants and clarify contracting questions, the respective entity or authority will likely dismiss a non-complying proposal even if such proposal is better or more convenient technically and/or economically. Those considering potential participation in Mexican public bidding and procurement opportunities should obtain timely advice in order to fully comply with the requirements established by the respective entity or authority and the applicable law, noting that the time periods established for each stage of the proceeding are of utmost importance.
By reaffirmation of legal opinion number 3/2013 (9a.), Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) recently issued the legal opinion titled "Foreign Trade. The extraordinary authority to legislate granted to the President of the Republic in Constitutional Article 131, second paragraph, which not only includes the ability to increase, decrease or eliminate export or import duties issued by Congress and to create others, but also to repeal such." In this legal opinion, the SCJN definitively confirms the criteria for the dismissal of an amparo proceeding for a violation of the regulatory authority conferred upon the President of the Republic in Constitutional Article 131, second paragraph, to increase, decrease or eliminate the import and export tariff rates issued by Congress, which do not expressly allow for the "repeal" of such tariffs. Contrary to such, the SCJN has held that the clear intent of the legislature was to allow the tax system to be consistent with the principles of flexibility and efficiency, which are achieved only if the President has legal and material authority to adjust tariffs according to the economic needs of the country at any given moment in time. As a result, the SCJN concludes that among the meanings of the term "modify" are to alter, vary and to repeal, which in practice has no binding effect on the legislature, as it can supersede the President's determination by enacting another law or decree. This legal opinion is important given the controversy surrounding the authority of the President, which has been under review since 2001. This legal opinion is published in the Weekly Federal Court Reporter and its Gazette, Book XVII, February 2013, Volume 1, page 298.