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Constitutional Court

Wolfenson Lawyers provides specialized advice on the filing of actions before the Constitutional Court (TC).

Before the TC, it is possible to request the inapplicability of certain legal norms during the validity of a trial, in order to nullify the norms that are not related to the rights that the Political Constitution of the Republic grants to each person.

Wolfenson provides advice on the main proceedings before the Constitutional Court to deliver justice to our clients.

Here is a legal guide to provide you with guidance on the Constitutional Court of Chile:

What is the Constitutional Court?

The Constitutional Court of Chile (TC) is an independent and autonomous State body , whose function, among others, is to ensure the constitutionality of laws and decrees . The TC ensures that any regulations that are issued are framed within the constitutional limits.

What is the history of the Constitutional Court of Chile?

As for its history, the Constitutional Court was created by law in 1970, under the auspices of the 1925 Constitution . It was dissolved at the beginning of the Chilean dictatorship , in 1973, by decree issued by the Military Government Junta.

Later, it was replaced in the 1980 Constitution , and substantially modified, through the 2005 constitutional reform . This last reform provided the TC with greater functions, following the models of other countries and the opinion of legal experts , changing the way of appointing the Ministers , removing all past interference with the Armed Forces and the National National Security Council (Cosena) , ensuring with this the professionalization of the TC and its legal objectivity.

What are the powers of the Constitutional Court?

The main powers and functions of the Constitutional Court are as follows:

1. Constitutional control powers : the Constitutional Court carries out preventive and subsequent control of legal provisions (including decrees with the force of law ); in the latter case, either by way of inapplicability requirements or unconstitutional actions . Preventive controls are classified into optional (at the request of the President of the Republic , the Chambers or a part of its members in office) and compulsory (regarding interpretive laws of the Constitution , organic constitutional laws and international treaties that contain their own rules of the latter type of laws). The Court also controls, in a preventive and optional way , the constitutional reform projects and the international treaties submitted to the approval of the Congress. Likewise, it exercises preventive and subsequent control of the rules of the regulatory power ( decrees and resolutions ). Finally, it resolves constitutional issues related to agreed-upon orders issued by the Superior Courts of Justice ( Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals ) and the Elections Qualifying Court.

2. Solution of contests of competition: it solves this type of contests arisen between the political and administrative authorities and the courts of justice that do not correspond to the Senate.

3. Statement on disqualifications , incompatibilities, resignations and grounds for cessation in office of the heads of certain bodies, such as the President of the Republic , the Ministers of State and parliamentarians.

4. Statement on constitutional crimes: Declares the unconstitutionality of organizations , movements or political parties , such as the President of the Republic in office or the elected, who had incurred in the constitutional crimes that the Constitution provides in its b, sixth and following paragraphs.

How is the Constitutional Court organized and works?

The Constitutional Court of Chile is made up of 10 members who are called "Ministers of the Constitutional Court" . The highest authority of the Constitutional Court is its President , who is elected by its members, by simple majority of votes, lasts two years in office, and may be re-elected for the following period.

The order of precedence is determined by the Court itself and the President is subrogated by the Minister who follows it in that order of precedence.

The Court functions in full to exercise most of its powers , especially those of constitutional control , or divided into two rooms. The plenary session quorum is 8 members, while the meeting quorum is 4.

The agreements are adopted by simple majority , as a general rule, and the decisions must be pronounced according to law . The chambers rule on the admissibility of the inapplicability requirements and on the requests for suspension of the procedure presented within the framework of these.

How are the members of the Constitutional Court composed?

In accordance with the provisions of article 92 of the Constitution , the 10 Ministers who make up the Constitutional Court are appointed as follows:

A. 3 are freely designated by the President of the Republic.

B. 4 are elected by the National Congress : 2 are directly appointed by the Senate and the other 2 are also appointed by the Senate on the proposal of the Chamber of Deputies.

C. 3 are directly appointed by the Supreme Court in secret ballot.

The Court has two Alternates of Ministers , who are appointed every three years, who can replace the Ministers and integrate the Plenary or any of the Chambers only in case the respective quorum to meet is not reached. The Substitutes for Minister are appointed by the President of the Republic , with the agreement of the Senate, chosen from a list of seven people proposed by the Constitutional Court , after a prior public contest .

The Court has a lawyer Secretary who acts as Minister of Public Faith . The officers of the Court are subject to the immediate authority of the Secretary or the Rapporteur who subrogates it, where appropriate. Currently, the Tribunal has three lawyer Rapporteurs . The appointment of the officials is carried out by the Court after a prior or opposition contest .

What laws regulate the Constitutional Court?

It is mainly regulated in the organic part of the Political Constitution of the Republic and in Law Nº 17,997 , that is, the Organic Constitutional Law of the Constitutional Court.


Wolfenson provides its clients with qualified technical legal advice on actions brought before the Constitutional Court.

Links of interest about the Constitutional Court of Chile :

1.- Constitutional Court of Chile

2.- Chilean Senate

3.- Constitutional Journal

4.- Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chile Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice regarding applications before the Constitutional Court of Chile, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Avenida Apoquindo 2930 in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.

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