Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Governor enacts new Puerto Rico Civil Code

By on June 1, 2020

Language is clear, but it may be necessary to go to court to clarify it, Vázquez says

SAN JUAN – By signing the Civil Code into law, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced assured Monday that there are no language contradictions in the legislation.

“In our evaluation, there are no contradictions. Someone can always understand that any of the 1,820 articles are not totally clear and it will always be necessary, between the position of two people, that there be a judicial interpretation,” the governor replied to questions from the press after announcing her signing of the Civil Code.

Vázquez Garced insisted that she evaluated the document strictly legally and dispassionately, and, in her opinion, the objections of opponents are due in part “to disinformation.”

“What they were telling me was that acquired rights had been violated and that; in addition to that, there had been a hurried process in the sense that the opportunity for expression had not been given. I believe that was based on disinformation because when examining the code I was able to assess that the acquired rights were contained in the Civil Code,” she said.

Asked about the controversy regarding gender change in birth certificates, Vázquez Garced insisted that the language contained in the Civil Code is exactly the same as the decision in the federal case Daniela Arroyo González v. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares.

On the issue of surrogacy, the governor admitted that a measure on the matter will have to be approved. On the matter of a child that is about to be born, Vázquez Garced said women’s rights supersede the rights of a fetus.

Upon becoming law, there are 180 days to submit amendments.

Despite the Bar Association’s request to extend the term, the governor said five months was sufficient time to evaluate the document and present the amendments.

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