Within the framework of the health emergency ordered by the government due to the expansion of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Judicial Branch (“JB”) has adopted containment and prevention measures. The Arbitration and Mediation Center of Paraguay (“AMCP”) did the same. Below is a summary of them:

(I) The Judicial Branch.

It ordered the suspension of judicial and administrative activities from March 12 to April 12, 2020, as well as of the procedural, administrative and registry deadlines, as indicated in the Supreme Court Resolutions No. 1376 and 1370 of March 11 and 25, 2020, respectively.

The following actions are not affected by this suspension:

  1. The Civil and Commercial Courts of the Capital that have implemented either the electronic judicial file or the electronic judicial procedure, with the following clarifications:

(i) The suspension of procedural deadlines will be resumed from March 30, 2020 until April 8, 2020.

(ii) Of the 26 shifts of the first instance courts, shifts 1 to 17 have implemented the electronic judicial procedure, while shifts 18 to 26 have the electronic judicial file. All of them will resume the procedural deadlines.

(iii) New complaints cannot be filed.

(iv) Hearings, procedures, interventions and authentication of documents will be carried out through telematic means to be indicated by the court.

(v) Only electronic letters (oficios) can be processed.

(vi) Seal envelopes with depositions and pleadings will be submitted before the Attention Office of the Judicial Branch, who will be in charge of delivering them to the competent court.

(vii)The QR code inserted in the court decisions (judgments, interlocutory orders, orders) will be deemed as an original document, and the addressee must validate it with the reader and comply with the court order.

(viii) Final judgements will be notified electronically through the notification tray in the electronic system.

(ix) Appeals and annulments filed before the Court of Appeals, taking into account the following:

Of the six Chambers into which the courts are divided, only the 5th and 6th Chambers have electronic files. Therefore, the procedural deadlines will be resumed only in these two Chambers.

Chamber 1st to 4th of the Court of Appeals and the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court do not have either electronic files or electronic procedures, so the deadlines will continue to be suspended until 12 April 2020.

  1. New complaints, defenses and unconstitutionality actions from Criminal Courts and those related to constitutional guarantees (amparo, habeas corpus, habeas data).
  2. Criminal and Children and Adolescent Proceedings processed before the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice.
  3. Interim measures, restitution, ill-treatments and travel permits (except for those for settling purposes) processed before the Court for Children and Adolescents.
  4. Travel permits for children and adolescents, as well as cases of domestic violence processed before justice of the peace.
  5. Hearings for the imposition and review of measures, search warrants, seizures and advance of evidence before criminal guarantee courts
  6. Oral trials of the Criminal Courts that have already started, as well as those already scheduled until April 2020.
  7. Third party claims (tercerías) can be submitted before the Permanent Attention Office, according to Circular Letter No. 3 dated March 12, 2020 rendered by the Board of Superintendence

(II) Arbitration and Medication Center Paraguay.

AMCP, which depends from the National Chamber of Commerce and Services of Paraguay, is the main reference for arbitration proceedings in the country. It has also been affected by the health measures of the National Government and by Communiqué of 21 March 2020 it announced to the public that its Board of Directors has resolved:

  1. To suspend the activities of the AMCP from 23 to 27 March 2020.
  2. To ensure the closed-door service of the AMCP Secretariat, working remotely through its three officers.
  3. To request each arbitral tribunal to decide on the suspension of the proceedings from 23 to 27 March 2020 or, if the parties agree, on the continuation of the proceedings through electronic means.

For more information on these resolutions and measures adopted, please contact Mirtha Dos Santos (mdsantos@vouga.com.py), Silvia Benítez (sbenitez@vouga.com.py), Alice Ferreira (aferreira@vouga.com.py) Elio Aguero (eaguero@vouga.com.py), Luis Marcio Torales (lmtorales@vouga.com.py) or Eusebio López (elopez@vouga.com.py).

At VOUGA ABOGADOS we constantly monitor the measures that the Government adopts against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID – 19).