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Pritzker Legal Research Center


Ecuador: Center for International Human Rights

Legal System

Ecuador has a civil law system. Legal materials are primarily available in Spanish. 

Research Process

Use the following strategy to efficiently find legal materials from Ecuador:

  1. Identify the country’s legal system to understand the relevant national sources of law for the country.
  2. Using a research guide to assist you, identify relevant resources where you can access foreign legal materials.
  3. Retrieve or search for the foreign legal materials using the suggested resources.

Because most legal materials will be in Spanish, you will likely need to rely on secondary sources to assist with identifying relevant citations to laws or cases. These secondary sources summarize and explain the law. 

Note that Westlaw and Lexis do not provide access to laws and cases from Ecuador. 

Research Guides

These research guides are useful starting points for understanding Ecuador's legal system and well as the sources of law in Ecuador. These guides include links to recommended online resources that provide access to legal materials from this country. 

Constitution

The Constitution of Ecuador (2008), which abrogated the 1997 Constitution, is the current version and was most recently revised in 2021. The resources below provide access to the current constitution in both English and Spanish as well as historical versions.

Laws and Cases

Resources available for finding legal materials from Ecuador consist of government websites and subject law collections hosted by NGOs or other entities. If you conduct a Google search to retrieve any legal materials cited in secondary sources, make sure to evaluate the website's authoritativeness and reputability. 

Subject Law Collections

Subject-specific collections of laws, which collect laws from various countries pertaining to a particular subject, are useful resources to incorporate into your research process. These resources often have better search capabilities than foreign government websites and can generally be navigated in English, even though the full-text laws will mostly be in the official language for the country. 

For additional suggestions for subject law collections beyond the selected databases listed below, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law - Subject Law Collections on the Web research guide