Recently, in its August 20, 2015 decision in the “Anadón c/ Comisión Nacional de Comunicaciones” case, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the ordinary appeal (recurso ordinario de apelación).

The ordinary appeal was a remedy established by Decree 1285/58, which allowed a full review of facts and law by the Supreme Court in cases of significant monetary claims (more than 10 million pesos) to which the Federal Government was a party. Unlike the extraordinary federal appeal (recurso extraordinario federal), the ordinary appeal’s scope was not limited to the review of federal questions or arbitrary decisions, nor did the Supreme Court have discretion to reject its analysis on lack of relevance grounds.

The Supreme Court held that the ordinary appeal became unconstitutional for mainly two reasons. First, because it contradicted the constitutional provisions that limit the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction to the review of federal questions—a limitation that did not necessarily take place in the ordinary appeal. And second, because it constituted an unjustifiable advantage in favor of the Federal Government, who was given a sort of third instance before the Supreme Court without a valid justification.

The Supreme Court also ruled that this decision will apply only to cases in which the appealed judgment is notified after the former decision becomes final.

Regardless of its merits, this decision is yet another step in the Supreme Court’s trend of the past 10 years of reducing the scope of its original jurisdiction and ratifying its discretion to choose what cases to hear on appeal.

This decision will have a strong impact on all cases involving monetary claims in which the Federal Government is a party. Therefore, private parties, who before this decision had the ordinary appeal available as a potential remedy, must now design their strategies and plan in a more detailed fashion the terms and scope of the issues to raise in their extraordinary appeals before the Supreme Court.

Link to the abstract and full text of the decision:

http://www.cij.gov.ar/nota-17469-La-Corte-declar--la-inconstitucionalidad-del-recurso-ordinario-de-apelaci-n-ante-ella-previsto-para-las-causas-en-que-el-Estado-Nacional-es-parte.html