August 19, 2013

Agreement for the Implementation of the Electronic Signature and the Electronic Amparo Action (Amparo Electrónico) in México

By Jorge Sánchez-Cubillo and Armando Quintana

On July 8, 2013, the Official Journal of the Federation published the “General Joint Agreement number 1/2013
by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, the Electoral Court of the Federal Judicial Branch, and the Federal
Judiciary Board, relating to the Certified Electronic Signature of the Federal Judicial Branch (Firma
Electrónica Certificada del Poder Judicial de la Federación) (“FIREL”) and the electronic file” (the “FIREL
Agreement”). The FIREL Agreement, which became effective on July 9, 2013, establishes the technical basis for
the implementation of the so called “Electronic Amparo Action,” with this being one of the most transcendent
innovations of the new Amparo Action Law (Ley de Amparo) published on April 2, 2013. The Electronic Amparo
Action (Amparo Electrónico) will allow for the filing and processing of amparo actions through electronic
means. The following are highlights from the FIREL Agreement:
1. The establishment of the Certified Electronic Signature for the Federal Judicial Branch (FIREL):
a. The FIREL will have the same validity and effectiveness as a handwritten signature.
b. This signature will be issued to individuals, including Certifying Officers, Magistrates, Judges and
Secretaries of the Federal Judicial Branch.
c. It will be effective for 3 years, and its renewal must be requested 30 days prior to expiration of the
d. Business entities may be represented in this manner, as long as it is by means of an individual who
possesses a FIREL.
e. A Digital Certificate of Electronic Signature issued by another agency of the State may be used so
long as a respective coordination agreement has been entered into, as is the case with the
Advanced Electronic Signature or FIEL issued and recognized by the federal tax authorities.

2. The establishment of an Electronic File:
a. This file should be identical to the physical file and vice versa.
b. If a public document is in digital format and accompanies the electronic file, it should include an
oath that such coincides with the original in order for it to have legal effect.
c. The evidence in an electronic file should include the FIREL of the parties, as well as those of the
jurisdictional officers.
d. Notices shall be valid when given by e-mail or simply by the user accessing the electronic file.
3. Technical requirements with respect to the files that may be sent:
a. Documents in .PDF format.
b. Documents in .txt format.
c. Documents created using an office software suite:
i. Calculation sheet files (.xls and .xlsx).
ii. Documents (.doc and .docx).
iii. Presentations (.ppt and .pptx).
d. The maximum size of each one of the files must not exceed 10 MB.


Issue 115–August 2013