What is an organic law?

We explain what organic law is and why this law is so important. In addition, some examples of organic laws.

  1. What is an organic law?

Organic laws are those referred to matters of such importance to the nation , that their approval requires a consensus and approval procedure by the legislative branch , usually held by parliament, national assembly or congress. Usually, organic laws refer to matters vital to the democratic life of the country, such as fundamental constitutional norms, public freedoms or the articulation of the powers of the State.

Organic laws are considered a sort of intermediate step between ordinary laws and the constitutional text , so the approval, modification or repeal of these types of laws in a parliament generally requires more than a simple majority (absolute majority or some type of qualified majority), in accordance with the national legal framework. It should be noted that not all countries have a legal framework that contemplates organic laws.

The most immediate legal antecedent of an organic law is found in French law, specifically in the text of the 1958 Constitution, with which the Fifth French Republic was founded.

  1. Importance of organic laws

Organic laws constitute a useful tool for exerting significant or vital changes in the way States operate , without having to alter or reformulate the constitutional framework, which would basically imply re-establishing the Republic or initiating some kind of amendment process or Constituent Assembly, which always represents a long, difficult and risky process. In that sense, organic laws are an intermediate outlet for the management of profound changes in matters vital to the State .

  1. Examples of organic laws

Some examples of organic laws are the following:

  • Organic Law on financing political parties (Spain, 2007). Where the precepts that regulate the access of money to political parties are established, to avoid and punish corruption.
  • Organic Labor Law (Venezuela, 2012). In which the legal terms of work in that country are remodeled, establishing a new legal framework that regulates labor relations.
  • Constitutional Organic Law (Chile, 1980). That defines some important constitutional precepts respect to the administration of the State (elections, mining concessions, political parties, etc.). This law is contained in the Constitution.
  • Organic Law of the Judiciary (Argentina, 1998). Organized by the judiciary and its instances in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, which has its own independent legal regime.
  • Organic Law of Citizen Security (Spain, 2015). Law that replaced the Organic Law on protection of citizen security of 1992, and that created a lot of controversy due to a certain undemocratic mood by rephrasing the criminal precepts of Spanish justice.
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