Chile is a country in which traditional civil law applies. Among the peculiarities of Chile, it is possible to note the absence of a mandatory precedent and the institution of jurors. The current civil litigation in Chile is highly formalized and is written (claim, responses, objections). The plaintiff declares his claims in writing referring solely to the facts and norms of the law. Counterclaim and possible judicial acts or other procedural documents and the final decision of the Civil court must be made in writing.

Term of Litigation in Chile

On average, a regular litigation in the first instance lasts from one to three years. The appeal is from 6 to 24 months. If the appeal goes to the Supreme Court through the cassation instance, the term for its consideration will be another year.

Stages of Litigation in Chile

The statement of claim with the obligatory observance of the rules of jurisdiction. The statement of claim must contain a list of the circumstances and evidence on which the claimant bases his claims.

  • Mandatory notification to the defendant
  • Call the parties to pretrial settlement
  • Statement of interim measures, such as the arrest of property
  • Judicial debate, written, with references to the norms of the law
  • Making a decision

In recent years (with the increase in Chile’s trade with others countries), the number of civil lawsuits related to cases of unscrupulous suppliers, deliveries of low-quality products and outright fraud has increased. In most of these cases, the injured side goes to international arbitration, thereby making a mistake.

International Arbitration in Chile

Although Chile signed the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in New York (1958), for the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award, this decision must go through a recognition process in Chile. That includes checking for possible conflicts with local legislation (Exequatur). That is, in fact, the recognition of a foreign arbitration award requires the holding of a second court of higher instance of Chile with the notification of the defendant. For this reason, it is easier and faster to initially file a lawsuit in Chile, saving it valuable time and financial resources. Read more about International Arbitration in Chile.

Prosecution in Chile

As for the prosecution. In cases of material and / or non-pecuniary damage and always when there is reason to believe that the harm was caused directly by the crime, the victim in the course of the criminal process can and must necessarily file a civil suit for compensation for material damage or compensation for moral damage. In such cases, a civil action may be filed immediately after the initiation of a criminal case and before the end of the trial.

Our Legal advice service in Chile

  • Consultation on regulatory matters
  • Preparation of a claim
  • Representation in litigation
  • Enforcement of court decisions