Direct democracy in costa rica

10179 mots 41 pages
Direct Democracy in Latin America
Case Study Report for Costa Rica

By Carlos D. Angulo Ruiz*

Carlos D. Angulo Ruiz is a practicing attorney with BLP Abogados in Costa Rica, the Central America law firm, University Professor at the UNED Master in European Studies Programme and Universidad de Costa Rica, International Public Law Lecturer. He graduated from the Université de Genève, in Switzerland where he obtained his “Licence” in Swiss Law, and after, in Lausanne, Switzerland where he obtained an LL.M. in European and International Economic Law. These studies were validated by the Universidad de Costa Rica. He also holds a Degree in Transnational Law from Duke University, NC. USA. He can be reached at


I. Introduction

II. Historic Evolution of Costa Rican Democracy

A. The Longing for Participative Democracy. B. Costa Rican Democracy of the Second Republic. C. The Aborted Introduction of Public Consultations in 1949. D. Introduction of a Mandatory National Plebiscite on New Provinces E. The Need for a Democratic Makeover.

III. Introduction of Direct Democracy Procedures

A. The Players B. The Procedure Leading to the 2003 Reform C. The Recent Introduction of Direct Democracy Instruments

IV. Direct Democracy Instruments in the Costa Rican Legal System

A. Consultation of the People at the Municipal Level a. The Principle of Active Citizen Participation b. The Handbook on “Consultas Populares” c. Uncertain issues B. The Referendum on Laws and Constitutional Amendments d. Delegated Sovereignty e. Subject of the Referendum f. Modalities g. Restricted Domains and other Limitations h. Procedure i. Results j. Publicising the Question Submitted to Referendum C. Legislative and Constitutional Iniciativa Popular a. The Iniciativa Popular Office b. The Popular Initiative in the Constitution c. A weakened Iniciativa

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