Vanderbilt Law Review


Frank G. Dawson

First Page



Latin America is today undergoing a profound technological revolution for which the United States is largely responsible, and which is transforming the continent in a manner and at a pace never envisioned by nineteenth century alien entrepreneurs. Communication and transportation media developed within the last fifty years have created new demands for, and dependencies upon, the commercial products and luxuries of the mechanized world and have precipitated demands for radical change in outmoded economic and political patterns. This has inspired programs for economic integration on the international level, and, within individual nations, for industrialization and product diversification to limit dependence upon primary commodity exports. Foreign investment is openly encouraged' by recipient states, while capital-exporting nations and international lending institutions actively seek investment opportunities for reasons of private gain and foreign policy.

As a result, the tempo and number of transactions involving transfers of wealth and skills to, from, and within Latin America has been vastly accelerated, thereby increasing sharply the number, content,and possible legal interrelationships between aliens and foreign nations, as well as opportunities for disagreement and dispute." The influence of the non-Latin American alien and his culture upon the lands south of the Rio Grande River has never been so great. Hence,a review of the treatment accorded aliens in Latin American courts,and of the legal environment in which the courts function, may be both timely and informative.

This essay will examine the various constitutional and legislative guarantees of access to judicial relief, seek to weigh the impact on access of the Calvo and the National Treatment Doctrines, and then illustrate, by reference to specific problems in the administration of justice and the enforcement of civil rights, some potential procedural problem areas which may remain after access has been obtained.