The Honduran legislative system was originated from Roman and Spanish civil law and is showing increasing influence from English common law. The Honduran legislation has gone through a long process of judicial reforms. One of the most recent reforms includes the abandonment of the Napoleonic legal code to institute the oral system, which has required radical changes in the Honduran legislative processes. There are three main branches of the Honduran government:
EXECUTIVE BRANCH: The elected president is Porfirio Lobo Sosa He was elected by popular vote for a 4 year term (2010-2014). The president appoints his own cabinet.
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: The unicameral National Congress has 128 seats. Members are appointed proportionally with the number of votes received by their party’s presidential candidate.
JUDICIAL POWER: The Supreme Court of Justice. Judges are elected for 7 year terms by the National Congress.
In terms of legislation related to the economy and international trade in Honduras, there are many changes taking place in the country’s legislation to support the Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which promotes free markets granting incentives to local and foreign investors through the implementation of laws that will attract and benefit them. These laws protect intellectual property, the environment, labor conditions, and other aspects of high importance for the effective execution of this agreement. It also enforces changes that will facilitate transparent and efficient processes in departments such as the Customs system.
Some of the laws emitted that benefit the economy and the implementation of this treaty are the following:
- Ley del Medio Ambiente (Law of the Environment), 1993
- Ley de Minería (Mining Law), 1998
- Ley de Promoción de Trabajo Publico e Infraestructura Nacional (Law for the Promotion of Public Labor and Nacional Infrastructure), 1998
- Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (Intellectual Property Law), 1993
- Ley de Simplificación Administrativa (Law of Administrative Simplification)
These laws support and facilitate commerce and there have been recent changes done in order to strengthen them and provide further legal protection for the greater success of DR-CAFTA and make Honduras a more attractive place for foreign investment by granting investors safety and reduced risk in their investments.