Responsibilities of Public Officials

                                     Responsibilities of Public Officials

Article 108. Senators and deputies of the Congress of the Union, magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, secretaries of the Cabinet, and the Attorney General of the Republic are liable for common crimes that they may commit during their term of office, and also for crimes, offenses, or omissions that they incur in the exercise of their office.

Governors of the States and deputies of the local legislatures are liable for violations of the federal Constitution and laws.

The President of the Republic, during his term of office, may be impeached only for treason to the country and serious common crimes.

Article 109. If the offense is of a common order, the Chamber of Deputies acting as a grand jury shall determine, by an absolute majority of votes of its total membership, whether or not there are grounds for proceeding against the accused.

If the finding is negative, there shall be no grounds for any further proceedings; but such decision shall not be an obstacle to continuing the prosecution of the charge, whenever the accused has relinquished his immunity, since the decision of the Chamber in no way prejudges the merits of the charge.

If the finding is affirmative, the accused shall thereby be suspended from office and is immediately subject to action by the ordinary courts, excepting the case of the President of the Republic, who may be impeached only before the Chamber of Senators, as in the case of an official offense.

Article 110. Constitutional immunity shall not be enjoyed by high officials of the Federation with respect to official crimes, offenses or omissions incurred in the discharge of any office, employment or public commission which they have accepted during the period in which, according to law, they enjoy constitutional immunity. The same shall apply with respect to common crimes which they may commit during the performance of such office, employment, or commission. The procedure to be followed to institute proceedings against a high official who has resumed the exercise of his own functions is that prescribed in the preceding article

Article 111. The Senate, constituted as a grand jury, shall take cognizance of all official offenses; but it may not open the pertinent investigation without a previous bill of impeachment by the Chamber of Deputies. If after conducting such proceedings as it deems advisable and hearing the accused, the Chamber of Senators shall decide by a two-thirds majority of all its members that he is guilty, the latter shall be removed from office by virtue of such decision and disqualified from holding any other office for a period determined by law.

Whenever the law provides another penalty for the same act, the accused shall be placed at the disposal of the regular authorities, who shall judge and punish him according to such law.

In the cases governed by this article and those referred to in Article 109, the decisions of the grand jury and the findings of the Chamber of Deputies shall be final.

Any person has the right to denounce before the Chamber of Deputies the common or official offenses of high officials of the Federation Whenever the aforesaid Chamber finds that there are grounds for impeachment, it shall appoint a committee from among its members to sustain before the Senate the charges brought.

As soon as possible, the Congress of the Union shall enact a law covering the responsibilities of all officials and employees of the Federation and of the Federal District and Territories, defining as official offenses or misdemeanors all acts or omissions that may result in injury to public interests or to the proper conduct of business, even though they have not been considered previously as wrongful acts These offenses or misdemeanors shall always be tried before a jury of the people, in the manner established by Article 20 for offenses of the press.

The President of the Republic may request from the Chamber of Deputies the removal, for bad conduct, of any ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice, of circuit magistrates, of district judges, of the magistrates of the superior court of justice of the Federal District and of the Territories, and of the judges of common rank in the Federal District and Territories. In these cases, if the Chamber of Deputies first and the Senators thereafter decide by an absolute majority of votes that the request is justified, the accused official shall be removed from office immediately, independently of the legal liability that may have been incurred, and the Executive shall proceed with a new appointment.

The President of the Republic, before asking the chambers for the removal of any judicial official, shall grant a hearing to the latter privately in order to conscientiously appraise the justification of such request.

Article 112. The offender cannot be pardoned after a verdict of guilty is pronounced for official offenses.

Article 113. Responsibility for official offenses or misdemeanors may be exacted only during the term of office of the official in question, and within one year thereafter.

Article 114. There are no privileges or immunities for any public official with respect to claims of a civil character.