Mexican Law and Policy

Diplomado in Mexican Public Law and Policy

For working professionals and University of Arizona students 

Available online and on-campus


An unparalleled program offered by the University of Arizona and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) that gives you access to renowned scholars in Mexican constitutional law.

Available to University of Arizona graduate and advanced undergraduate students as well as lawyers, judges, and working professionals (online or in-person), this program will expand your understanding of Mexican public law and policy, and develop immediately useful expertise.

2 male students smiling in class

University of Arizona Students

All current graduate students and advanced undergraduate students at Arizona may enroll for each course through UAccess. Join this unique program with no added program fee. If you have difficulty registering, please contact


Hispanic professional woman walking down a hallway

Working Professionals

Lawyers, judges, business professionals, and other working professionals may enroll in the courses online. You will enroll as a professional participant with the College of Law—equivalent to executive education programs. This is not degree-seeking status and will not be reported on UArizona transcripts. We can provide a letter of documentation if needed. You will receive the Diplomado certificate upon completion of all four courses. 


"The class has deepened my understanding of constitutional law, the construction of it, and the component parts. I don’t think I ever appreciated the meaning of 'federalism' from an organic perspective, before this class on the development of Mexican federalism. And the analysis of the organization of municipal authority has become applicable in my consideration of a case before me right now. The contrast of another system so similar to ours just gives me perspective. I know 100% more about Mexican history and their constitution than I did before the class and I can’t wait to learn more."

-Laura Cardinal, Superior Court Judge for Cochise County


You may enroll in one, two, three, or all four of the courses. Each course is mutually exclusive so you can enroll at any time. There are no prerequisites and each course is two credits.

You must complete all four courses in order to earn the UNAM Diplomado in Mexican Public Law and Policy.

Meeting Times for all Classes:

  • Class meets on Fridays from 1:30 pm to 4:20 pm (Arizona Time).

Módulo I: Brief Constitutional History of Mexico
Professor: Francisco José Paoli Bolio

  • War of Independence and the first constitutional documents (1808-1814)
  • Constitutive Act of the Federation and the Federal Constitution of the Unites States of Mexico 1824
  • Centralist constitutions (1836-1846)
  • Re-establishment of federalism and the Constitution of 1857
  • Mexican Revolution and the Constitution of February 5, 1917

Módulo II: Mexican Federalism
Professor: José María Serna de la Garza

  • Historical timeline of Mexican federalism
  • General scheme in the distribution of powers
  • Distribution of powers in taxation
  • Recent developments of state constitutionalism
  • Constitutional status of municipalities
  • Coordination mechanisms between state and federal government relations

Módulo III: State Constitutional Law
Professor: Daniel Barceló Rojas

  • Theory and practice of Mexican federalism and the distribution of power. Concurrent powers and powers reserved for the states
  • Organization of state powers and of municipal governments
  • Legal structures of and within states, comparing the state of Sonora and Mexico City
  • Organization of the judiciary and judicial review of state actions, with special attention on "amparo"
  • Indigenous state law, with a focus on the Yaqui communities in Sonora
  • How to find current state law

Módulo IV: How to Find the Applicable Law in Mexico
Professor: Alejandro López Olvera

  • Historical approach to the Law of Mexico
  • Hierarchy of law in the 19th century
  • Constitutional law in the Mexican federalist system. Globalization of law
  • Public law v. private law
  • Constitutions, statutes, codes and judicial interpretation

Módulo V: Organization and Functions of Public Powers. Presidentialism and Autonomous Constitutional Bodies
Professor: María del Pilar Hernández Martínez

  • Formation of the Mexican State and system of government: The influence of 18th-century constitutionalism
  • The triad of the exercise of State power
  • Presidential structure: Its hegemonic nuances and its primary crisis
  • Emergence of autonomous constitutional bodies: A pretense of modernity
  • A prospective

Módulo VI: Electoral and Representative System
Professor: Hugo Concha

  • How and why political parties are governed by Constitutional Law
  • Electoral amendments, 1977-2014
  • The development of Mexican pluralism
  • Electoral institutions
  • New challenges to the party system and to the electoral system

Módulo VII: Human Rights: Relevant Cases and Relevant Recommendations From the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH)
Professors: Carlos Pelayo Möller and Alethia Fernández de la Reguera Ahedo

  • Non-judicial defense mechanisms of human rights in the Inter-American System
  • The beginnings of non-judicial defenses of human rights in Mexico
  • The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (CoIDH)
  • The National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) and the state commissions of human rights
  • Relevant cases of the CoIDH
  • Human rights from the perspective of the "Theory of Violence"
  • Human rights of migrants in Mexico
  • Gender violence
  • Violation of women’s human rights in Mexico's southern border region

Módulo VIII: The “Amparo” and Other Constitutional Defense Mechanisms: Theory and Practice
Professor: Jorge Carmona Tinoco

  • Historical development of judicial review ("control de constitucionalidad") in Mexico
  • Classification of the different types of constitutional judicial review
  • The “amparo” in Mexico
  • Actions of unconstitutionality /“Acciones de inconstitucionalidad”
  • Constitutional controversies/”Controversias constitucionales
  • Impeachment/“juicio político”
  • Judicial reform

Módulo IX: Inter-American Human Rights System
Professor: Guillermo Estrada y Magdalena Cervantes

  • Foundations of the Inter-American Human Rights System
  • Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and its protection mechanisms
  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights and its protection mechanisms
  • Human rights controls in the States of the region 
  • The impact of rulings of the Inter-American Human Rights System bodies

Módulo X: Economic Constitutionalism
Professor: Susana Dávalos Torres

  • The socio-economic system of Mexico’s constitutionalism
  • Economic law
  • International economic law
  • Economic and social regulations
  • Public policy and development, law and economics, and economic competitiveness

Módulo XI: Constitutional Culture in Mexico
Profesor: Andrea Pozas Loyo

  • The Constitution as culture
  • Constitutional culture as a confluence between political culture and legal culture
  • Importance and significance of constitutional culture
  • Analysis of constitutional culture polls in Mexico
  • The future of the Mexican Constitution

Módulo XII: A New Constitution for Mexico?
Professor: Pedro Salazar Ugarte

  • Constitutional reforms of “amparo” and human rights
  • Criminal justice reforms 
  • Creation of the national anti-corruption system
  • Creation of autonomous constitutional bodies
  • National Guard reforms


Learn from elite visiting guest lecturers who are the premiere scholars and practitioners of law in Mexico, such as:

Pedro Salazar Ugarte

Pedro Salazar Ugarte

Research Scholar, Former Director, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM

Alethia Fernández de la Reguera

Research Scholar, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM

Daniel Barceló Rojas

Research Scholar, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídica, UNAM

Dr. Jose María Serna

José María Serna de la Garza

Professor of Law and Research Scholar, Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas, UNAM

Program Details

  • Courses will be taught in Spanish. Intermediate listening and comprehension is necessary. The course is facilitated by bilingual UA law professors and a bilingual teaching assistant. All UNAM faculty members are bilingual.
  • Enroll in just one or two classes, or complete all four to earn a Diplomado from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  • Each of the four courses is mutually exclusive—completing the first course is not required for any of the other courses. 
  • The Diplomado is issued by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). This specialized credential is available only at the University of Arizona.
  • University of Arizona students will receive University of Arizona academic credit for each course. Those who complete all four courses will also receive the UNAM Diplomado. Please see your academic advisor for more information on elective and degree requirements.
  • Professional participants are not eligible to receive University of Arizona academic credit but will receive the UNAM Diplomado upon successful completion of all four courses.
  • Each course consists of in-depth class sessions, plus self-paced reading assignments during the intermediary weeks. 
  • For UA Students: At the end of each course, a short paper is required; at the end of the fourth and final course, a longer research paper will be due. There are other short assignments occasionally. All assignments may be written in English. 
  • For Professional Participants: At the end of the fourth and final course, a research paper will be due.
  • Professional participants may attend in-person at the University of Arizona College of Law or access the classroom live online, via Zoom. The hybrid classroom will allow remote students to fully participate. Lectures will also be recorded and available for viewing after class time. 

Diplomado recipients will be able to clearly demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of Mexican Public Law & Policy for employers, clients, and academic institutions.


Online and Tucson, AZ

Attend classes online or in-person when permitted


UArizona Students: Standard course cost

Professionals: $1,250 per course 


Diplomado in Mexican Public Law & Policy

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

If you have questions or would like to receive more information, please email