Branches of Government in Peru

Under the current constitution, the President is the head of state and government; he or she is elected for five years and cannot seek immediate re-election, he or she must stand down for at least one full constitutional term before reelection. The President designates the Prime Minister and, with his advice, the rest of the Council of Ministers.

There is a unicameral Congress with 130 members elected for a five-year term. Bills may be proposed by either the executive or the legislative branch; they become law after being passed by Congress and promulgated by the President.

The judiciary is nominally independent, though political intervention into judicial matters has been common throughout history and arguably continues today.

Executive Branch

Established in the Constitution of 1993, the President of Peru, officially the President of the Republic (Presidente de la República), is the head of state of Peru and represents the republic in official international matters. The presidential term is five years.

Also, Peru allows an incumbent President to succeed himself only once. Therefore, after a re-election — ten years in power — an incumbent president is barred from running in the election. A former president may run again in subsequent presidential elections if he hasn’t been in power twice. The current president of Peru is Ollanta Humala, elected in 2011.

The change of government takes place on July 28, which is the date of independence from Spain and thus a national holiday.

Legislative Branch

The legislative branch consists of a unicameral Congress (Congreso) of 120 members. elected for a five-year term by proportional representation. In addition to passing laws, Congress ratifies treaties, authorizes government loans and approves the government budget. The president has the power to block legislation with which the executive branch does not agree.

Congress consists of 130 members of congress (congresistas), who are elected for five year periods in office on a proportional representation basis. To be eligible, candidates must be Peruvian citizens, have passed their 25th birthday and not have had their right to vote suspended. The last congressional election was held on April 10, 2011, concurrently with the presidential election.

Since July 27, 2011, the President of Congress is Daniel Abugattás, of the Peru Wins political party

Currently the Peruvian congress congregates at the Palacio Legislativo, which is located in the Historical Center of Lima, across the road from Plaza Simón Bolívar and a few blocks away from Casa de Pizarro.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial System of Peru, usually known as the Judicial Power in Peru, is an organism of the government of the Republic of Peru composed of a hierarchic organization of institutions that exercise equal justice to all people.

The branch is headed by a 16-member Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia, seated in Lima. Judges are appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary, that has jurisdiction over the whole nation.

The second hierarchic level is made up of the Superior Courts which have jurisdiction over an entire Judicial District which are more or less synonymous to the 25 Regions or Departments of Peru. There are 28 Judicial Districts.

The third hierarchic level is formed by the Courts of First Instance (trial court), which have jurisdiction over each province.

The fourth and lowest hierarchic level of the Peruvian Judicial Power are the Courts of Peace who only have jurisdiction over a single district.

Peru’s legal system is based on civil law system. Peru has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. In 1996 a human rights ombudsman’s office (defensor del pueblo) was created to address human rights issues.