The amparo proceeding is a Latin American extraordinary judicial remedy specifically conceived for the protection of constitutional rights against harms or threats inflicted by authorities or individuals. Although indistinctly called as action, recourse or suit of amparo, it has been configured as a whole judicial proceeding that normally concludes with a judicial order or writ of protection (amparo, protección or tutela).
This remedy was introduced in the American Continent during the nineteenth century, and although similar remedies were established in the twentieth century in some European countries, like Austria, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, it has been adopted by all Latin American countries, being considered as one of the most distinguishable features of Latin American constitutional law. As such, it has influenced the introduction of a similar remedy in the Philippines, the writ of amparo, which was created by the Supreme Court in 2007.
This amparo proceeding is one of the most important pieces of a comprehensive constitutional system the Latin American countries have been establishing for the protection of constitutional rights, taking statutory shape in parallel to a long and unfortunate history of their violations and disdain. This system can be identified through a few basic and important trends, the first being the long-standing tradition the countries have had of inserting in their constitutions very extensive declarations of human rights, comprising not only civil and political rights, but also social, cultural, economic and environmental rights.