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Brazil: Freedom of the Press

(Apr. 2, 2008) The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court preliminarily suspended for six months 20 articles of the Brazilian Press Law. Within this period, the highest court of Brazil will analyze the merit of the lawsuit and discuss all 70 articles of the law. At the end of this period, the court may decide to completely revoke it, revoke only parts of it, or keep it as it is. The lawsuit was filed by the Democratic Labour Party (Partido Democrático Trabalhista) (PDT), which argued that the law does not comply with fundamental principles of the Constitution.

During the session, Justice Carlos Alberto Direito affirmed that there is a total incompatibility between the Press Law and the Constitution of 1988. Chamber of Deputies Member Miro Teixeira, who belongs to the PDT and participated in the Federal Supreme Court's oral arguments, was quoted as saying that there is no Press Law in developed countries and that with this decision Brazil had taken the first step to join this group. He further stated that the Federal Supreme Court is guaranteeing the Brazilian people the right to be informed. (Carolina Brígido, STF Mantém Suspensa Parte da Lei de Imprensa. Processos em Andamento Continuam Ativos, O GLOBO ONLINE, Feb. 27, 2008.)