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Brazil: New Adoption Law

(Aug. 5, 2009) On August 3, 2009, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a new Adoption Law, which revises legislation currently in force in the country. Law No. 12,010 of August 3, 2009, amends the Child and Adolescent Statute, the Civil Code, and the Consolidation of Labor Laws. The new Law maintains the […]

Brazil: New Law Grants Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants

(July 8, 2009) On July 2, 2009, Brazil issued Law No. 11,961, granting amnesty to immigrants who currently are in an irregular or illegal situation and who entered the country before February 1, 2009. The immigrant may request temporary residence within 180 days from the publication of the law; the provision will be valid for […]

Brazil: New Law Grants Public Land in the Amazon to Adverse Possessors

(July 7, 2009) On June 25, 2009, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed Law No. 11,952, which regulates agrarian occupations in lands belonging to the government that are situated in the Amazon region. Law No. 11,952 was originally designed to benefit small farmers, but a few modifications during the legislative process changed the […]

Brazil: Reform of the Judiciary

(Apr. 24, 2009) On April 13, 2009, the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies, Federal Senate, and the Federal Supreme Court and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launched the Second Republican Pact, which includes a proposal to further reform the Brazilian judiciary. The proposal was then sent to Congress with the support of […]

Brazil: Penal Code Amended to Cover “Lightning” Kidnappings

(Mar. 30, 2009) On March 24, 2009, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a bill criminalizing a new type of crime currently being practiced in Brazil, the “lightning kidnapping” (sequestro-relâmpago). The crime is characterized by the kidnapping of a person for a short period of time, while the criminals try to obtain, from the victim or […]

Brazil: International Child Custody Battle Transferred to Federal Court

(Mar. 19, 2009) On March 14, 2009, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met for the first time with the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Lula is the third Head of State to meet with Obama, and during their meeting Obama is reported to have thanked Lula for the position taken by […]

Brazil: Former President Discusses Marijuana Decriminalization

(Feb. 23, 2009) Former Brazilian President Fernando Henique Cardoso suggested during a meeting of the Latin-American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which is composed of former presidents of Latin America and other distinguished members of the public, that it is necessary to start to assess the convenience of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana for personal […]

Brazil: Payment of Unemployment Insurance Extended

(Feb. 19, 2009) On February 11, 2009, Brazil's Ministry of Labor extended the payment of unemployment insurance (seguro-desemprego) to sectors of the economy that are facing high levels of unemployment. In order to assess which sectors will be granted the extension, the Ministry will calculate the average number of layoffs that occurred in the months […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Issues Binding Decision on Attorney Access to Evidence

(Feb. 9, 2009) On February 2, 2009, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal or STF) issued a binding decision (Súmula Vinculante No. 14) that grants attorneys in criminal cases the right to have access to documented evidence involving their clients, even if the criminal process is being carried on in secret. The decision […]

Brazil: Castration for Pedophiles

(Feb. 9, 2009) The Brazilian Congress is currently debating a proposed law that amends the Penal Code to impose a punishment of chemical castration on persons convicted of committing rape or other sexual crimes against children and adolescents. The proposal makes the chemical punishment mandatory for recurrent convicts and optional for first-time offenders. The author […]