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Brazil: Paternity Leave Expanded to 15 Days

(Sept. 3, 2008) On August 6, 2008, the Commission on Social Affairs of the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a proposal for the expansion of paternity leave from five days to 15, without prejudice to the father's salary or job security. The proposal also extends the benefit to fathers who adopt a child. During the meeting […]

Brazil: Use of Handcuffs Restricted to Exceptional Situations

(Sept. 3, 2008) On August 7, 2008, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court decided, by unanimous vote, that the use of handcuffs must be restricted to exceptional situations in which there are concrete threats to the safety of others, because handcuff use violates a person's constitutional citizenship rights, as established in article 5 of the Constitution. […]

Brazil: New Law Makes Law Offices Inviolable to Searches and Seizures

(Sept. 3, 2008) On August 7, 2008, the acting Brazilian President, José Alencar, signed into law a bill that makes law offices inviolable to searches and seizures. Alencar vetoed some provisions of the law, following the contitutioanl powers granted to the President to veto bills, either in whole or in part (art. 84, section V, […]

Brazil: Violation of an Attorney’;s Rights Will Soon Be Criminalized

(July 2, 2008) On May 20, 2008, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved a proposal for a law that defines the crime of infringement of an attorney's rights and prerogatives. According to Marcus Vinícius, a member of the federal section of the Brazilian Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil), when the proposal is finally […]

Brazil: Child Pornography to Be Criminalized

(July 2, 2008) On May 21, 2008, the Commission of the Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship of the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a proposal for a law that criminalizes the production, publication, and sale, including on the Internet, of images involving the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. The proposal also criminalizes the possession of such […]

Brazil: Shared Custody of Children Approved

(July 2, 2008) On June 13, 2008, a proposed law amending the Brazilian Civil Code was sanctioned by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, allowing parents to share the custody of their children in cases of separation or divorce. Under the previous legal regime, only unilateral custody of children was allowed. The new law regulates […]

Brazil: Stem Cell Research Approved

(July 2, 2008) On May 29, 2008, following a close vote, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court approved the use of embryonic stem cells to conduct research for finding cures for new diseases. The ruling was in response to a petition filed in 2005 by Claudio Fontelles, the Attorney General at the time, arguing the constitutionality […]

Brazil: Chamber of Deputies Amends Code of Criminal Procedure

(June 2, 2008) On May 14, 2008, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved a law amending the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to the new law, criminal convictions for which the punishment exceeds 20 years of prison time will no longer trigger an automatic appeal for a new trial. The law also reduces the speaking […]

Brazil: Punishment for Money Laundering Increased

(June 2, 2008) On May 7, 2008, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a proposal for a law that increases the punishment for the crime of money laundering from ten years to eighteen years of imprisonment and allows the police to have access to the data kept by financial institutions, phone companies, electoral justice systems, and […]

Brazil: New Law Would Implement Electronic Control of Felons on Parole

(May 2, 2008) On April 15, 2008, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, received a proposal for a law, prepared by State Deputy Dionío Lins, stipulating that convicted felons on parole must be monitored at all times by using an electronic device either on the wrist or on the […]