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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 […]

Brazil: Harsh Punishment for Bad Drivers

(May 2, 2008) In Brazil, a driver who receives a certain number of negative points on his driver's license due to traffic violations may temporarily lose his license and be obligated to attend a driver's course in order to be able to retrieve the license drive again. In the near future, this may not be […]

Brazil: Electoral Propaganda Restricted

(May 2, 2008) The Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral – TSE) will soon vote on an opinion (parecer técnico) in response to a consultation formulated by Federal Deputy José Aparecido de Oliveira questioning the legality of political candidates' using blogs, spam, telemarketing, cell phone messages, and Web site banners and links as well […]

Brazil; Spain: Protocol on Immigration

(May 2, 2008) On April 1, 2008, in Madrid, Brazil and Spain signed a Protocol on Immigration designed to put an end to the recent diplomatic crisis involving tourists of both countries. According to the document, both countries agree, inter alia , that tourists not admitted into either country will be allowed to contact the […]

Brazil: New President of Federal Supreme Court

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 12, 2008, Justice Gilmar Mendes was elected to preside over the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court for the next two years and Justice Cezar Peluso was elected vice-president. Justice Mendes will also preside over the National Council of Justice (Conselho Nacional de Justiça), a judicial agency responsible for the administrative and […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Authorizes Extradition of Colombian Drug Trafficker to United States

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 13, 2008, the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) of Brazil authorized the extradition of Colombian national Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who is considered by the Brazilian Federal Police to be one of the biggest drug traffickers in the world. The request for Abadia's extradition was made by the Government of the […]