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Brazil: New Law Makes Payment of Child Support Mandatory During Pregnancy

(Nov. 10, 2008) On November 5, 2008, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed Law No. 11,804, making it mandatory that the allegedfather of a child pay child support during the mother's pregnancy. In the past, the father was only compelled to pay child support after the baby was born and paternity was proven […]

Brazil: Decree Changes Orthography in Brazil

(Oct. 6, 2008) On September 29, 2008, Brazil's President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, signed Decree No. 6583, which promulgates the Orthographic Agreement of the Portuguese Language, previously signed in Lisbon on December 16, 1990, by Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé e Príncipe. According to the Agreement, the letters […]

Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Prohibits Nepotism in All Three Branches of Government

(Sept. 16, 2008) On August 21, 2008, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court issued a decision (Súmula Vinculante No. 13 de 21 de Agosto de 2008) prohibiting nepotism in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. In 2005, the National Council of Justice (CNJ), a judicial agency responsible for the administrative and financial control of […]

Brazil: Maternity Leave Expanded to Six Months

(Sept. 3, 2008) The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved, on August 13, 2008, the proposal for a new law that expands maternity leave from the current four months established in the Constitution to an optional six months. The proposal was previously discussed, voted on, and approved by the Federal Senate and will now be forwarded […]

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 […]