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Brazil: Proposals to Amend Constitution to Be Voted on in 2008

(Mar. 2, 2008) In 2008, the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate will vote, inter alia, on two proposals to amend the Constitution. The first proposal establishes that the number of Council Members (Vereadores) of a municipality is to be determined according to the amount of its tax collection. The second proposal addresses […]

Brazil: Government Decides to Charge for Official Gazettes

(Feb. 8, 2008) On October 23, 2007, the Director-General of the Brazilian National Press, Fernando Tolentino de Sousa Vieira, issued Administrative Act (Portaria) No. 275 establishing the commercialization of official gazettes and their electronic versions. In response, the national president of the Brazilian Bar Association, Cezar Britto, sent a letter to Vieira requesting the immediate […]

Brazil: Judges Will Have to Make Monthly Inspections in Penitentiaries

(Feb. 2, 2008) On December 18, 2007, the Brazilian National Council of Justice issued a resolution (Resolução No. 47 de 18 de Dezembro de 1007) determining that the judges responsible for the execution of criminal sentences (juízes de execução criminal) will have to make monthly personal inspections in the penitentiaries under their jurisdiction. According to […]

Brazil: Proposed Law Authorizes 16-Year Olds to Drive

(Feb. 2, 2008) The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is currently examining a proposed law authorizing 16-year olds to drive motor vehicles. According to the author of the law, Deputy Sérgio Barradas, young people have been undertaking responsibility at a very early age, forcing them to mature very quickly. As examples of the societal recognition of […]

Brazil: Senate Approves Changes in Jury Procedures

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 5, 2007, the Brazilian Senate approved a proposed law that amends the Code of Criminal Procedure, particularly the part that regulates the procedures of trial by jury. One of the amendments curtails the impact of a step (libelo acusatório) that sometimes is used for procrastination purposes only and that may […]

Brazil: Proposal to Require Chaperones for Medical, Dental Exams

(Jan. 2, 2008) In an effort to obviate sexual abuse, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is analyzing a proposed law that makes mandatory the presence of a female assistant during the performance of medical and dental procedures on women, adolescents, and children. According to the author of the proposed law, Deputy Natalino, […]

Brazil: Air Companies Charged for Flight Delays

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 5, 2007, the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, announced that airline companies will have to indemnify passengers for flight delays. According to Jobim, the idea is to create a system that rewards the passenger and discourages flight delays. The penalty fee will only be applied when the delay is […]

Brazil: Proposed Constitutional Amendment Changes Divorce Law

(Dec. 2, 2007) A Special Commission of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies is analyzing a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would reduce to one year the necessary period before a couple can file for divorce. Appended to it is an additional proposal that would extinguish the institution of judicial separation, a legal remedy available […]

Brazil: Proposed Law Gives Estranged Couples Equal Rights over Children

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 23, 2007, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved the draft of a proposed supplemental law that changes the way children of estranged couples are raised. According to the proposed law, both parents will share all aspects of the children's education, custody, expenses, educational and health responsibilities, and time spent with the […]

Brazil: Strike Rights Limited by the Federal Supreme Court

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 25, 2007, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) ruled that public servants have the right to go on strike, but imposed limitations on this right. Although foreseen by the Constitution of 1988, the issue has never been regulated by Congress with appropriate legislation. In its decision, STF declared Congress omissive […]