Brazil in the Dock: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights Rulings Concerning the Dictatorship of 1964-1985

On July 4th 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) made public the condemnation of Brazil for its omission in investigating, prosecuting and condemning the public agents supposedly liable for the torture and murder of the journalist Vladimir Herzog. The events took place back in 1975, during the dictatorship of 1964-1985. After several attempts […]

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What does a Bolsonaro Presidency mean for Brazilian Law? Part 2: the Reforms and the Court

Jair Bolsonaro, an extreme right-wing former army officer who has spent the last 20 years as a representative in Congress, is at this point likely to be the next president of Brazil. But what are the implications for Brazilian law in case of Bolsoaro’s victory? Part 2 looks at the probable scenarios before Brazil’s Supreme Court if any of the reforms are challenged.

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What does a Bolsonaro Presidency mean for Brazilian Law? Part 1: Reforms from the Far Right

Jair Bolsonaro, an extreme right-wing former army officer who has spent the last 20 years as a representative in Congress, is at this point likely to be the next president of Brazil. But what are the implications for Brazilian law in case of Bolsoaro’s victory? Part 1 outlines which of the policies he has proposed so far are most likely to be enacted.

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Judges Speaking for the People: Judicial Populism beyond Judicial Decisions

We typically think of courts as victims or targets of populist politics, however we define the latter. Staffed by elites appointed by previous governments, high courts are indeed obvious targets for populist leaders on the rise. To preserve their authority against such threats, courts might adjust their decisions to trends in public opinion, or perhaps […]

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Dilma Rousseff and the Impeachment Process: Questions of Power and Influence

Dilma Rousseff, the President of Brazil, is about to be forced out of office soon. Any impeachment process is, first and foremost, political, dealing with questions of power and influence. To be sure, political reforms such as the introduction of measures to significantly reduce the number of parties in Congress are urgently needed. Unfortunately, there is no immediate remedy to this significant deficiency in sight. And yet, it is clear that any governing coalition to function in Brazil’s political system requires a president extremely skilled in engaging with the legislative, creating deals, forging alliances and making compromises. Dilma Rousseff is facing the end of her political career because she has utterly failed in this respect.

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Brasilien: Institutionelle Eigenheiten der politischen Krise

Brasilien erweckt derzeit durch Krisennachrichten Aufmerksamkeit. Die Wirtschaftszahlen sind schlecht. Nicht enden wollende Korruptionsskandale und ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren gegen die 2014 wiedergewählte Präsidentin Dilma Rousseff halten das eben noch als „Wirtschaftsmacht der Zukunft“ gepriesene Land in Atem. Bei einem Kurzbesuch 2015 konnte ich mir nicht nur über die immer wieder erstaunliche brasilianische Vitalität einen Eindruck verschaffen, sondern auch feststellen, wie niedergeschlagen Politik und Land eingeschätzt werden.

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