Threats to Brazilian Democracy Gain Traction

Democracy in Brazil is under attack and facing a significant level of backsliding. The developments in recent years, from Dilma Rousseff’s parliamentary coup to Jair Bolsonaro’s ascent to power, have shown that democracy erodes in an incremental process. Lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro has recently taken another step in that direction when he publicly suggested that a 1964-1985 dictatorship’s decree should be repeated in case the Brazilian left-wing movements took a more radical position. His statements are prohibited under Brazilian law and Brazil’s institutions need to hold Eduardo Bolsonaro accountable in order to put brakes on the country’s democratic decline.

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König Midas, Hauptmann Kettensäge und die Mittel des Völkerrechts zum Schutz der Biodiversität

Spätestens seit der Veröffentlichung des UN Global Assessment Report im Mai 2019 wissen wir, dass etwa eine Million der insgesamt acht Millionen Arten vom Aussterben bedroht sind – mehr als jemals zuvor in der Geschichte unseres Planeten. Das sechste globale Massensterben von Tieren und Pflanzen erfordert ein konzertiertes Vorgehen der internationalen Staatengemeinschaft. Doch nationale Alleingänge, wie des US-Präsidenten Trump und seines brasilianischen Amtskollegen Bolsonaro, nehmen zugunsten der heimischen Wirtschaft unwiederbringliche Verluste der Artenvielfalt in Kauf, die den Bestand der Ökosysteme weltweit gefährden. Welche Mittel hält das Völkerrecht bereit, um dem entgegenzuwirken?

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Brasiliens neuer Superjustizminister und das drohende Ende des Rechtsstaats

Brasiliens demokratischer Rechtsstaat hat gerade seinen 30. Geburtstag gefeiert. Doch mit der Wahl des seit dem 1. Januar 2019 amtierenden Präsidenten Jair Bolsonaro ist sein Fortbestand gefährdet wie nie. Vergleichsweise wenig Beachtung fand in den internationalen Medien, was die neue Regierung in Bezug auf die Justizverwaltung Brasiliens plant: Ein „Superjustizministerium“ soll gegründet werden, das vom ehemaligen Bundesrichter Sergio Moro geleitet wird, und ein strenges Antiterrorgesetz soll verabschiedet werden. Beides ist geeignet, die rechtsstaatliche Ordnung Brasiliens zu beeinträchtigen.

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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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