Rule of Law and Criminal Justice seminar, 2010
The IBAHRI 2010 report, One in Five: the crisis in Brazil's prisons and criminal justice system, was launched at a Seminar Rule of Law and Criminal Justice in Brazil, hosted by the IBAHRI and the Paulo Bar Association, 26 February at AASP. The seminar was attended by approximately 150 participants who included a range of government officials, senior members of the Brazilian legal profession including the President of OAB Sao Paulo, criminal defence NGOs, Brazilian and international lawyers and members of civil society.
The seminar was chaired by IBA Rule of Law Action Group Co-Chair Anne Ramberg, IBAHRI Co-Chair Martin Solc and Arystóbulo de Oliveira Freitas, Vice-President of AASP.
Opening remarks were provided by Márcio Thomaz Bastos, former Minister of Justice, President of Innovare and Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa, who outlined some of the main issues facing criminal justice in Brazil.
Juan E. Mendéz then presented the key findings and recommendations of the Report, considering in particular the transitional justice issues and the reform agenda. Pedro Freitas, Executive Director of the Innovare Instituto, then responded, focusing on one of its key recommendations of the Report – the need to encourage incremental, home-grown reform – and the work of the Innovare Insitituto.
The second session was focussed more broadly on the rule of law in Brazil and Latin America. Juan E. Mendéz gave the keynote speech which looked at threats to the rule of law in the region, challenges facing the Brazilian judiciary and the need for reform. Erivaldo Ribeiro dos Santos, member of the Conselho Nacional de Justiça, coordinator of the Departamento de Monitoramento e Fiscalizacão do Sistema Carcerário (Department of monitoring and supervision of prisons) and organizer of the mutirões scheme then spoke on criminal justice in Brazil and the work of the mutirões.
Following the sessions there was a lively discussion with questions directed to both Juan E. Mendéz and Erivaldo Ribeiro dos Santos regarding the Report and the problem of access to justice in pre-trial detention, and to Juan E. Mendéz on issues relating to the rule of law in the region.
View the conference programme.