June 13, 2017
On June 13, the Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program held a luncheon at the Law School in honor of President-Justice Ives Gandra Filho and Justice Maria Cristina Peduzzi of Brazil’s Superior Tribunal of Labor. Following the luncheon Justice Gandra spoke about pending labor legislation in Brazil and the need for reform. Justice Peduzzi spoke about the heavy caseloads in Brazilian Courts in general and in the Labor Courts in particular. She stressed that efforts are being undertaken to reduce the caseloads, including the use of precedent to decide cases of a repetitive nature. Judge Messitte offered observations with respect to the very decentralized nature of labor law in the U.S., as compared to Brazil and much of the world where centralized labor court systems predominate.
April 26-28, 2017
At a program in Brasília held from April 26 to April 28, Magistrate Judge Charles Day of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and Adjunct Professor at WCL, spoke to attorneys in the Office of Brazil’s Attorney General (AGU) about the use of mediation in settling litigation disputes. Joining Magistrate Judge Day in Brasília was WCL Adjunct Professor Claudia Dolores Frutos-Peterson, who spoke about arbitration law and practice in the U.S.
April 10, 2017
On April 10, 2017 Justice Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha, President of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Tribunal, attended a luncheon in her honor at WCL. Following the luncheon, she offered remarks on the importance of the protection of fundamental rights by the Judiciary. Judge Messitte added commentary, comparing Brazil’s Supreme Federal Tribunal and the U.S. Supreme Court. This was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
The luncheon was preceded by a morning speech by President Cármen Lúcia at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. WCL co-sponsored that event, as well, as part of its continuing partnership with the Brazil Institute to host prominent members of Brazil’s Judiciary and Legal Professions in visits to Washington.
US District Judge Peter Messitte and President-Minister of Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal Carmen Lucia on the occasion of her speech at WCL on April 10, 2017
March 2-3, 2017
Brazil’s Instituto Justiça e Cidadania and the Brazil-U.S. program at WCL held a 2-day seminar on the “Comparative Law of Contracts: Brazil and the U.S.” Speakers from Brazil included Ministers (Justices) of Brazil’s Superior Tribunal of Justice Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva, Paulo de Tarso Sanseverino, and João Otávio Noronha, as well as other prominent individuals from Brazil. Distinguished speakers from the United States included Dr. Otaviano Canuto, Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and distinguished attorneys from the private and public sectors. Among the topics covered were: Contracts of Adhesion; Government Contracts; Joint Ventures; and Instruments for Financing Agribusiness. A copy of the program may be viewed here.
Mr. Tiago Santos Salles, Judge Peter J. Messitte, Mr. Antonio Augusto de Souza Coelho, Dean Camille A. Nelson, and Mrs. Maria Conceição Gonçalves Coelho
December 5 - 9, 2016
From December 5 - 9 2016 , a weeklong program International Course on Mediation Skills was held in Washington for approximately 25 Brazilian Judges and Prosecutors and Judges. A full report of the program, as recently printed in a publication of the Tribunal of Justice of the State of Sao Paulo may be accessed here.
November 7 and 9, 2016
On November 7, WCL’s Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program and the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center sponsored speeches on Brazil’s electoral system by Justices of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Tribunal Gilmar Mendes and Teori Zavascki. The Justices visited Washington to observe the U.S. presidential election. Justice Mendes is also currently President of Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal and Justice Zavascki is a Substitute Justice on that Court. Following the remarks of the Justices, Judge Messitte of WCL discussed comparative features of election law in the U.S.
On November 9, WCL’s Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program hosted an invitation-only luncheon in honor of Justices Mendes and Zavascki, where they commented on several Rule of Law issues, in addition to issues of electoral law.
November 2, 2016
WCL was the venue for the filming (in Portuguese) of several prominent Brazilian Judges speaking about various features of the Brazil’s New Code of Civil Procedure. Speakers included Superior Tribunal of Justice Justices Paulo de Tarso Vieira Sanseverino, Marco Aurélio Gastaldi Buzzi, and Paulo Dias de Moura Ribeiro, as well as Desembargador Guaracy Campos Viana, of the Tribunal of Justice of Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Isaac Sidney Menezes Ferreira, Director of Institutional Relations and Citizenship and former General Counsel of the Central Bank of Brazil, also spoke.
September 12, 2016
At the invitation of the World Bank in Washington, Dr. Claudio Portela, a Senior Prosecutor and Head of the Investigations Division of the National Office of Professional Responsibility of Brazil’s Public Ministry; the Chief of Staff of the Division, Dr. Eduardo Aquino; State Prosecutor Luciano Badini of Minas Gerais, and others, visited Washington during the week of September 12. Through Dr. Alberto Ninio, Deputy General Counsel of the World Bank (a Brazilian who holds an LLM from WCL), Drs. Portela, et al. met with Judge Messitte at the U.S. Courthouse in Greenbelt Maryland, to discuss performance indicators for prosecutorial offices in the U.S. Among other things, Dr. Portela and Judge Messitte explored the possibility of establishing educational exchanges between the Public Ministry and WCL.
Also attending the round table were Arun Rao, Esquire, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Division Chief, Office of the U.S. Attorney in Greenbelt and William Henry, Chief Probation Officer for the U.S. District Court for Maryland. Dr. Flávio Chiarelli Vicente de Azevedo, an attorney in the Office of the Attorney General for the Union (AGU) (Brasília) and a Visiting Scholar at WCL, also attended the round table.
WCL AND BRAZIL INSTITUTE OF WOODROW WILSON CENTER CO-SPONSOR TALKS BY BRAZILIAN SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOSÉ ANTONIO DIAS TOFFOLI AND JUDGE SÉRGIO MORO AT THE WOODROW WILSON CENTER IN JULY 2016.
In July, the Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program at WCL and the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted prominent Brazilian Judges as part of their jointly sponsored lecture series entitled “Brazil-United States Judicial Dialogue.” The lectures were held at the Woodrow Wilson Center at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.
The series was launched on July 6 by Justice (in Brazil called “Minister”) José Antonio Dias Toffoli of the Brazilian Supreme Court (“Supreme Federal Tribunal”). Justice Toffoli spoke on “The Evolving Role of the Brazilian Supreme Court.” A former Solicitor General of Brazil, Justice Dias Toffoli was appointed to the court by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Justice Toffoli has served as President of the Superior Electoral Tribunal, which supervises Brazilian elections at all levels, and is scheduled to become President (“Chief Justice”) of the Supreme Court in September 2018, according to the tradition of rotating the post among the Court’s eleven members every two years.
On July 14, the WCL-Brazil Institute series also welcomed Federal Judge Sérgio Fernando Moro of the Thirteenth Federal Criminal Court in Curitiba, in the State of Paraná. Judge Moro has been leading the corruption investigation into Petrobras (Brazil’s semi-public corporation in the petroleum industry), known as the “Lava Jato” (= operations L car wash”) case, since its beginning in March 2014. Judge Moro discussed “Handling Political Corruption Cases in Brazil.” On July 15, Judge Moro was honored at an invitation-only luncheon at WCL, where he offered brief remarks related to his work on the Lava Jato case.
The WCL-Brazil Institute lecture series will continue to feature speeches by prominent Brazilian judges and legal experts on topics of relevance for policy makers, scholars, students and business executives, including the implications of the unprecedented anti-corruption initiative that has dominated headlines in the past decade.
Brazil’s anti-corruption initiative has had a significant impact on the nation’s economic and political landscape. Federal prosecutors, regulators and legal experts throughout Brazil have been talking about “a new culture of compliance” taking root in the nation’s business community. Investigations conducted by federal prosecutors have exposed massive schemes of corruption involving political parties, politicians, government officials, and major companies and business executives. “Crime will not prevail over justice,” declared Supreme Court Vice-President Justice Cármen Lúcia Antunes Rocha in November 2015. Attorney General Rodrigo Janot has described the Petrobras corruption scandal now being pursued as an assault by a “criminal organization” acting within the government.
Future speakers in the series will include Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes, and possibly Justice Teori Zavascki, and former Justice Carlos Mario Velloso.
Justice Cármen Lúcia has accepted our invitation to speak on rule of law in Brazil in times turmoil after she becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in September of this year.
February 10-11, 2016
WCL, in conjunction with the Instituto Justiça e Cidadania, held a two day Symposium on Legal Aspects of Agribusiness on February 10-11, 2016, at WCL’s new facility in the Tenleytown section of Washington.
Speakers included Brazilians and Americans prominent in matters pertaining to food and agriculture. Representing Brazil’s second highest court, the Superior Tribunal of Justice, were Ministers Otavio de Noronha, Luis Felipe Salomao, Paulo Sanseverino, and Ricardo Vilas Bôas Cueva.
The English translation of an article on the Symposium that appeared in the March 2016 issue of Brazil's leading law journal, Justica e Cidadania, may be found here. The original article in Portuguese may be found on the Portuguese version of this website.
May 26, 2015
Interview on Blog About McDonald’s and Labor Law in Brazil
Judge Messitte gave an interview to the blog Think Progress with respect to the labor dispute involving McDonalds of Brazil. To read more, click here.
May 22, 2015
Courts and the Rule of Law in Democratic Brazil
Together with the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, WCL’s Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program co-sponsored the first of what are four planned symposia over the next two years dealing with “Courts and the Rule of Law in Democratic Brazil.”
The first symposium was held on May 22, 2015 at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, the topic of which was “The Rule of Law in Brazil: Three Decades of Progress and Challenges.” Speakers included, among others, Brazil’s current Attorney General of the Union (i.e. for the Government) Luis Inácio Adams, former President of the Supreme Federal Tribunal Nelson Jobim, Professor Maria Tereza Sadek of the University of São Paulo Law School, Professor Luciana Gross Cunha of FGV - São Paulo, and Dr. Linn Hammergren, independent rule of law consultant. Judge Messitte of WCL also spoke, as did Dean Joaquim Falcâo of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School of Rio de Janeiro and Dean Oscar Vilhena Vieira of the Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School of São Paulo.
Future symposia will consider “The Administration of Justice for Efficiency, Access and Effectiveness” (First Semester 2015 at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo); “Democracy, Compliance, Prosecution and Accountability” (Second Semester 2016, possibly at WCL in Washington); and “The Future of Brazilian Courts and Democracy” (Brasília, First Semester 2017). The Law Schools of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio and São Paulo are co-sponsors of these programs.
March 31-April 1, 2015
First Symposium on Legal Protection for Financial Investments in Brazil
In conjunction with the Instituto Justiça e Cidadania, the Brazil-U.S. Legal & Judicial Studies Program held its first annual symposium on Legal Protection for Financial Investments in Brazil, featuring some of Brazil's top judges and bank officials. The program agenda is available here.
November 3-7, 2014
Seminar for Brazilian Judges and Prosecutors on the Civil Justice System in the United States
This seminar, as part of the continuation fo the series of programs for selected Brazilian judges and others, followed the format of the April 2014 and November and December 2013 programs. This seminar focused on civil processes and civil procedure in the United States, and included a mock trial that was given by Law Clerks at the United States District Court of the District of Maryland. Among the speakers about problems related to health law and healthcare in the United States (including "Obamacare") were Mr. Donald Kosin and Mr. David Senor, both high-level lawyers at the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services.
September 11, 2014
Judge Messitte spoke about Administrative Law in the United States at the Escola de Magistratura of the Tribunal Regional Federal da 4ª Região in Porto Alegre, Brasil.
Week of August 19, 2014
Judge Messitte and the new U.S. Supreme Court Clerk Scott Harris visted São Paulo, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro as the guests of the Harvard Alumni Association of Brazil, the law schools of Fundação Getúlio Vargas - São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the legal publication Justiça e Cidadania. They met with the Presidents and the Ministers of the Supremo Tribunal Federal, Superior Tribunal de Justiça, Tribunal Superior do Trabalho, Tribunal Superior Eleitoral and the Tribunais de Justiça of the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They made plans for these Brazilian judges to make a reciprocal trip to the United States (and article about this visit appears in the Spetember edition of Justiça e Cidadania).
April 14-18, 2014
Seminar for Brazilian Judges & Prosecutors on Alternative Dispute Resolution
Another in the series of Seminars for selected Brazilian judges and prosecutors at WCL, following the format of the November 2013 and December 2013 Programs. The topic was arbitration, mediation, and conciliation. Dr. José Mariano Beltrame, Secretary for Security of the State of Rio de Janeiro, was among the distinguished speakers. Secretary Beltrame spoke about mediation services performed by Police Pacification Units (UPP) of his Secretariat.
April 8-9, 2014
Seminar for Brazilian Consular Officials of the Brazilian General Consulate – Boston
This seminar, which Judge Messitte coordinated for the General Consulate of Brazil in Boston, examined aspects of legal interest – e.g., immigration law, criminal law, contract and tort laws, among others – to consular officials from Brazil. Also in attendance were consular officials from Mexico, Haiti, Turkey, Cape Verde and Venezuela. The speakers, in addition to Judge Messitte, included, among others, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, the District Attorney for Suffolk County (Boston), and the Deputy Regional Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
December 2-6, 2013
1st Forum on Comparative Social Security Laws: Brazil & the US
Challeges to the Two Systems
Promote discussion on the current challenges of Social Security, in a comparative view Brazil-United States of America.
A Seminar for select Brazilian jurists at WCL. Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki and Superior Tribunal of Justice Ministers Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva and Paulo Sanseverino were among the distinguished lecturers.
November 18-22, 2013
Seminar for the Jornal da Justiça
The Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program collaborated with the International Judicial Academy and the Jornal da Justiça to present a seminar on High Legal Capacity for Judges and Justice Administrators attended by more than 30 Brazilian judges and state prosecutors.
The seminar also included site visits to the Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Federal Judicial Center and the Library of Congress.
October 4, from 10 am to noon Washington time (=11 am to 1 pm Brasilia time), Woodrow Wilson Center
Together with the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, WCL and the Brazil - US Legal & Judicial Studies Program have sponsored a seminar to discuss recent developments in the Mensalão case, in which several high-level Brazilian politicians have been convicted of various crimes of corruption.
Dean Oscar Vilhena of the Getúlio Vargas Law School/São Paulo was one of the Brazilian presenters, and was accompanied by Dr. Federico Normanha Ribeiro de Almeida, Director of Graduate Studies at the GV Law and Professor of Political Science at the São Judas Tadeu University in São Paulo. Live video from São Paulo.
Judge Messitte of the Brazil - US Legal & Judicial Studies Program - and Professor Matthew M. Taylor, of the American University School of International Service took part live from Washington.
October 3rd, 2013, (noon to 2:00 p.m.), 4801 Massachussetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
A Panel Discussion was held on “Internet Governance: Spying: The Case of Brazil.” Program Director Judge Peter Messitte, Professor Michael Carroll, Dr. Costas Toregas, and Dr. Cezar Alvarez appeared as Panelists. The Program was moderated by Dra. Nathalia Foditsch.
October 1st, 2013, AU WCL, Student Lounges, 6th floor, 4801 Massachussetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
The Program was pleased to host the Documentary "Bacuri's Eyes", with an introduction by Dr. Paulo Abrão, National Secretary of Justice and President of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice's Amnesty and Reparation Commission.
Sponsored by: Brazil Interest Society; Impact Litigation Project
June 24-27, 2013
Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Systems: A Comparative Analysis
This week-long course, which compared key Brazil and U.S. legal and judicial institutions point-by-point, was offered at the Law School from June 24 – 27, 2013. Led by Judge Messitte, the course also featured, as co-lecturers, distinguished Brazilian lawyers, judges and academics.
The course included a site visit to the Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program collaborated with the International Judicial Academy and the Jornal da Justiça to present a seminar on Advanced Legal Issues for Justice Administrators attended by more than 30 Brazilian judges and state prosecutors.
The seminar also included site visits to the Federal Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the Federal Judicial Center and the Library of Congress.
April 1-5, 2013
7th Conference prepared for the National Association of Judges of the Brazilian Labor Courts -ANAMATRA
Every two years, the National Association of Judges of the Brazilian Labor Courts (ANAMATRA) holds a conference for its members in a city outside of Brazil. The Program, in collaboration with the International Judicial Academy and ANAMATRA, organized the conference in Washington, at WCL, during the first week of April 2013. Over 100 Brazilian Labor Law judges attended the conference, which focused on comparing Brazil and U.S. Labor and Employment Laws. WCL Professors Lubbers and Ugelow, as well as several distinguished U.S. government officials and union lawyers, discussed U.S. Labor and Employment Laws.
Aditionally, WCL students played the role of jurors in a Mock Trial involving employment discrimination and sexual harassment, presented at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Participants at the preparatory meeting for the ANAMATRA Conference
March 7, 2013
Round Table: Arbitration in Brazil
An open event organized by the WCL Center on International Commercial Arbitration, in which Brazilian and American specialists discussed the current state of affairs and what the future holds for international commercial arbitration in Brazil.
November 12-16, 2012
Advanced Legal Topics for Justice Administrators in Brazil
The Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program collaborated with the International Judicial Academy to host a seminar on Advanced Legal Topics for Justice Administrators, which was attended by more than 30 Brazilian judges and state prosecutors, including the President of the Tribunal of Justice of Rio de Janeiro (Desembargador Manoel Alberto Rebêlo dos Santos) and guest speaker Brazilian Senator Cristovam Buarque. In addition to the site visits included in previous seminars and courses, the Program also included a reception at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
October 25, 2012
Launch of the Program
WCL hosted a luncheon to announce the launch of the Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program, which was attended by the Brazilian Ambassador to the U.S. Mauro Vieira, Minister Breno Dias da Costa, Interim Representative of Brazil to the Organization of American States, and a number of distinguished judges, lawyers, academics, government officials and members of the business community.
Click here to watch Judge Messitte's and Ambassador Vieira's inaugural remarks.