Welcome to Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program

The Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program at American University Washington College of Law is a comparative law program focused exclusively on Brazil and the United States and their respective legal and judicial institutions. Led by Senior United States District Judge Peter J. Messitte, the program is unique in offering a direct comparison of Brazilian legal and judicial institutions with those of the United States.

The Program offers participants a firmer understanding of both Brazilian and U.S. systems and transmits substantial practical knowledge as the two countries increase their interaction with one another.

The Program has established a special bond with members of Brazil’s Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF) and Superior Tribunal of Justice (STJ).  STF ministers who have participated in programs at WCL include Ministers Gilmar Mendes, Teorí Zavascki, Cármen Lúcia, and Luís Roberto Barroso.  Visitors from the STJ have included Ministers João Otávio de Noronha, Luís Felipe Salomão, Paulo de Tarso Sanseverino, Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva, Francisco Falcão, Marco Buzzi, Paulo Dias de Mauro Ribeiro, and Sebastião Reis Junior. Another prominent Brazilian Judge to address an audience at the Law School was Federal Judge Sergio Moro, the trial judge handling the Operation Carwash (Lava Jato) case.

Program Features

The Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program coordinates seminars on various comparative law issues for Brazilian judges, legal professionals, academics, and students, and also assists those in the U.S. who wish to have comparable introductions to Brazilian law and Brazilian legal and judicial institutions. The Program has been able to engage, as co-lecturers, Brazilian lawyers and legal experts who reside and work in the Washington, D.C. region, as well as Brazilian professors and judges who frequently visit the city.

In addition to organizing events and initiatives, the Program collaborates with activities that already exist between AUWCL and Brazil in such areas as international commercial arbitration, intellectual property, environmental law and human rights.

Upcoming Events

 

Date: to be determined

Other future programs are being planned in conjunction with the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center.  They include visits by Brazil’s new Attorney General Raquel Dodge, as well as visits by attorneys who have acted as defense counsel in the Lava Jato prosecutions.  Discussions are also underway with Brazilian federal and state prosecutor groups for seminars dealing with Anti-Corruption and Mediation, among other topics.