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SOGOLAS Global Forum Seminar: Brazilian legal culture and juridical system (2024)


SOGOLAS Global Forum in cooperation with Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro invites you to participate in an online seminar about Brazilian legal culture and juridical system. Professor Willis Santiago Guerra Filho introduces Brazilian legal culture from its beginnings until the republican period (end of 19th century). Professor Daniela de Barcellos gives an overview of the Brazilian juridical system from the Vargas Era (1930-1945) to the present day. The presentations will be commented and related to the Estonian context by Professor Mart Susi from the School of Governance, Law and Society.

Brazilian legal culture until the republican period

Prof. Willis Santiago Guerra Filho

The aim of presenting Brazilian legal culture from its beginnings until the republican period initially presupposes that we understand the meanings of such an endeavor. On the one hand, its scope is to deal with one of the legal aspects of culture understood in a formal sense, that is, as erudite culture, methodologically transmitted through an educational system, religious sermons, political proselytism or similar aspects of institutions linked to a State with specific characteristics, which was the Portuguese State at the time when Brazil was its colony. On the other hand, there is culture understood as an individual and collective manifestation of ways of thinking about society as expressed in interpersonal and intergroup relations through cults, cuisine, clothing, arts, crafts and other forms of social interaction, with emphasis on those of legal nature. And here we must consider the diversity of autochthonous ethnicities that were brought into contact with the colonizing main nation, but also with other invading European nations and segregated minorities from the former that through it also took part in the formation of the general and legal culture of Brazil, such as those of Jews and gypsies, exiled there, for religious reasons, as well as those enslaved, brought from Africa, for economic reasons. A milestone to be highlighted was the transfer of the headquarters of the kingdom from Portugal to Brazil, due to the Napoleonic wars. This is when we will find the most expressive spontaneous cultural manifestations in Brazil, especially in the field of legal ideas and the development of formal education, mainly since the creation of the first two university institutions, namely, law courses in São Paulo and Pernambuco.

The Brazilian Judicial system from the Vargas Era (1930-1945) to the present day

Prof. Daniela de Barcellos

This lecture addresses the functioning and structure of the Brazilian justice, as well as the legal system that made it possible. In the last legislature (2019-2022), the proposals for change regarding the justice system in the National Congress did not alter either the structure of the judiciary or the national legislation regime. This fact demonstrates the robustness of the legislative system built during the Vargas Era (1930-1945), whose characteristics remain intact.

Daniela Silva Fontoura de Barcellos is coordinator of the Postgraduate Program in Law at Ufrj, professor at the Department of Civil Law at the National Faculty of Law at Ufrj. PhD in Political Science at UFRGS with Doctoral internship at ENS-Paris.

Willis Santiago Guerra Filho is a permanent professor of the Postgraduate Law Program of UNIRIO (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro).

Seminar recording

20th of May 2024


14:30-14:40 Opening words by Massimo La Torre, Professor of European Law, SOGOLAS TLU
14:40-15:00 Presentation by Professor Willis Santiago Guerra Filho
15:20-15:40 Presentation by Professor Daniela de Barcellos
15:40-16:00 Comments by Professor Mart Susi, Professor of Human Rights Law, SOGOLAS TLU
16:00-16:30 Q&A