Opinion: How (and Why) the Presumption of Innocence Became Controversial in Brazil

Brazil’s 1988 Constitution, enshrining the presumption of innocence until final judgement, was not adopted by a gang of corrupt politicians seeking to avoid jail. Its intent was to protect the innocent, not the guilty.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The presumption of innocence is one of democracy’s fundamental components — no country without it can rightly call itself a democracy. Yet, the question has vexed courts the world around, including most recently Brazil, where it may yet cause an institutional crisis.

First How: constitutional histories

Brazil’s 1988 Constitution copied articles from two European constitutions – Subscribe to our Premium Membership Plan. Already Subscribed?