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Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Whatever happened to the separation of powers? Not only does the Brazilian “presidential” system grant the President vast powers to legislate (through “medidas provisórias” and other, more subtle means) but, most astonishingly, it grants the Supreme Court the power to legislate.

Brazilian lawyers love to say that the difference between the “civil code” and “common law” systems is that under the former, judges cannot make law. Brazilian legal scholars know better: consider “moral” damages, where judges made law long before lackadaisical legislators learned their lessons.

This philosophical question came to the . . .

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The Curmudgeon moved to Rio over forty years ago, and remained there until late 2018. He's been writing political commentary for The Rio Times for nine years. He once referred to himself as a WASP (look it up) but doesn't any more because it embarrasses him.