Opinion: Brazil’s Fatally Fractured STF (Federal Supreme Court)

The STF is fractured in any number of legal areas, but the one that has shown the fatal flaw in its structure is that of the presumption of innocence.

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Wednesday, December 19th, was the date of the last plenary session of STF - Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court - in 2018. Court watchers all expected a tranquil afternoon: with no meaty cases to be heard, the Presiding Justice’s annual report would be read out and politely applauded.

The report of the gavel closing the session before the recess until February caused an adverse reaction in STF Justice Marco Aurélio Mello. Acting alone, he issued a decision, in a case brought by the leftist party PCdoB to benefit Lula, declaring that Article . . .

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