Opinion: Can Chief Justice Toffoli Avert a Brazilian Institutional Crisis?

Has Chief Justice Toffoli, the head of Brazil’s Judicial branch, found a practical, perfectly legal “jeitinho” – statutory interpretation – to promote harmony among the Judicial, Executive and Legislative branches? There's all to play for here, as he well knows.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -  Last week’s decisions by Brazil’s Supreme Court STF, which adhered to the literal language of the Constitution, thus barring imprisonment until a final court decision, has created an uproar throughout Brazil, with people outraged by what they see as a return of impunity.

Both houses of Brazil’s National Congress, given the overwhelmingly negative reaction of their constituent to the decisions, are seeking legislative ways to overturn them. Defenders of the decision argue that Congress cannot amend the Constitution’s Article 5-LVII, a “bedrock clause” guaranteeing individual freedom.

If we take a step . . .

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