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Brazil's Penal Code was enacted in 1940 and came into force in 1941. It is the third in Brazil's history and it came to replace the one from from 1890. It was partly revised in 1984 by a group of jursits well versed in Penal Law and it is still in force.

The Division

The Penal Code in Brazil is divided into two sections:

1) General section: outlines the main principles and concepts encompassing Penal Law
2) Special section: sets the crimes and corresponding penalties

  • Debates in Congress


Depending on the seriousness of the crime, three different penalties can be applied:

1) Prison: it restrict the the liberty of a criminal by maintaining him captive
2) Restriction of rights: this encompasses a variety of measures which can range from rendering social services to not being entiled to go out on the weekend
3) Fine: pecuniary compensation

A Potential New Penal Code

A group of jurists has been assembled in order to draft a new Penal Code. The committe finished its work less than 8 months after the commencement of the proceedings and now the draft is being discussed in Congress. This is a polarizing event which has been characterized by political tension and the outcome of this process is uncertain.

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