Brazilian Penal Code reform sparks much debate

June 24, 2013
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When the wording and specific elements of a particular law are being debated, there is sure to be varing view points on every side. However, when you reform the entire penal code, that debate is sure to get intense.

Currently there is a movement in Brazil to update the country's Penal Code (CPB). Created in 1940, it is a piece of legislation that outlines punishment for more that three hundred types of criminal activity. It is currently up for renewal with several proposed updates to language, sentence lengths and crimes that are causing some controversy.

One of the main points is the inclusion of newer forms of crime that were not around in the 1940s when the original penal code was drafted or have evolved into something different in the last 70 plus years. That includes things like white collar offenses, criminal organizations and the "Carolina Dieckmann Law" which deals with invasion of privacy in social media.

The next and final public hearing to debate the bill will be on July 7 at the auditorium of the Foundation of the Superior Law School of the State of Ceará. Senator Eunicio Oliveira of Ceara, a member of the Commission on the Reform of the Penal Code, will be present as Brazilian lawyers and citizens are able to voice their concerns over the bill and what it could mean for the country.

There are many changes—both positive and negative—that are being proposed as part of this Penal Code restructuring. However, as it turns out, anyone with business in Brazil should partner with lawyers from the country to make sure they understand the new laws.

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