The legal system in Brazil resembles that of the Unites States in its structure, but the laws and procedures differ a lot. The Brazil’s legal system is based on civil codes and statutes rather than the common law that is used in the United States federal system and American states. The country’s civil laws and legal system originate from the Roman law which was implemented by the Portuguese during the colonial era. The Constitution organizes Brazil as a federative republic formed by the federal districts, states, and municipalities. The Brazilian government is made up of the legislative, executive and judiciary.

  • Executive Branch

The President of the Republic is the head of the Executive who is also the Head of Government and the Chief of State. The Executive has power over the Judiciary since it selects the Supreme Federal Court Justices and the judges of other Superior Courts. It works together with the Legislative branch in the creation of laws and authorizing projects.

  • Legislative Branch

The Legislative is organized as the National Congress and consists of two houses: The Federal Senate (upper house) and the Chamber of Deputies (lower house). These two houses constitute representatives who are elected by the citizens. The Legislative Branch enacts regulations that establish rights and obligations. The acts may take the form of provisional executive acts, supplementary, ordinary and delegated laws, amendments to the Federal Constitution, and legislative decrees.

  • Judicial Branch

The judicial powers are bestowed upon The Supreme Federal Court, the Superior Court of Justice, the National Council of Justice and Federal Judges.

The Judiciary is organized into state and federal branches. The highest court in the judicial hierarchy is the Federal Supreme Court and is responsible for protecting the Constitution. It also has other duties such as declaring state or federal laws unconstitutional, order extradition requests from foreign states and ruling over cases decided in sole instance courts.

Ricardo TostoCarvalho

Ricardo Carvalho is a co-founder of Leite, Tosto e Barros Advogados. Mr. Tosto is a successful Brazilian litigator who has represented large Brazilian companies, multinational organizations, distinguished people and the government. Mr. Ricardo Tosto has practiced business law for over 20 years. He specializes in commercial and civil litigation, M&A, corporate restructuring, credit recovery, electoral law and international law.

He is an active member of different organizations including Firms and Partnerships Research Centre (CESA), Brazilian Bar Association, the International Bar Association and many others. He has a strong educational background having graduated from the UniversidadePresbiteriana Mackenzie.