Public Defender Gets No Respect in Brazil

Brazil’s 1988 Constitution assigned state governments responsibility for establishing public defenders offices in the states. Nevertheless, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, and Goiás have still failed to create them.

The Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, stressed the importance of these organs to ensure the rights of the population and criticized the truant states.


“It is unpardonable not to have a public defenders office, especially in a country with social exclusion like Brazil, where peoples’ access to life’s goods should include access to justice and, even more, access to legal advice. People are unable to afford it,” he affirmed, following the launching of a diagnosis on public defenders offices, yesterday, December 1st, at the Ministry of Justice.


For the president of the National Association of Public Defenders, Leopoldo Portela Júnior, the absence of public defenders offices represents a lack of respect.


“The population must understand that this is a free legal service, but it has costs. That is why we all pay taxes. It is an obligation of the State and needs to be implemented,” he argued.


The study shows that the average period of existence of the state public defenders offices is 13 years.


It also suggests that the services rendered by these institutions have still not attained the desirable degree of universality, since 57.7% of the country’s judicial districts are outside their scope.


According to the survey, the heaviest concentration of these districts is precisely in the states with the worst social indexes.


The diagnosis, prepared through an initiative of the Ministry of Justice’s Office of Judicial Reform, is meant to identify specific characteristics of the public defenders offices, so that measures can be proposed to help strengthen them and expand their services.


The study was prepared under the coordination of Maria Tereza Sadek, of the Political Science Department of the University of São Paulo, in partnership with the National Association of Public Defenders (Anadep) and with financial support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

Tags:

You May Also Like

Lula and Chí¡vez Put Brazil-Venezuela Relations Back on Track

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, assured this Thursday, September 20, that his ...

Brazilian Protesters Call Bush Terrorist and Burn His Effigy and US Flag

Approximately a thousand Brazilian students, a group of Palestinian women, and representatives of mass ...

Going Nuclear Is the Answer, Brazil Finds Out

Although Brazil has an enormous hydroelectric potential (estimated at almost 260,000 MW), only 68,000 ...

Getting to the Bottom of Brazil’s Gerald Thomas

{mosimage}Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone opera Moses und Aron, unjustly portrayed in the classical-music media as ...

Indian Air Force Gets Brazil’s Embraer Jets

Brazil’s aircraft maker Embraer announced today the delivery of three specially configured Legacy Executive ...

Everything Seems Wrong, Yet Brazil Is an Agricultural Powerhouse

The record-breaking failure of 18.2 million tons, worth US$ 4.1 million (10 million reais), ...

Brazil Earmarks US$ 2.2 Bi for 36 Fighter Jets. Just for Starters

The Brazilian government is planning a major increase of Brazil's armed forces budget and ...

Rio Tries to Ban Coconut Sales in the Beach. Measure Upsets Cariocas

Rio de Janeiro was about to lose one of its most enduring images, that ...

Hair and Much More Down

Brazilian male interests are shifting from the old buttock fixation to the anatomic part ...

Energy Crisis: After Brazilians Visit Venezuela Sends Its Technicians to Brazil

Venezuela is sending its technicians to Brazil to examine the energy grid, especially how ...