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'Freedom of the Press and the Judiciary' was discussed at an international forum in STF

The President of the Supreme Court opened the international forum on media and Judicial Power

“Alongside with other institutes, such as like free elections, independence of the Judiciary, the Press is a primary pillar of the democratic state." The statement was made by the Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Cezar Peluso, during the opening ceremony of the International Forum on freedom of the press and the Judiciary.

The meeting gathered throughout Friday (May 27th, 2011) ministers, lawyers, journalists, publishers, executives, lawyers and students, and members of international organizations representing the press.

In his speech, Minister C. Peluso stated that it was impossible to underestimate the role of the freedom of the press in the consolidation of the democracy in Brazil, as democratic practice requires well-informed citizens.
He also mentioned that the STF has been a tireless defender of democratic values and, consequently, of the freedom of the press. In this sense, he recalled that in 2009 congress revoked the Press act, passed during the military dictatorship and considered incompatible with the precepts of the Constitution of 1988.

Peluso also spoke about the relationship between the Press and the Judiciary to highlight its basic challenge which is to translate press issues in a specific field, with all its complexities, for the rest of the society.

To the President of the Supreme Court, freedom of the press is fundamental for democracy. "It's the only way people can retain their freedom and be able to judge their rulers." Now with regard to the Judiciary, Minister C. Peluso mused that if there is a continuous open channel between the Press and the Judiciary, everyone will benefit. "The media wins, the judiciary wins and the whole of society wins."

The vice president of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), Minister Carlos Ayres Britto opened discussions at the Forum on Freedom of the Press and the Judiciary. He recalled the reasons that led the Supreme Court to suspend the application of the press act.

In April 2009, the Supreme Court judged that provisions of the Press act (Law 5.250/67) were incompatible with the Constitution of 1988. According to Ayres Britto, there was an incompatibility between the old press act and the Constitution and "it was a visceral incompatibility".

"The Supreme Court did nothing more than recognize that full-fledged freedom which is the freedom of the press as inscribed in the Constitution. The integrity of the freedom of the press emerges from the Federal Constitution itself”, sais the minister to participants of the forum.

In closing his lecture, Minister Ayres Britto said that ”in what concerns the strategic press and social communication sector, Brazilian society is in very good hands".


Also addressing the opening ceremony the president of the National Newspaper Association (ANJ), Judith Brito stated that "The Supreme Court is the core of the Democratic State. And the press is an essential part of democracy”. In her opinion, this is a valuable opportunity to bring even closer press and Judiciary and to better understand the role of the two institutions in the democratic system.

The President of the ANJ, Judith Brito, recalled that minister Ayres Britto was the first recipient of the award for his activities in defense of the freedom of the press as in the historic vote as rapporteur of the judgement in which the Supreme Federal Court considered the press act to be constitutional.


The representative of the Inter-American Press Society (SIP), Julio Muñoz, said it was a special honor to be part of the meeting, because there is no more appropriate place for such discussions.

He said the IAPA has defended freedom of the press FOR 69 years and is dedicated to in depth studying of the basic human right of freedom of expression and OF freedom of the press.

He further explained that the SIP is a private nonprofit organization that operates in the Americas and reported, among its actions, the creation of a document that became the ethical charter clearly markING the responsibilities of journalists and media. Moreover, a declaration of commitment to defend freedom of expression has been signed by 59 American presidents, including the President of the Republic of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff who, according to Julio Muñoz, has shown to be committed to that moral purpose.

Clarin receives the ANJ Award for Press Freedom

In their struggle for freedom of information in Argentina, Clarin newspaper was honored at the event with the ANJ Award for Freedom of the Press, delivered to the Group Chairman, Hector Magnette, and to the general editor, Ricardo Kirschbaum.

According to Judith Brito, president of the ANJ, Clarin symbolizes the problems which the Argentinean press has faced in its mission to promote independent and quality journalism, without any submission to governments.

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