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A semester of great learning in the MERCOSUR legal exchange programs

Tuesday, July 12 2011

Seminar on Comparative Law closes 1st semester, 2011 academic exchange

On Friday (1st), the Advisory for International Affairs held the first seminar with works of foreign students that participated in the academic exchange program among MERCOSUR and associated countries.

The event, that took place in the room of the Second Panel, was opened by the procedural advisor Christine Peter with a lecture on Judicial Diplomacy. In her presentation, Peter made a brief historical on the combination between the Rule of Law and the Constitutional State and she concluded resorting to the self-knowledge method through comparison, observing in otherness “the search for the other as an exercise to know and to self-recognize”, referring herself to the experience enabled to the students during the exchange.
The seminar was presented by seven students that made part of the exchange’s fourth edition, with the presentation of papers and articles on several themes about Comparative Law.

The Chilean Rosario Bravo Ropert and the Argentine Maria Guadalupe Barazzutti chose the trial about the homoaffective union (gay civil union) in order to make comparisons with similar cases in their own countries. To Rosario, this decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) was a very important landmark because it opens precedents for every constitutional order all around the world. “I believe it is a great advance for Constitutional Law. It is as the ministers say: a starting point to regulate and provide adequate constitutional protection to those minories”, she explains.

The Argentine Ana Laura Ossola brought up comparisons between the Brazilian Writ of Mandamus and the Argentine “Amparo”, that, according to her, share similar characteristics, “safeguarded their particularities”. She chose this topic under the orientation of minister Dias Toffoli’s cabinet, where she was an intern during the time she worked at the STF. Ana considered the seminar a symbolical closure of her learning process at the STF. “We learned a lot here and enjoyed it both professionally and personally, I will really miss it all, but I promise I will return”, she garantees.

Pamela Ruiz Liberón wrote an article regarding the need of specialization on the Criminal Enforcement area and chose the matter because of the fact that this institute does not exist in Chile. She, who wants to specialize in Criminal Law, intends to suggest a prototype of a criminal enforcement judge to her country. Liberón states that the learning was very beneficial and that leaving will be the hardest part: “I do not wish to leave, but the program has an end date and I have completed it. I am very proud of what we proposed ourselves to do here and I will miss everyone”, she asserts.

The Program Teixeira de Freitas is a Law students’ and teacher’s exchange program, whose participants fulfil an internship in the Supreme Courts and the Constitutional Courts from MERCOSUR and associated countries. Up until now, the STF has only received students, who work at the STF and study during an academic semester at the University of Brasilia. Such program is in its fourth edition and it has already received 19 students from many countries of the region.

This semester’s edition ended in July 8th. For the next semester, it is expected the arrival of 8 new students in August 15th, one of them from Uruguay, one from Chile, two from Paraguay and four from Argentina.

In order to know more about Teixeira de Freitas Program, click here

Professional exchange mobilizes thirteen exchange students

Judicial servants and judges from the Supreme Courts of MERCOSUR and associated countries take part in a different exchange program, the Program Joaquim Nabuco. It is a kind of a professional visit, in which people who work with the functioning of the Justice System in a daily basis in their own countries have the opportunity to better know how the Judicial Branch of neighbour countries work.

This semester, the STF received five servants and magistrates from Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. In this first edition, the exchange participants were received in different dates, reason why the servants from the Constitutional Court of Chile Marta de la Fuente Olguín and Valeria Lübbert Álvarez were the ones who closed the semester.

Both of them tell they learned a lot during the semester. Marta de la Fuente says that the opportunity allowed her to exploit new personal and professional experiences that will really be useful to her work as Court Secretary, equivalent to the position of STF's Director General. She highlights the intense use of information technology so as to improve eficiency and effectiveness of the Brazilian Supreme Court, the transparence with which the trials and the human resources are lead, whose non-assistencialist focus is, according to the observed, aimed at enhancing people’s potential as axes of the STF mission. Besides that, the Chilean Constitutional Court servant noted the value that the Brazilian courts give to the preservation of their memory and of their historical record, reserving for them a proper space that is in an obligatory passageway for visitors.

Valeria Lübbert Álvarez, a minister’s advisor, states that, even though the internship was short, she had the possibility to get to know the core of Brazilian Justice and also to deepen in themes of her interest, in harmony with the Program. With the exchange, she believes she grew professional and academically in an extremely fertile arena for the discussion and exchange of legal experiences, what fed her interest in deepening the knowledge of the latin-american legal scenario, specially the Brazilian one.

Valeria Álvarez was the last exchange servant received by the STF in the first semester. So as to make the organization of the activities easier and to give the servants and the magistrates from distinct countries the opportunity to make lasting bonds, the program passed through a small reformulation. Next semester, the exchange servants and magistrates will be received in one single group, whose work will iniciate on October 10th. After the pre-programed, general activities take place, the participants can, if they wish, learn more about the area of the Court that interests them the most.

Also in the first half of 2011, the STF sent, for the first time, a group of servants abroad, opportunity that was very well evaluated by the ones that were selected to know the Supreme Courts of Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The servants followed an activities schedule that included visits to courts, lectures, meetings with Judiciary members and institutions alike, debates, comparative studies of institutes, trial sessions accompaniment, among others.

Back home, the learning was shared by means of reports and a seminar in which the participants told what they knew and also their impressions of this professional visit to a foreign Court. The general evaluation is that the experience was important, both personally and professionally (know more).

For the next semester, the Supreme Court will select eight more servants, who will be able to visit, besides the mentioned countries, the Supreme Courts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. The exchange is expected to start September 5th, and the servants shall remain at about 15 to 30 days, depending on the planning of activities of each Court.

In order to know more about Joaquim Nabuco Program, click here


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