Brazilian criminal law is based on five guiding principles, which must be understood in order to understand the overall context of Brazilian legal proceedings. These five principles deal with the jurisdiction of the courts over a case and the essential requirements for a fair trial.
The first principle is territoriality, meaning that only Brazilian law applies on Brazilian soil. However, this is somewhat contradicted by the second principle, which is the principle of personality, under which the criminal law of a foreign citizen’s country is applicable to that person.
The third principle is an extension of the second principal. The principal of defense allows Brazilian law to be applied irrespective of the location or nationality of the defendant in defense of the aggrieved party or the damaged good.
The principle of university justice states that individuals should be punished for their crimes no matter where they took place under the laws of the country where they are located. This is the principle which would apply to genocidal acts, for example.
Finally, the principle of representation allows for the Brazilian government to assert jurisdiction for criminal acts that occur on Brazilian vessels and planes.
Ricardo Tosto is Sao Paulo-based attorney with a keen interest in criminal law. One of the country’s most respected civil litigators, Ricardo Tosto is a graduate of a top Brazilian law school. He is best known for being one of the first attorneys to develop a large-scale dispute resolution practice in the country.
In addition to his dedication to the legal profession, Ricardo Tosto is also an accomplished writer and speaker. Ricardo Tosto is also a member of several Brazilian and international legal organizations. His firm, Ricardo Tosto& Associates, has been recognized as one of Brazil’s leading firms and has handled a plethora of high-profile cases.