Friday, May 15, 2009
Laws are issued by the federal government, the states and municipalities within their respective spheres of authority. The Brazilian legal system is of Roman tradition and all laws destined to regulate and discipline all kinds of situations must have been previously written and made public.
The head of the Brazilian legal system is the Federal Constitution. In its 250 articles one will find the citizens' fundamental rights and guarantees, the political and administrative organization of the Federal Republic of Brazil, the individual spheres of authority of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, the outlines of the Brazilian tax system and the fundamental labor rights, among other matters.
Besides the Federal Constitution, the main legal documents in Brazil are the Codes. The most important are the Civil Code, the Tax Code, the Penal Code and the Civil Procedure Code. The Civil Code comprises over 2000 articles regulating matters such as Obligations and Contracts, Businesses and Corporations, Real Estate and related property rights, and many others. The Tax Code defines the main Brazilian tax regulations, which are complemented by many Federal, State and Municipal laws. The Penal Code brings the definitions of conducts considered crimes and the punishments for anyone fitting the respective legal descriptions. Finally, the Civil Procedure Code regulates the due process of law.