Law and Compliance in Brazil

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
Be precise in the description of the obligations of the contracting parties and of quality control.
Law Applicable to the Contract
You must be particularly vigilant about the law applicable to contracts and the methods of conflict resolution. Brazil is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on international contracts. The Brazilian legal system is complex. It is not easy for a foreigner to understand Brazilian law. It is recommended that you use international laws or call on an arbitration system , and that you get help from a Brazilian lawyer.
Language of Domestic Contract
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
The main rules of international law are likely to be accepted by a Brazilian supplier. You are advised not to resort to any law other than Brazilian law.

Return to top

Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
Although judicial power is to a great extent independent of the executive branch, it is quite powerless faced with the organized crime which is rife in the country. Legal reforms advance very slowly and the public does not trust the system. The level of corruption is very high in the country.
Each Brazilian province has its own legal system. The country also has a system of courts to settle disputes between provinces. Brazil has not accepted the obligatory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Judicial power belongs to judges, important people, and there is no jury in any lawcourt.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
The judicial power guarantees a fair trial to foreign nationals.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is often necessary to resort to an interpreter if you do not speak Portuguese.
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the constitution of 1998. The legal system is based on Roman codes. The civil code, inspired previously by the Napoleonic code, is nowadays closer to the Italian code. Judicial power belongs to judges and important people.

The Different Legal Codes

Contract and property law Lei nº 9.279 de 14 de maio de 1996
Consumer rights Lei nº 8.078 de 11 de setembro de 1990
Company law Lei nº 556 de 25 de junho de 1850
Labor law Lei n° 10.406, de 10 de janeiro de 2002
Checking National Laws Online
Brazilian legislation
Other Useful Resources
Ministry of Justice
Direitodoestado, Legal website
Country Guides
American Secretary of State website
Lexmundi Country Guide

Find Legal Experts in Brazil on

The Jurisdictions

State Court of Justice All disputes, crimes and offenses on State territory. The criminal courts are themselves divided into courts of judgement and courts of appeal, and have specialized branches such as the Court of Assizes when murderers are judged by a jury of citizens, the Court for the enforcement of sentences and the Court for police cases.
Federal Court of Justice Competent within the States for disputes involving the federal authorities or for disputes between States.
Regional federal Court of Justice Hears judgements on appeal given by federal judges or State judges ruling on a federal dispute.
Industrial Tribunal (local, regional, supreme court for labor) Settles disputes between employers and employees and all cases connected with labor law.
Electoral tribunal (local, regional, supreme) Competent for the way elections are held and the creation of political parties.
Court martial (local, superieur) Competent for crimes and offenses involving the army.
Others Specific courts have been set up in certain States to cope with a workload which is too heavy: public finance courts, family and inheritance courts, public register courts and courts for minors.
Higher Court of Justice Judges appeal proceedings at the federal level.
Supreme Court Rules on constitutional issues.

Court Officials

A judge appoints a duly authorized professional who will review information in order to clarify certain elements of a case.
The lawyer's first role is to inform his clients about their rights and obligations. Then he can represent them in court and make a speech for the defense.
Public prosecutor
He is a magistrate who represents the Prosecution .
Find more on about Legal and Compliance Issues in Brazil.

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.

Read more See less
Experts Views (2)
Hot Tips (2) Go Top
Post your content


Post content about Law and Compliance in Brazil and you will be listed here to receive requests for offers.

Contact our expert contributors
  • How2Go Consultoría de...

    Internationalization Consulting, Brazil

  • U.S. Commercial Service Poland

    U.S. Dept. Of Commerce, Brazil, Brazil

  • Foreign Agricultural Service

    Part of USDA, the United States