Brazilian Supreme Federal Court President Gilmar Ferreira Mendes discussed the development of Brazilian constitutional law since 1988 on Monday, October 27 in Pound Hall.

Speaking to a packed room, Justice Mendes described how the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil has developed since the implementation of Brazil’s current constitution in 1988, and talked specifically about judicial review both in Brazil and in other countries, including the U.S., telling the audience, “judicial review has been viewed to be one of the most important creations of constitutional law and political science in the modern world.”

In describing Brazil’s jurisprudence, he said, “the model of diffuse control adopted by Brazilian systems allows any judge or court to declare that a law or regulatory act is unconstitutional without there being any restriction on this type of procedure. Just as in the American model, the judges are conferred ample powers to control the constitutionality of acts by the government.“

Justice Mendes is the president of the Supreme Federal Court, a position he was appointed to earlier this year, and has been a member of the high court since 2005. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Brasilia and a Ph.D. in law from the University of Münster in Germany.