A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Brazil high court rules press censorship law unconstitutional

[JURIST] The Brazilian Supreme Court [official website, in Portuguese] on Thursday overturned a law restricting the press [press release, in Portuguese] as unconstitutional. The court ruled 7-4 that the Press Law [Law No. 5250/67 text, in Portuguese], which was enacted in 1967 and allowed for censorship of news media, books, and other forms of communication, is incompatible with the Brazilian Constitution [text, in Portuguese]. The law was enacted while the country was under military rule [AP report] but has not been regularly enforced since the country returned to democratic rule in 1988. Thursday's ruling completely repealed [Consultor Juridico report, in Portuguese] the law.

Although Brazil is South America's largest media market, in 2007, the International Press Institute [advocacy website] called Brazil [text] "one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere in which to practice journalism" because of the threats and violence facing investigative reporters. In 2006, Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website] said that local media in Brazil experiences less press freedom [RWB report] than national media because of an "unacceptable degree of violence as well as harassment and abuse of power by local officials."

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.