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Brazil: New Code of Criminal Procedure Approved by the Federal Senate

(Dec. 17, 2010) On December 7, 2010, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a bill of law that reforms the current Code of Criminal Procedure, Decree-Law No. 3,689 of October 3, 1941.

According to Senator Renato Casagrande, there were more than 214 amendment proposals for the bill, of which more than 100 were incorporated into the finali text. The bill will now be discussed and voted on in the Chamber of Deputies, and if no changes are made, the bill will then be forwarded to the President of Brazil for his signature.

The changes include, but are not limited to;

● ending special prison privileges for people with a college degree, with those privileges to be limited in the future to cases where the physical or psychological integrity of the convict is in danger;

● permitting the questioning of incarcerated persons via videoconference; and

● allowing wiretapping only in connection with crimes involving punishment of more than two years of imprisonment and generally for a period not to exceed 60 days, with the possibility of an extension depending on the seriousness of the crime. (Senado Aprova Reforma do Código de Processo Penal, O DIA ONLINE (Dec 15, 2010),