UNODC launches the Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings in Brazil


Brasília, 30 April 2021 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), through a program executed in partnership with the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and supported by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, launched in Brazil the Advanced Studies on Pre-trial Detention Hearings. The virtual national launching event will continue on May 7.

Magistrates from across the country joined the event, that included panels with members of the Judiciary, academy and international organizations.

The purpose of the meetings is to promote the exchange of experiences and to discuss strategies for the qualification and strengthening of pre-trial detention hearings in the country, presenting the national and international guidelines that support the Judiciary in its independence and decision-making consistency.

The events are being held in the context of the “Fazendo Justiça” programme, an interinstitutional partnership that began in January 2019 to address challenges related to imprisonment in Brazil, both in the juvenile or criminal system.

“The overuse of prisons leads to a series of mutually reinforcing challenges and the Advanced Studies Network constitutes an opportunity for the promotion of pre-trial detention as an instrument to reduce the overuse of imprisonment, prison overcrowding and other challenges while promoting human rights within UNODC´s role as guardian of the UN Standard Minimum Rules of the Treatment of Prisoners”, highlighted Ms. Miwa Kato, UNODC Director of Operations, during the Opening Ceremony attended by the President of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) and the of National Council of Justice (CNJ), Minister Luis Fux; the President of the Superior Court of Justice, Minister Humberto Martins; the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet; the Brazilian Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres; and the UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Linda Maguire.

The event was followed by high level panel "Pre-trial Detention Hearings and Guarantee of Rights in the International Perspective" attended by the Commissioner and Rapporteur for Persons Deprived of Liberty of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Joel Hernandez; the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Juan E. Méndez; and the Ms. Valerie Lebaux, UNODC Chief of the Justice Section.

UNODC's provides technical assistance in the Programme, to contribute to reducing the number of pre-trial detentions, addressing the problem of prison overcrowding and promoting social protection in prison settings. Since the beginning of the Project, there has been an increase of 17% in psychosocial referrals, which means that 1,028 people in custody have been referred to social protection services. There has also been an increase of 91% of psychosocial teams available in the capitals of Brazil`s Federal States, as well as a 4% decrease in the number of provisional arrests determined in pre-trial detention hearings.

The launching event will be followed by a series of sixteen virtual workshops from April 30 to June 11organized in partnership with state counterparts such as state courts and local judiciary schools.

The Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention will be a good opportunity to disseminate the contents of the Handbooks developed by UNODC in partnership with CNF and launched November 2020, which can be found here.


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