Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings concludes activities with 25 courts

Photo: CNJ

Over 1.3 thousand magistrates from the Courts of Justice of 25 Brazilian states and other actors in the justice system participated in the first cycle of the Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings. The action was created in 2019 and is promoted by the National Council of Justice (CNJ) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Throughout the 14 meetings of the series, the magistrates address the improvement of custody hearings, a procedural instrument of conduction of the prisoner to the judge. Implemented in Brazil in 2015, the instrument allows the presentation of the person arrested to a judge within 24 hours.

Space for dialogue - Focusing on local particularities, the meetings encouraged space for dialogue and sharing of experiences among those who work directly with pre-trial detention hearings. The meetings also contributed to the dissemination of CNJ's guidelines and parameters, gathered in five manuals of the collection "Strengthening Pre-Trial Detention Hearings", launched in 2020.

"These are contents that seek to support judges in custody decision making, with general parameters and guidelines for specific crimes and profiles. There are also approaches on social protection, prevention and combat to torture and mistreatment and, finally, on the use of handcuffs and other restraint instruments, constituting important subsidies for the performance of magistrates," explains the judge coordinator of the Department for Monitoring and Supervision of the Prison System and the System for Execution of Educational and Social Measures (DMF/CNJ), Luis Lanfredi.

Partnership - The promotion of the Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings is an initiative of the CNJ with technical support from the "Fazendo Justiça" programme, resulting from a partnership initiated in 2019 with the UNDP and supported by the National Penitentiary Department (DEPEN) to face structural issues in the field of deprivation of liberty. In the field of pre-trial detention hearings, the actions are also performed with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

One of the greatest innovations of the programme "Fazendo Justiça" is precisely the role of the Judiciary as a transformation agent for the achievement of higher levels of development in our country, and the engagement of the judges has been crucial", says Moema Freire, coordinator of the Governance and Justice for Development Unit of UNDP in Brazil.

According to the UNODC Rule of Law Coordinator, Nivio Nascimento, the series of meetings represented a milestone for the strengthening of pre-trial detention hearings in Brazil, with the active participation of magistrates and other professionals working in the area. "The events also involved national and international guests who spoke about topics related to decision making, preventing and fighting torture, use of force and social protection in pre-trial detention hearings."

Launch - The 2021 cycle of the Network of Advanced Studies was launched nationally on 30 April, with the participation of the CNJ president, Minister Luiz Fux, the Minister of Justice, Anderson Torres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and representatives of the UN and UNDP. The meetings of the Network of Advanced Studies were held weekly from 13 May to 11 June. 

Next meeting - The Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings will also promote a meeting on 25 June with the five Federal Regional Courts to address specific challenges of this type of justice. The programme will close in September, in an event promoted by the Network of Advanced Studies with the National Forum on Penal Alternatives (FONAPE). The meeting will have the participation of national and international guests and the launch of knowledge products in this topic.

Find out more about the activities of the Network of Advanced Studies on Pre-Trial Detention Hearings

With information from the CNJ News Agency


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