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The Lawfare Podcast: Brazil’s Search for Accountability After Jan. 8

Tyler McBrien, Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Thomas Bustamante, Jen Patja
Thursday, July 27, 2023, 8:00 AM
What does accountability look like in the aftermath of the coup attempt in Brazil on Jan. 8?

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Last month, Brazil’s highest electoral court found that former President Jair Bolsonaro had abused his political power in the 2022 elections because of his conduct in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Brasília in July 2022. For this violation of the country’s election laws, the electoral court banned Bolsonaro from seeking public office until 2030.

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien sat down with Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer, Professor of Constitutional Law at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Thomas Bustamante, Professor of Legal Theory at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, to discuss Brazil’s search for accountability and justice in the aftermath of the coup attempt on Jan. 8, why the electoral court’s ruling was not so much a legal innovation as a mere application of existing laws, and the significance of President Lula’s decision not to rely on the military in his government’s response. They also discussed what’s next for Bolsonarismo.

Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Emilio Peluso Neder Meyer is a Constitutional Law Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the Director of the Study Center on Transitional Justice.
Thomas Bustamante is Professor of Legal Theory at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Research Fellow of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazil
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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