Inspired by the hopeful evolution of the nation’s crisis, the Brazil Institute launched in July 2016 a lecture series to explore the various institutional aspects of this historic, ongoing transformation in Latin America’s largest country. The initiative, reflective of a broader Wilson Center focus on the global fight against corruption, brings to Washington audiences the judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, legal experts, and practitioners engaged in the evolution of justice and rule of law in Brazil. The series is conducted in partnership with the American University’s Washington College of Law. Edited proceedings of each lecture will be available online, with lectures from the entire series collected in a volume to be published in the second semester of 2017. It is our hope that the statements gathered in this series will shed light on the ongoing efforts of a diverse group of actors to strengthen Brazilian institutions, and deepen the dialogue on rule of law both within and beyond Brazil.

The late JUSTICE TEORI ZAVASCKI was named to the Brazilian Supreme Court by former President Dilma Rousseff in 2012 after serving as a judge on the Superior Court of Justice. Justice Zavascki first studied law at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, and later returned to his alma mater to earn a Master and Ph.D. in civil procedural law.
 
Justice Zavascki passed away unexpectedly on January 19, 2017, after the plane he was on crashed off the coast of Paraty, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Justice Zavascki gained national attention as a result of his involvement in the federal criminal investigations on massive corruption involving dozens of Brazil’s business executives and politicians, known as the Lava Jato (Car Wash) Operation. As the rapporteur of the case, he was directly involved in the decision to suspend former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha due to corruption allegations, and denied a request to stay President Rousseff’s impeachment case. His tragic death came as a shock to the country and raised many questions about the future of the Lava Jato investigations.