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July 10, 2006

Press Contact: Allegra Young, (512) 471-7330.

UPDATE, August 3, 2005: The Brazilian Senate voted to confirm Antonio Benjamin's appointment to the Supreme Court.

UPDATE, July 24, 2006: The Brazilian senate committee unanimously voted to confirm Professor Antonio Benjamin to the Brazilian Supreme Court. He now awaits confirmation by the entire senate.

UT Law Visiting Professor Antonio Benjamin Nominated to Brazilian Supreme Court

Photo of Antonio Benjamin
Professor Antonio Benjamin
Photo Credit: Wyatt McSpadden

AUSTIN, Texas — UT Law visiting professor Antonio Benjamin has been nominated to the Supreme Court of Brazil by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Confirmation hearings by the Brazilian senate will be held in July.

Brazil's two highest national courts are the constitutional court and the supreme court. Its justices are appointed for life. If confirmed, Benjamin, who lives in São Paulo, will move to Brasilia where the courts are located.

Stated Benjamin, "For a country boy born in the remote town of Catole do Rocha in the Brazilian Northeast, this is indeed a splendid moment. My hope is that in the Supreme Court I find the wisdom and support to advance the protection of the weaker party in a rich country with millions of disadvantaged people: minorities, consumers, the environment, the handicapped, the elderly, the landless."

“Antonio Benjamin is a wonderful teacher and a great friend to everyone at the Law School. He is extraordinarily intelligent, passionate about justice and utterly indefatigable. We congratulate him on his nomination, and know the people of Brazil will be well served by his appointment to their Supreme Court," said Steven Goode, dean ad interim of UT Law.

About UT Law and the Brazilian Exchange

For more than a decade, UT Law has engaged in an exchange of ideas with Brazilian schools, jurists, legislators, and attorneys. The school has also established internships for students in Brazil.

Each summer, Professor Claudia Lima Marques, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), and Professor Benjamin collaborate on an extensive faculty exchange with UT Law. The exchanges facilitate discussions of various elements of the law, including criminal law, environmental law, the future of trade, human rights, private law, and constitutional law. Past exchanges have also afforded opportunities for UT Law professors to speak at the Ministry of Justice in Brasilia, speak to the Brazilian legislature, and with faculties and attorneys in the region.

About Professor Benjamin:

Antonio Benjamin has taught a course on Comparative Environmental Law and a seminar on Biodiversity Law at UT Law for over a decade. As a senior Assistant Attorney General of the State of São Paulo in Brazil, Professor Benjamin is responsible for consumer and environmental litigation. Benjamin has lectured in a number of countries, including Belgium, Portugal, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Canada, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Egypt. He is the founder of the Brazilian Consumer Law and Policy Institute and the Law for a Green Planet Institute. He was a member of the legal expert committee which drafted the Brazilian Consumer Protection Code, the Competition Act and the Crimes against the Environment Act. At present, Professor Benjamin is the special advisor for judicial affairs to the president of the Brazilian Senate and the editor-in-chief of the Brazilian Environmental Law Journal.

Related Link:
Professor Benjamin's UT Law Web profile: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/ab399/