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The Influences of Common Law on the Brazilian New Code of Civil Procedure

  • Lucas Alves Edmundo Gomes


Most legal scholars assume that there are only two “families” of legal systems in the world: common law and civil law. Briefly, common law is applied in all countries that speak the English language and has its origination from the “habits of society.” On the other hand, civil law is applied just about everywhere else, with a few exceptions, such as in tribal law areas, jurisdictions that follow Islamic law, and a few other smaller legal systems. Brazil's New Code of Civil Procedure was promulgated in 2015 and brought innovations to Brazilian law. Elements of common law were incorporated into the Brazilian legal system, particularly that of using precedent. The application of common law elements in Brazilian law is being studied by various legal specialists. This present study explains how common law can be applied in civil law jurisdictions, similar to the way it is being adapted and applied in Brazil.



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Junior Associate—Battella, Lasmar e Silva Law Firm; MBA, JD; Strategic Business Management (Harvard University).



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2 Reale, Miguel. Lições Preliminares de Direito. 25 ed. São Paulo: Saraiva, 2000.

3 Mason v. State, 361 Ark. 357, 206 S.W.3d 869 (2005).

5 See, e.g.,, which states that stare decisis is “a doctrine or policy of following rules or principles laid down in previous judicial decisions unless they contravene the ordinary principles of justice.”

6 Arnold-Baker, Charles, The Companion to British History, s.v. “English Law” (London: Loncross Denholm Press, 2008), 484.

7 Arnold Baker, Charles, The Companion to British History, s.v. “Civilian” (London: Routledge, 2001), 308.

9 Castro Júnior, Osvaldo Agripino. Teoria Prática do Direito Comparado e Desenvolvimento: Estados Unidos x Brasil. Florianópolis: Fundação Boiteux, 2002, pp. 583–584.

10 Rosenn, Keith S., Civil Procedure in Brazil, 34 am. J. Comp. L. 487 (1986).

12 See, e.g., which defines judicial review as the “power of the courts of a country to examine the actions of the legislative, executive, and administrative arms of the government and to determine whether such actions are consistent with the constitution. Actions judged inconsistent are declared unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void. The institution of judicial review in this sense depends upon the existence of a written constitution.”

13 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).

14 Amaral Santos, supra n. 3 at 56; Sidou, a Recepção da Oralidade no Sistema Processual Brasileiro, 31 r. Bras. Dir. Proc. 77 (1982).

15 See Rosenn, supra.

16 Id.

18 See, e.g. Douglas Silva Dias, Precedentes Judiciais Através do Espelho: O Direito Como Aquilo Que os Tribunais Dizem Que e, in which Dias defines the term and its origins in detail

19 See, e.g., which defines amicus curae as “one (such as a professional person or organization) that is not a party to a particular litigation but that is permitted by the court to advise it in respect to some matter of law that directly affects the case in question.”

21 The eleven judges of the Brazilian Supreme Court are called Ministers (Ministro), although there is no similarity with the government body of ministers. See,

22 Mendes, Gilmar Ferreira. Homenagem à doutrina de Peter Häberle e Sua influência no brasil. <>.

1 Junior Associate—Battella, Lasmar e Silva Law Firm; MBA, JD; Strategic Business Management (Harvard University). .


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