This article presents the findings of a study on the Maria da Penha law, the first Brazilian law providing comprehensive measures to inhibit domestic violence against women. The objective of the study is to identify the main positions regarding the constitutionality of the Maria da Penha law (Law 11340/2006) in the Brazilian judicial system. By examining the arguments used in Courts of Justice, the authors show how the establishment of the law is not limited to the legislative act, and the Judiciary can be the stage for disputes.
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This article aims to demonstrate the contributions of the Maria da Penha case and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Report of 2001 to the debate on domestic violence against women in Brazil, with special emphasis to the adoption of the Maria da Penha Law. The IACHR was the first international human rights organ to bring to light the problem. Beside contributing to internal changes, this case has great relevance as it was the first one of domestic violence analyzed by the Inter-American Commission. It revealed the systematic pattern of violence against women in the country.
On August 10 2001, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) issued its landmark decision on the Communication No. 17/2008. The case was filed by the organization Advocaci – Advocacia Cidada pelos Direitos Humanos and the Center for Reproductive Rights against the state of Brazil on November 30th 2007. This is the first decision establishing states’ international responsibility on preventable maternal death case within the UN Human Rights System.
The theme of this article concerns “crimes of honor” – from a feminist, socio-legal perspective of gender and human rights point of view – involving different aspects relating to how the national legislation treats discrimination, especially crimes of violence against women, and, specifically, the way the national courts apply this legislation to concrete cases. Although there were international, regional and national advances in relation to the subject, especially during the nineties, there are still legislation and legal decisions, even in the twenty first century, violating women’s human rights, being marked by the impunity of the offenders and by the incorporation of stereotypes, prejudices and discriminations against women who are victims of violence.