One of the central tenets of Brazilian criminal law is the idea of legality. The concept of legality is similar to the nation of ex-post-facto laws in the United States. In this sense, legality means that there cannot be a crime without a there being a law forbidding it. This idea is enshrined in the Latin phrase, “nullacrimen, nullapoena sine lege.”
Another name for legality is “legal reservation,” meaning that the only source that can define a criminal act is law. In a civil law country like Brazil, this means that a crime can only exist if a law was passed that typifies it as a crime. Legality, or legal reservation, is an effective limit on the state, especially the executive branch, in the same manner as the prohibition of ex-post-facto laws by the Bill of Rights in the United States.
Also related to the idea of ex-post-facto is the principle of “tempus regisacium,” which means that the law at the time of the alleged crime is the one that applies. In other words, one cannot pass a law and retroactively prosecute someone for crimes committed before the law went into effect click here.
Ricardo Tosto is a well-known attorney, scholar, and jurist, and longtime member of the Sao Paulo Bar. As an attorney, Ricardo Tosto has handled countless high-profile cases through his firm, Ricardo Tosto& Associates, which after twenty-five years, has become one of Sao Paulo’s major firms.
Although practicing the law is Ricardo Tosto’s passion, he also frequently presents at conferences and panels. A graduate of one of Sao Paulo’s top law schools, Ricardo Tosto is also a member of many professional associations and a contributor to Brazilian and international legal publications. Despite the challenges of being at the top of the legal profession, Ricardo Tosto embraces the opportunity each and every day, his contact.