"STF & WWU Webinar Series": 1st online seminar kicks off partnership between STF and WWU's Faculty of Law

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On 12 November 2021, the University of Münster (WWU) and its Faculty of Law organised, in collaboration with the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), the first webinar on "Covid-19 and its impact on fundamental rights" from the “STF & WWU Webinar Series”. This series of lectures brings together outstanding jurists from Brazil and Germany and offers comparative legal insights into the STF's interpretation of fundamental rights and adjudication practice. On the same day, a partnership agreement between the two institutions was also signed, which aims to promote scientific cooperation and academic exchange between the Faculty of Law and the STF.

From the Brazilian side, STF’s President and Justice Luiz Fux, Justice and WWU alumnus Gilmar Mendes, who received his doctorate from the WWU in 1990 under the supervision of Prof. Dr Hans-Uwe Erichsen, as well as the academics Prof. Dr Vera Karam de Chueiri from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) and Prof. Dr Ingo Sarlet from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC-RS) participated in the webinar. The Faculty of Law of the WWU was represented by its Dean, Prof. Mathias Casper, by Prof. Dr. Niels Petersen and by Prof. Dr. Oliver Lepsius.

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The event, brilliantly moderated by Prof. Niels Petersen, was a great success: it included legal discussions on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on fundamental rights and also enabled the exchange of experiences and looking at the challenges faced in both countries from a comparative perspective. Thus, the webinar was also of interest to people from other areas as well as the general public, given the daily relevance of the theme and for being highly topical, especially by providing an overview of the latest developments and legal treatment of the pandemic in Brazil and Germany. The recordings of the event, broadcasted live in English and Portuguese via the STF's Youtube channel, are available at the following links: English & Portuguese.

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The President of the STF, Justice Luiz Fux, opened the webinar by saying that this was "only the first step of this important partnership between the STF and the renowned University of Münster". He also shed light on the special significance of the signed agreement for the STF, which demonstrates the Court's interest in developing innovative scientific research and in promoting and disseminating academic dialogue and knowledge - not only in the field of law, but also in the political sciences and humanities. Prof. Mathias Casper, on the other hand, presented the webinar as an event of very special importance in the WWU's calendar and emphasized, that this partnership fills the jurists and the WWU's Brazilian Centre with pride, which represents a unique partnership in Germany.

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Justice Gilmar Mendes presented in his keynote the STF's approach during the Covid-19 pandemic, which focused on a balance between the protection of health on the one hand and freedom on the other, and mentioned that in some cases comparative studies of judgements of other courts had been used to find viable solutions to the challenges in the face of the pandemic crisis. The lectures by Prof. Chueiri and Prof. Lepsius as well as the subsequent exciting discussions, moderated by Prof. Petersen and Prof. Sarlet respectively, took a close look at the different reactions of governments to the Covid- 19 pandemic, the role of courts, jurisprudence and the interpretation of fundamental rights in Brazil and Germany - and also showed quite clearly how important international dialogue is for scientific progress.

Two more online seminars are planned for 2022, and bilateral academic exchange is to be initiated and researchers from both institutions shall be given the opportunity to perform reciprocal research stays. Further information on the online seminar can be found here:

Event Announcement on our website

Homepage of the Chair for Public Law, International Law and European Union Law

STF’s Website [pt]