Justice Gilmar Mendes and the IDP Academic Law Coordinator visit DWIH São Paulo

© DWIH São Paulo

The Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and founder of the Brazilian Institute for Teaching, Development and Research (IDP), Gilmar Mendes, and the academic coordinator of the IDP's Faculty of Law, Raphael Carvalho, visited the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) São Paulo on 28 October at the invitation of the Brazil Centre of Münster University (WWU). The two learned about possibilities of cooperation between the IDP and teaching and research institutions in Germany.

During the meeting, the guests presented the activities of the IDP, which offers bachelor's, specialisation and master's degree programmes in various fields of knowledge such as law, economics, software engineering, architecture and administration as well as a doctoral programme in law at its campuses in Brasília and São Paulo. Afterwards, the coordination of DWIH São Paulo as well as representatives of Münster University, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) presented the various different academic and research partnership possibilities in Germany, including scholarship and funding programmes.

© DWIH São Paulo

The Justice emphasised that the IDP usually brings speakers from abroad to its events. "We have been organising international congresses since 1994, and international professors, mostly from Germany, are always present. Many have come, including Professor Hans-Uwe Erichsen, who was my supervisor in Münster", he says. Currently, the institution has partnerships with universities in countries such as Italy and the United States. In 2019, the IDP has even established the Celso de Mello Chair to host visiting professors from abroad. The name is a tribute to the former STF Justice.

Mendes, the dean of the Supreme Court, has an academic background linked to Germany. He studied law at the University of Brasília (UnB), where he later also taught, and received his doctorate from the WWU Münster in 1990 with a dissertation on the abstract control of norms before the Bundesverfassungsgericht (German Constitutional Court) and the STF. In 2002, he was appointed to sit as a Justice in the Supreme Court in 2002 by the then President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995-2003).

© DWIH São Paulo

For Laura Redondo, head of the liaison office of the Brazil Centre of Münster University, Mendes' visit shows how important it is to maintain contact with the institution's alumni. "Of course, the minister is a public and prominent figure, but the fact that he completed a significant part of his academic path in Münster ensures this long-standing contact with the German research community. Today, we could see a classic case of a former student - and fellow - who seeks to multiply the fruits of his stay by expanding the network of contacts in Germany, with the aim of involving students and researchers from both countries who can also benefit from a trajectory that began back in the 1980s"

The WWU Faculty of Law has a partnership with STF since 2021. According to the WWU representative in Brazil, Laura Redondo, the aim of the agreement is to cooperate in research and promote the mobility of researchers from both institutions. Together, they have already held webinars on topics such as counter-majoritarian protection, Covid-19 and fundamental rights.

Original Text: DWIH-SP