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No. 41 • July - December 2005 • Page 321
 •  Initiatives

Belo Horizonte (Brazil) -- Constitutional law and moral values

Between June and October of 2005 a series of conferences on constitutional law was held at the Mangabeiras Cultural Center. Participants included professionals in the field of law and students in the final two years of law school.

The conference was opened by Professor Ives Gandra da Silva Martins, a specialist in constitutional law. Making reference to the national situation, he stressed the need to promote institutional and legislative changes in accord with an ethical perspective based on respect for the Constitution and for international accords.

This concern is especially timely in Brazilian society, since in recent months the government has sent to Congress proposals aimed at broadening the legal practice of abortion, experimentation with embryonic stem cells, etc.

Another participant in the conference was Dr. José Bonifácio de Andrade, a former federal Attorney General and presidential advisor, who is currently Attorney General for the State of Minas Gerais. His talk focused on the need to go deeper into the foundations of natural law as a condition for the moral legitimacy of possible constitutional reforms.

The conference included both seminars and case study sessions.

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