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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

Clough Global Strategic Capacity Building Program

the clough center for the study of constitutional democracy


Through its Global Strategic Capacity Building Program (GSCP), the Clough Center will partner with public and private institutions and civil society in the United States and around the world to strategically contribute to the agency, processes, structures, and ideas helpful to vibrant democracies and good governance under the rule of law and commitment to human rights.

The 2016 program will be hosted in conjunction with the Boston College Law School. The appication deadline is June 30, 2016.

Criminal Law & Democracy in Brazil’s Twenty-First Century

July 29 – August 2, 2016

The Criminal Law and Democracy in Brazil’s Twenty-First Century is designed for Judges, Prosecutors, and Public Defenders. Other applicants will be considered on a case-by-case manner.

Constitutional democracies must constitute social and political orders. One phenomenon is universally implicated in order: violence. Of all forms of constitutional violence, none is more routinely deployed than punishment for criminal offenses. From time immemorial, societies have sought in the distribution of punishment a mechanism to promote their most cherished values and avert their greatest fears. This has become true of the global society as well. For individuals facing the criminal law system, some of their fundamental rights such as life, liberty, dignity, privacy, and property are at stake. Criminal law is thus the arena where the social and biological misfortunes of individuals, the blameworthy deficiencies of their will and character, and the power of social and political orders all face off.

What would it take for criminal law and punishment to earn a place at the center of the constitutional stage alongside other pillars of liberal-democratic constitutionalism such as respect for human rights, term limits and elections, separation of powers, justiciability of rights claims, the principle of legality, distributive justice principles and mechanisms, judicial review, and rule of law limitations to power? Under what conditions are liberal-democratic constitutions able to transform punitive violence into legal authority and criminal law become consistent with freedom, equality, justice and dignity? Few questions are as important as these for the future of vibrant democracies and good governance under the rule of law and commitment to human rights.

Brazil is one of the most diverse societies in the world. The country combines stable democracy, rich national culture, highly sophisticated legal profession, and economic development with extraordinary legal and social challenges. Among institutions and actors constitutionally entrusted with the responsibility to address those challenges we find the judiciary, prosecutors, and public defenders.  In the summer of 2016 the Clough Center’s Global Strategic Capacity Building Program and the Boston College Law School will bring to Boston College a select group of federal and state Judges, Prosecutors, and Public Defenders from Brazil for an in-depth and highly specialized program on Criminal Law and Democracy in Brazil’s Twenty-First Century.

Program participants will have access to extraordinary research and study facilities and will attend lectures and discussion sessions in English and Portuguese on themes such as:

  • Foundations of Criminal Law: United States and Brazil
  • Criminal Law and Democracy
  • Criminal Law and Human Rights
  • International Criminal Law
  • The Role of Courts in Human Rights Enforcement
  • Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism: Democracies Learning from Each Other
  • Punishment Theory: Welfare, Justice, Freedom, Equality, Redemption and Dignity
  • Judges, Prosecutors, and Public Defenders in the USA: A Conversation with those on the Frontline
  • Complexity, Violence, Coordination and Values: Challenges for 21st Century Democracies



Criminal Law and Democracy in Brazil’s Twenty-First Century is an intensive and highly demanding 30 hours program. Participants are expected to attend all classes, discussion sessions and other program activities.


Tuition Fee

Tuition for the Program is US $1,500.00. Payment should be made by credit card at the time of acceptance. Participants who need to make payments by international money order or cheque drawn from US or Canadian banks may do that in person upon arrival on campus. Limited financial assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis, although applicants are expected to have resources and funding of their own. 



Hotel accommodations at a discounted rate are available to Clough Center programs participants. Participants interested in this option should email to obtain cost information.

Applicants should apply online by
June 30, 2016.

* GSCP-program.pdf
Detailed description of the Clough Global Strategic Capacity Building Program

Questions about Criminal Law and Democracy in Brazil’s Twenty-First Century should be submitted by email to