From the Bringseanhome Facebook site, here is a clarification of the ruling in Brazil on the grandmother's habeas corpus decision in the federal court:
Brazilian journalists are jumping to fast conclusions and are misleading foreign journalists.
What Silvana did was to file a chain of petitions of habeas-corpus challenging Judge Pinto's ruling and claiming, one must assume, that Judge Pinto's ruling unlawfully restrained Sean's liberty. The penultimate habeas corpus in that chain was denied by the President of the STJ (the Superior Court of Justice above TRF-2). Then Silvana filed an Habeas Corpus in the STF (Federal Supreme Court) against the President of the STJ, claiming that his ruling was an unlawful restriction of Sean's liberty. That new Habeas Corpus was now rejected.
The use of a chain of habeas corpus petitions in this way (as if it were an appeal) is common in Brazilian law of CRIMINAL procedure, but it is totally foreign to Civil Procedure. Silvana must have attempted to claim that Sean's liberty of movement was at stake, but her attempt failed.
What the President of the Supreme Court did was to deny the petition of habeas corpus in summary fashion, without ruling on the merits of the complaint, because habeas corpus is not an appropriate legal remedy to challenge Judge Pinto's ruling and because there was no illegality or abuse of power in the decision of the President of STJ (who was named as the respondant in the petition of habeas corpus).
However, as there was no ruling on the merits, this does not mean that the STF decided that Sean must not be heard in the witness stand.
So - and this is a negative aspect - Judge Pinto's reasoned decision not to allow Sean to testify in a formal manner, and his decision not to consider the statements made by Sean during his interview with the psicologists, etc., after his "tanto faz" as decisive can still be discussed in the appeals stage before TRF-2 and beyond.
Anyway, it is good that Silvana's legal strategy failed.
The very fact that the President of the Supreme Court acted promptly to deny her petition (instead of suspending the proceedings in the Courts below and allowing a judgement by the full Supreme Court, which would have been the worst scenario), is positive. And it sends a signal to the lower Courts.
From Mark on Facebook at this URL http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=35278616563&topic=11571 (last viewed August 3, 2009 at 12:08 PM)