Center of Racial Justice and Law

Ano de criação

The creation of the Center of Racial Justice and Law in 2020, by FGV  Sao Paulo Law School took place during a challenging scenario of democratic crisis in Brazil. As a democratic state, our country has historically fallen short of its obligations to provide full citizenship to disempowered groups, especially black and poor people. Law has played a central role in reproducing racial inequality in several spheres, including police actions toward these groups, legal barriers that prevent black candidates from gaining access to electoral funds, legal reforms that mostly affect the black population, among others.

The intrinsic functioning of the judiciary system, and how legal categories and interpretations foster racial inequality, are still little studied in Brazil. Exposing these patterns is an important step for diagnosing questionable legal practices that contribute to the unequal distribution of social rights and goods among the black population. The Center of Racial Justice and Law, of FGV Sao Paulo Law School intends to foster a more widespread debate on structural racism in Brazilian society, to deepen the understanding of the role of Law in the fight against racism. In addition, the lack of reliable public data disaggregated by race is a serious issue within the scope of the judiciary and public safety agencies. In a context of shortage of transparent data, research has the fundamental role of denouncing the lack of neutrality of Justice, and providing movements in favor of social justice, with arguments that support the fight against social injustices.

The Center of Racial Justice and Law believes that, to fight structural racism in Brazil, it is necessary to deal with the country's cultural, social, economic, political, and legal roots. Law is one of the many ways by which racism expresses itself, but at the same time, it is one of the tools to fight it. Therefore, the nucleus does not have the ambition to address racism in all its complexity, but rather to shed light on one of its commonly overlooked aspects: the perpetuation of racism through the institutions and regulations of Law. Therefore, the logic of change that we adopt at the nucleus is, first, to make structural racism explicit in Law and in the judicial system through legal research that puts racial inequality in the center of the analysis. Then, to spread the results beyond academic circles, through various media strategies, to hold legal institutions accountable publicly, so that they are susceptible to long-term changes. The nucleus also aims to produce legal doctrines committed to racial equality, as well as to make them available to the actors at the center of this independent debate.


Academic Coordinators:

Thiago Amparo

Marta Machado

Research Leaders:

Luciana Ramos

Alessandra Benedito

Felipe Freitas

Paulo César Ramos


Larissa Margarido, Responsible researcher and doctoral student at FGV São Paulo Law School

Saylon Pereira, Researcher and PhD student at FGV Sao Paulo Law School

Poliana Ferreira, Researcher and PhD student at FGV Sao Paulo Law School

Juliana Farias, Researcher

Andressa Vieira e Silva, Researcher

Inara Firmino, Researcher

Emerson Luã Ferreira, Researcher

Yasmin Rodrigues, Researcher

Amanda Pimentel, Researcher

Mayara Silva de Souza, Researcher

Sofia Toledo, Researcher

Julia Goldani, volunteer researcher and PhD student at FGV Sao Paulo Law School

Partnerships and Research Networks


AFRO (Núcleo de Pesquisa e Formação em Raça, Gênero e Justiça Racial) Cebrap


Open Society Foundations (since 2021)