Case Study Brazil

The case study analyses the equality jurisprudence of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil (STF) and identifies patterns in the judicial practice of the Tribunal. The mapping reveals that the concept of equality developed in the Court is tripartite, covering formal and substantive equality, as well as equality as recognition, that is, equality as respect for the identity and differences of minority groups. Under this tripartite conceptualization of equality, affirmative action does not emerge as an exception of the principle of equality, but as the very realization of the latter. In general, the STF has has been very receptive towards positive measures, generally finding them to be in consonance with equality, reaffirming the state obligation to institute them to the benefit of historically marginalized groups, and striking down measures for being under-inclusive.