Marechal Câmara Ave. 314 - 2o andar
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 20020-080

+ 55 21 2332-6236


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Daniella Vitagliano

Added on: Nov 09, 2018

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2019

Defensoria Pública is a state organization, foreseen in the Constitution, that works for poor people (the ones who can´t afford a lawyer) to defend their rights (criminal, civil law, etc).

We are a public institution whose function is to offer, in a comprehensive and free way, legal assistance and guidance to citizens who do not have the financial conditions to pay the expenses of these services. In addition, we promote the defense of human rights, individual and collective rights and groups in vulnerable situations.

The free legal assistance to the vulnerable is a fundamental right and guarantee of citizenship provided for in article 5, LXXIV of the Constitution of the Republic. The gratuity of justice covers attorney’s fees, experts, and judicial or extrajudicial costs.

Public defenders are trained in Law and join the institution with at least two years of practice, after passing a rigorous competition of tests and titles. In defense of the interests of its public, the defenders work in the first and second degrees of jurisdiction, with specific title and attributions due to the matter to be examined.

Public defenders litigate in all instances, regardless of who occupies the opposite pole of the procedural relationship, whether individual or legal, Public Administration or not, in all its segments.

In criminal procedures, because of the Constitution and its principles, anyone can have their defense sponsored by a Public Defender, regardless of their economic condition. In this case, if the assisted person can afford to pay attorney’s fees and is sponsored by the Public Defender’s Office, the Judge may fix fees in favor of the Center for Legal Studies (Cejur).

It should also be noted that not only the individual can be served by Defensoria. Legal entities in financial difficulties can avail themselves of the sponsorship of Defensoria. Non-profit societies and community associations may also be sponsored, provided that they declare insufficient resources.


Daniella Vitagliano

Public Defender in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 1998, working in the criminal justice system. General Coordinator of Institucional Programs at Defensoria Pública do Rio de Janeiro, dealing with programs for access to justice, strategic litigation and education in human rights. Professor (Criminal Law). Master Degree in Penal Law and Criminology. I expect to exchange informations and experiences with people from different countries about empowering people with knowledge. There is a phrase, said by Paulo Freire (a brazilian educator), that I always use with the groups we work with: "Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world".


Olivia Rodrigues

Associate lawyer of the Brazilian Bar Association with the Public Defender of the State of São Paulo, being primarily responsible for the promotion of Human Rights, as well as activist of gender equality through the promotion of legal procedures in favor of women who were abandoned by their partner (children's father) during pregnancy and need legal support to claim provisional and definitive maintenance thru alimony. My main goal is to develop study, practical work and mostly research on multiculturalism and human rights as a way to build up an unprecedented compromise option for the impasse between globalization and tradition of ethnic communities, focused on women’s right through engagement against sexism, bigotry and female empowerment.


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