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Flávia Leardini

Flávia Leardini
55 11 3147 4699 flavia.leardini@mattosfilho.com.br São Paulo – Paulista


Flavia advises domestic and international clients on litigation matters within complex economic and corporate criminal law cases, especially those involving tax crimes, corruption, crimes against capital markets and money laundering. She previously interned at a US law firm in Washington, DC with a strong background in transnational criminal cases and corporate investigations, working on the defense of Brazilian and foreign clients before the US Department of Justice.


Flavia is a specialist in tax fraud and money laundering, with a degree from the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), and also serves as an assistant course coordinator at the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences (IBCCrim).


Bachelor of Laws – Mackenzie Presbyterian University

Postgraduate degree in Economic and European Criminal Law – University of Coimbra (Portugal)

Postgraduate degree in Criminal Law – Escola Superior do Ministério Público do Estado de São Paulo

Specialization in Tax Fraud and Money Laundering – Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)


Análise Advocacia 500 – White Collar Crime (2020-2021), São Paulo (2021)

Análise Advocacia Mulher – Financial Transactions, Trade (2021)

Latin Lawyer 250 – Anti-corruption investigations and Compliance (2021)

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With Flávia Leardini

Brazilian “Anti-Crime Law” enacted

As reported yesterday by the national press, Brazil has just passed Law No. 13,964/2019 (the “Anti-Crime Law”), resulting from the debates that began in the National Congress in February this year, when the Minister of Justice proposed what was coined as the “Anti-Crime Package”.
This legal reform will have a major impact on the  criminal justice system in Brazil as it amends no less than seventeen (17) laws currently in force, all in one fell swoop, including the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Criminal Enforcement Law.
Apart from amendments such as the hardening of penalties for some felonies and types of imprisonment regimes, as well as the creation of new criminal offenses, the most significant changes are in the legislation relating to criminal procedure, notably: (i) the long-awaited separation of the roles between the judge who oversees the investigative phase from that of the judge responsible for the trial and judgment, making sure that the former – whose role is created by the Anti-Crime Law – has the main duty to ensure the lawfulness of the investigative measures carried out by prosecutors and police investigators; (ii) the protection of the evidentiary chain of custody; (iii) the amendment of rules on the disposal of seized assets; (iv) the creation of a criminal non-prosecution agreement (NPA) for crimes of mid-level severity; (v) the amendment of rules on plea agreements, which cover the negotiation process between the individual and investigators, several of its implications on the investigated parties and cooperating defendants, as well as those relating to non-cooperating defendants.
Other important alterations are to be observed in the introduction of new techniques for investigations and the taking of evidence for money laundering and in the creation of a civil non-prosecution agreement under the Improbity Law (Law No. 8,429/92, which sets the liabilities for civil damages arising from violations of administrative duties by public servants and private individuals and entities), a breakthrough in broadening the incentives for the cooperation of individuals and companies with the Federal, State and Municipal branches of the Brazilian Government, with the aim of better meeting the public interest and the aspirations of the private sector in the proper service of justice. 
We remain at the disposal of our clients and colleagues in the event that discussions and clarifications on this momentous legal reform are desired in further detail.

Areas of expertise

Brazil’s Supreme Court recognizes the applicability of the international double jeopardy principle in domestic criminal law

​In a judgment held early this week (12.11.2019), the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, by unanimous vote, decided to grant the request made through the writ of habeas corpus No. 171118/DF in order to dismiss the criminal proceedings initiated in Brazil to the detriment of an individual who was being prosecuted in Brazil for facts that had already been prosecuted and punished in Switzerland.

The result is of special importance for complex criminal cases, which face the potential application of criminal laws from different jurisdictions. In these situations, Brazilian courts, like in many other countries, have always been reluctant to recognize the transnational incidence of the ne bis in idem principle, also known as international double jeopardy.

In the case under appraisal, the lower courts, in spite of recognizing the identity of the facts between the proceedings of the two jurisdictions and not denying the existence of the prohibition of a double criminal prosecution, considered that the ne bis in idem principle does not apply to proceedings already assessed internationally due to the territoriality principle, according to which Brazilian law is applied to any crime committed in Brazil (Article 5 of the Penal Code), and the penalty served abroad will only mitigate the penalty eventually imposed in Brazil for the same crime, when different, or be computed in it, when identical (article 8 of the Penal Code).

Overcoming the aforementioned, the Supreme Court understood that the double jeopardy prohibition should encompass all jurisdictions, and did so with grounds on the Migration Act, the American Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Supreme Court precedents that, in extradition suits and others, all establish how laws from international human rights treaties to which Brazil is a signatory resonate in the Brazilian legislation.

In the end of the judgement session, the reporting Justice Gilmar Mendes affirmed that the double jeopardy prohibition could have an exception in cases in which there is proof that the judgment passed in another country, regarding the same facts, occurred in an unjust or illegitimate manner, disrespecting the procedural obligations set forth by the Interamerican Human Rights Court. According to him: “in the case of a violation of investigation and prosecution duties effectively imposed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the trial which occurred in a foreign country can be considered illegitimate as in precedents in which the ICHR determined the investigation and litigation should be reopened in States that did not investigate situations of violations of human rights”.

The Supreme Court decision was unanimous. The court docket containing the full judgment should be made public next week.

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