Portuguese colonization of Brazil began in the year 1500, with exploration and settlement beginning in the 1530’s. The first semblance of a territorial government for the colonies in Brazil was the Governorship-General, which was supported financially by the Portuguese crown. In addition, there was also an Ombudsman-General who headed up the judiciary system, which mostly served to hear disputes and dispense justice among the landed classes.
In time, the Portuguese crown was concerned with the sweeping powers of the position of Ombudsman-General and decided to institute an appellate court along the lines of those that had been founded in Portugal. The “Tribunal of Relation of Bahia” was founded in 1587 by Phillip II, who as Hapsburg emperor sat on the thrones of both Spain and Portugal. In fact, this court was the first court to operate in the New World and was one of only a few in the entire Portuguese empire, a testament to the growing economic importance of Brazil in the late 16th century.
Ricardo Tosto is an attorney and historian based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As a co-founder of one of Sao Paulo’s most highly-rated firms, Ricardo Tosto & Associates, Tosto is well known for his work in a wide range of specialty areas. A founding member of the Brazilian Electoral Law Institute, Ricardo Tosto is passionate about research and legal education.
Besides his scholarly research and participation in professional organization, Ricardo Tosto is widely quoted as an expert in print and on television. Ricardo Tosto is a graduate of Mackenzie Law School.