Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note specifically addresses the propriety of affirmative action pertaining to admissions to institutions of higher education. The focus will be on Uerj's quota system because, of all of Brazil's neophyte quota systems, it has received the most publicity and attracted the most scrutiny.

Part II of this Note will analyze Uerj's program and highlight the reasons for its ineffectiveness and the arguments that both proponents and opponents of the program have advanced. Part III will introduce the issues that the Supreme Federal Tribunal, Brazil's highest court, will encounter in deciding the challenge that the National Confederation of Teaching Establishments has brought against the constitutionality of Uerj's program. Part IV will first discuss the U.S. experience with race definition and racial preferences in higher education before establishing the U.S. framework as a model that will facilitate Brazil's current efforts. In Part V, the Author will conclude that, because of the glaring differences between the countries' objectives and racial experiences, Brazil will not have the same success with race-based affirmative action as the United States. Instead, the Author will propose a model that is more in tune with Brazil's social infrastructure.