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Judith Martins-Costa

Professor Judith Martins-Costa, founding partner of the law firm Judith Martins-Costa Advogados, is an independent legal consultant, acting in both arbitration and judicial proceedings, and in non-contentious cases concerning matters relating to Brazilian private law. She provides legal opinions for matters of private law relating to Civil and Commercial Law.


In recent years, Professor Martins-Costa has served as an arbitrator, having been appointed as a member of the list of arbitrators for the following arbitration chambers, among others: CAM-CCBC (Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada), CAMARB (Business Arbitration Chamber Brazil), CAMFIEP (Center for Arbitration and Mediation of the Federation of Industries of Paraná) and CMA-CIESP (Chamber of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Ciesp/Fiesp, as part of its Arbitration Committee). Additionally, she participates in arbitration proceedings held by the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce).


Professor Martins-Costa was awarded her PhD - Dr.habil in Private Law from the University of São Paulo’s Law School (USP) in 2003, presenting a thesis entitled “Person, Personality, Dignity: Essay of a Qualification”. She earned a JSD from USP in 1996, with a thesis entitled “System and General Clause: Good Faith in the Obligational Process”, having graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in 1980.


From 1991 to 2010, Professor Martins-Costa held the post of Professor of Law at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, where she taught Civil Law I (General Theory); Civil Law II (General Theory of Obligation); Civil Law III (General Theory of Contracts); Civil Law IV (Contracts); Comparative Law; and History of Law. Also at UFRGS, she led research projects and supervised graduate students in the Graduate Program in Law, teaching courses on the “General Theory of Private Law” and the “Cultural Foundations of Private Law”. She was vice-coordinator of the Graduate Program from 1999 to 2000; and again between 2007 and 2010.

She has lectured in national and foreign universities, including Universidad de Valencia, Spain (1991); Università di Genova, Italy (1992); Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina (1993); Università di Roma – Tor Vergata, Italy (2000; 2003); Università di Salerno, Itália (2002); Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal (2007, 2008); Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal (2007); Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle - Paris 3, France (2008); and Université de Rennes, France (2008).


Professor Martins-Costa has also undertaken various institutional projects, such as ad hoc consultancy in legal matters alongside the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES/MEC); the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq); and the Research Support Foundation of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP). She is a member of the Society of Comparative Law (Societé de Législation Comparée), Paris; the International Association of Legal Science (Association Internationale de Sciences Juridiques); the Bioethics’ Committee of the UFRGS Hospital de Clínicas; the Brazilian Institute of Philosophy; the Brazilian Institute of Private Law; and the Brazilian Academy of Civil Law. Recently, she was elected to be part of the Brazilian Academy of Legal Letters. She is the president of the Brazilian National Committee of the Association Internationale de Sciences Juridiques, and the president and founder of the Culturalistic Studies Institute (“Instituto de Estudos Culturalistas” – IEC).


She has acted as a consultant and participated in further legislative processes in various capacities, including the following:


  • Member of the Commission created by the Ministry of Justice and appointed through administrative regulation 335, dated 05/28/96, to establish the legal regime of “Law of Marriage,” reforming and replacing Law 9,278/96.

  • Member of the Commission created by the House of Representatives of the State of Rio Grande do Sul to promote the revision and systematization of state laws (1996).

  • Collaborator for the Commission in charge of developing the preliminary draft of the General Insurance Law - Lei Geral do Seguro (draft legislation 3555/2004), authored by Deputy Eduardo Cardozo.


Click here for Professor Martins-Costa's main publications


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