It’s been an unusual couple of weeks in that I’ve spent most of my time preparing stories to go in the paper during that quiet period between Christmas and New Year.

But I was called onto a breaking story Friday and wrote this piece about the case of Sean Goldman, the 9-year old kid who is the subject of a tug of war between his American father and his late mother’s Brazilian family.

(A broader summing up of the case can be found here in this excellent AP story.)

My piece is more about the view from Brazil and is a counterpoint to a more US-focused article from my colleague in Miami, who compares this case with the Elian Gonzalez episode in the US and the reactions of the respective governments.

The main message I wanted to hammer home was that although the Brazilian justice system has worked, it has worked painfully slowly.

Brazilian lawyers, echoing their Foreign Minister, stress this case is a matter for courts to decide – even though Brazil is a signatory to the Hague Convention, under which countries agree to return kidnapped children within six weeks.

They reiterate that courts have merely done their job in responding to the actions and appeals that have drawn the case out for more than a year. The problem, though, is when the wheels of justice grind as slowly as now, the path is perverted.

As the saying goes, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.