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Minister Pans Brazil’s Law Giving Congressmen Right to Be Judged by Supreme Court

The president of Brazil’s Federal Elections Court (TSE, Tribunal Superior Eleitoral), Minister Carlos Velloso, criticized Thursday, August 11, the privileged bar enjoyed by legislators and the President of the Republic when they are tried for ordinary crimes.

During a debate at the International Conference on Challenges and Prospects for Strengthening Brazilian Political Institutions, in the Chamber of Deputies, Velloso said he is fearful that recent accusations of legislators’ involvement in irregular campaign financing will cause a bottleneck in the Federal Supreme Court (STF, Supremo Tribunal Federal).


“The Supreme Court has hundreds of criminal suits to judge. How many will there be now? The Supreme Court will not be able to clear the docket and lacks the capacity to make all these rulings,” he remarked.


The privileged bar allows federal deputies, senators, and the President of the Republic to be judged by the STF instead of regular courts.


According to Velloso, the function of the Supreme Court is to decide direct actions of unconstitutionality, not electoral or ordinary crimes.


“Lower court judges are the ones suited for such cases. When these cases are transferred to higher courts, it represents a privileged bar, a vestige of the Imperial era inconsistent with republican principles,” he emphasized.


In the opinion of the president of the TSE, the privileged bar contributes to corrupt practices in the country, because it assures politicians of impunity.


“Brazil is currently 52nd in the international corruption ranking. In each municipality there is a public prosecutor who is a judge, and he is the one who effectively supervises government accounts, preventing corruption. But political suits are not assigned to the lower courts,” he pointed out.


Velloso cited the example of the United States, where there is no privileged bar. “Former president Richard Nixon had to appear before a lower court judge,” he recalled.


Agência Brasil

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  • Show Comments (3)

  • michael

    import taxs and laws
    hihi trying to find out information on the laws and taxs involved in importing vehicles or equipment to sao paulo, surfed the web for hours but can not find anything, dont speak the portugesse which is a problem. If anybody know any information and web site , please drop me a line
    thanks
    michael

  • Guest

    ?????
    Why is there a need to go to court….the higher or lower ????
    As in Equator, Colombia….etc etc…..millions of people need to go to demonstrations, especially students, the new generation and all the representatives of diverses unions and ask and insist for Resignations…….and have them….leave your country. Because by staying in the country…..new alliances and schemes will be made.

    PURE AND SIMPLE !!!

    Putting them in higher….as said in the article….OR lower court……they will anyway no be judged fairly…because they are priviledged…..anyway…. !!!!

  • Guest

    Hi hi…….
    ….and now nobody has the courage or the will to judges the priviledged.
    The lower court says it is up to the higher court, and the higher court says it should be to the lower court.
    Exactly the same battle as the corruptor and the corrupted……they were the best friends…until corruption was discovered and proved. Now they say……Noooooo…it is the other who did wrong !!!!!!!

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