Brazilian House of Representatives hearing discusses end of jurisdictional prerogative
The Coordinator of the Supreme in Numbers project and professor at FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio), Ivar A. Hartmann, was summoned by several representatives to participate as an exhibitor in the first Public Hearing held by the Special Commission of the Brazilian House of Representatives on PEC (Constitutional Amendment Bill) 333/17. The proposal seeks to end the jurisdictional prerogative of members of all branches of government in common crimes. At the event, the professor presented the main findings of the fifth Supreme in Numbers report regarding the jurisdictional prerogative.
The goal of the work carried out by the team was to diagnose the processing of jurisdictional prerogative criminal lawsuits and investigations in Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court (STF). The professor explained that the research was conducted based on three aspects: duration; results of proceedings; and relationship between the processing in the STF and the later and previous life of these proceedings.
One of the issues mentioned by Hartmann concerns aspects of the jurisdictional prerogative trial that to not exist in trial courts and represent increased time spent with lawsuits and investigations: cases held under advisement by the rapporteur or reviewer, publication of the decision – formalization of the collective decision – and internal appeals, which are extensive.
With respect to the trial on the merits, Ivar Hartmann analyzes that the court is not equipped to judge trial court criminal procedures. “What happens is that, within the five-year period analyzed in the sample of the report, between 2007 and 2016, only one out of ten criminal procedures ultimately had a trial on the merits before the Supreme Court”, he said.
Professor Fabrício Medeiros, from Instituto Brasiliense de Direito Público and UniCEUB, also participated in the Public Hearing as an exhibitor.