Researchers present Protocol on Access to Justice and Disasters at meeting with public prosecutors

The researchers were invited to present their “Access to Justice and Disasters Protocol: Recommendations for the Justice System in the Event of Disasters” to the working group.
Law
19 February 2024
Researchers present Protocol on Access to Justice and Disasters at meeting with public prosecutors

On January 30, the Center for Access to Justice, Process and Dispute Resolution Means (NAJUPMESC) at the FGV Sao Paulo Law School took part in a meeting of the Social and Environmental Disasters and Climate Change Working Group at the Public Prosecutors’ Office National Council.

The researchers were invited to present their “Access to Justice and Disasters Protocol: Recommendations for the Justice System in the Event of Disasters” to the working group. The document was formally submitted to a lawsuit involving the victims of landslides in the region of Sao Sebastião, on the coast of Sao Paulo State, which killed more than 60 people in February 2023.

The protocol, launched at the end of 2023, was designed to contribute to institutional advances and guidelines for coordinating and building new initiatives to provide fair and swift solutions for those affected. It was also presented to a meeting of researchers from the FGV Sao Paulo Law School and Columbia Law School on February 5.

The document systematizes the information gathered into 45 recommendations, which contain actions considered essential in events caused by disasters, observations about the justifications for these actions and references to standards and sources that can assist the professionals involved in decision making.

According to Luciana Gross Cunha, a researcher at NAJUPMESC and one of the coordinators of the research project, “the protocol emphasizes the roles played by the Public Prosecutors’ Office, the Public Defender’s Office and the judiciary in dealing with disasters, from preventive, mitigation, emergency and damage repair and reconstruction perspectives.”

Maria Cecília de Araújo Asperti, also a coordinator of the document, points out that the schools run by the Public Prosecutors’ Office National Council, the Public Defender’s Office, the judiciary and the National Justice Council have played a decisive role in mobilizing training courses, enacting internal rules, creating specific thematic bodies and engaging stakeholders to act decisively in these cases.

“Some of these institutions gain relevance not only through their role in triggering judicial action, such as by using public-interest civil actions and other lawsuits related to civil and criminal liability, but also through their extrajudicial activities,” she explains. 

To read the full protocol, click here.

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