Brazilian Council of Justice comes out against PEC 37 revision

June 21, 2013
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The protests in Brazil are getting stronger by the day and thousands of citizens are voicing their displeasure with several different government policies and the funding of the 2014 World Cup.

On the topics that is being protested is the June 26 vote on PEC 37, an amendment to the Brazilian constitution which will make it impossible for the Department of Public Prosecution to investigate corruption and human rights crimes committed by public officials. It would make the Brazilian police force the sole investigator of crime. That group is essentially Brazil's version of the FBI.

This week the Brazilian Council of Justice (CNJ) released a statement coming out against the PEC. Joaquim Barbosa, the president of the CNJ, said the amendment is "suicide" for the criminal justice system which would just "boast its flaws."

The CNJ is traditionally quiet when it comes to legislation but felt the need to speak on this because it could be "disastrous" to the democracy for all the investigatory powers be concentrated with the police.

"The CNJ is cautious in pronouncements of this nature and externalizes its position only in situations in which it perceives a serious risk to the guiding principles of the democratic State of Law, with possible consequences that would compromise the separation of powers", says the statement.

It goes on to encourage the congress to reject the initiative because it if it passes it will make an already bad situation worse.

With criminal investigation changing, any individual or company that has business in the country would be wise to partner with Brazilian lawyers to ensure they are not caught off guard.

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