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Pursuant to the Brazilian constitution, the Brazilian government is composed of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.  The Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate comprise the National Congress, which exercises its powers through the legislative process.  The legislative process begins with the proposal of an ordinary or supplemental law.  A bill approved by one Chamber must be reviewed by the other in a single round of discussion and voting.  After being approved by the reviewing house, a bill is then sent to the President for final approval or veto.  

I.  Introduction

Brazil is a federative republic formed by the indissoluble union of the states, the municipalities, and the Federal District, constituted as a legal democratic state founded upon sovereignty, citizenship, human dignity, social values of work and free enterprise, and political pluralism.[1]  All power emanates from the people, who exercise it through elected representatives or directly, in accordance with the Constitution of October 5, 1988.[2]  The legislative, executive, and judicial branches reflect the three independent and harmonious powers that together comprise the Brazilian government.[3] 

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II. The Legislative Branch

A. National Congress

The National Congress is a bicameral institution comprised of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, pursuant to article 44 of the Constitution.[4]  The National Congress exercises its power through the legislative process, which includes the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, supplementary laws, ordinary laws, delegated laws, provisional measures, legislative decrees, and resolutions.[5]

1. Powers

Article 48 of the Constitution determines that the National Congress has the power, with the approval of the President of the Republic (which is not required for subjects specified in constitutional articles 49, 51, and 52), to regulate all matters within the federal government’s (União) jurisdiction, particularly

I) the tax system, tax collection, and income distribution;

II) multi-year plans, budgetary directives, annual budgets, credit transactions, public debt, and issuance of legal tender;

III) determination and modification of the number of troops in the Armed Forces;

IV) national, regional, and sectorial development plans and programs;

V) national territorial boundaries, air and maritime space, and property owned by the federal government;

VI) incorporation, subdivision, or division of areas of territories or states, after hearing from the respective Legislative Assemblies;

VII) temporary transfer of the seat of the federal government;

VIII) granting of amnesty;

IX) administrative and judicial organization of the Public Prosecutor’s Office [Ministério Público[6]] and Public Defender’s Office [Defensoria Pública[7]] of the federal government and territories, and judicial organization of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Federal District;

X) creation, transformation, and termination of public offices, employment, and positions, observing what has been established in article 84(VI)(b) of the Constitution;

XI) creation and termination of ministries and agencies of the public administration;

XII) telecommunications and radio broadcasting;

XIII) financial, foreign exchange, and monetary matters, as well as financial institutions and their operations;

XIV) currency, limits on currency issuance, and the amount of federal indebtedness evidenced by bonds or other securities; and

XV) determining the fixed compensation of Ministers of the Federal Supreme Court, observing what has been provided for in articles 39(§4), 150(II), 153(III), and 153(§2)(I).[8]

The National Congress has exclusive powers to

I) decide definitively on international treaties, agreements, or acts that result in charges or commitments encumbering the national patrimony;

II) authorize the President of the Republic to declare war, make peace, and permit foreign forces to pass through national territory or remain therein temporarily, with the exception of cases provided for by supplemental law;

III) authorize the President and the Vice-President of the Republic to leave the country for more than fifteen days;

IV) approve a state of defense or federal intervention, authorize a state of siege or suspend any of these measures;

V) suspend normative acts of the Executive that exceed its regulatory authority or the limits of legislative delegation;

VI) transfer its seat temporarily;

VII) set identical fixed compensation for the Federal Deputies and Senators, observing the provisions of articles 37(XI), 39(§4), 150(II), 153(III), and 153(§2)(I);

VIII) set the fixed compensation of the President and Vice-President of the Republic and Ministers of the federal government, observing the provisions of articles 37(XI), 39(§4), 150(II), 153(III), and 153(§2)(I);

IX) review each year the accounts rendered by the President of the Republic and consider reports on the execution of plans of the government;

X) supervise and control, directly or through either of its Chambers, acts of the Executive, including those of the indirect administration;[9]

XI) safeguard the preservation of its legislative authority in face of the rulemaking powers of the other branches;

XII) consider the acts granting and renewing concessions for radio and television broadcasters;

XIII) select two-thirds of the members of the Audit Tribunal of the Union [Tribunal de Contas da União[10]];

XIV) approve executive initiatives referring to nuclear activities;

XV) authorize referenda and call for plebiscites;

XVI) authorize exploitation and use of water resources and the prospecting and mining of mineral wealth on indigenous lands; and

XVII) give prior approval for the alienation or concession of public lands with an area greater than 2,500 hectares.[11]

2.  Sessions of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate

The National Congress must meet in the federal capital from February 2 to July 17 and from August 1 to December 22 of each year.[12]  Whenever sessions scheduled for these dates fall on Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays, they must be transferred to the next business day.[13]  Legislative agendas for sessions of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate can be tracked on their respective websites.[14]

In addition to other cases provided for in the Constitution, the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate must meet in a joint session to

I) inaugurate the legislative session;

II) draw up common bylaws and regulate the creation of services common to both Chambers;

III) receive the oath of office of the President and Vice-President of the Republic; and

IV) acknowledge a veto and deliberate about it.[15]

Starting on February 1 of the first year of the legislature, each Chamber must meet in preparatory sessions to seat its members and elect its respective Executive Committees for a two-year term, prohibiting reelection to the same position in the next election.[16]

The Executive Committee of the National Congress is presided over by the President of the Federal Senate, and the other positions are held, alternately, by the occupants of equivalent positions in the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate.[17]

Article 57 of the Constitution provides for those situations where extraordinary sessions of the National Congress may be called and who may call them.

Except where there is a constitutional provision to the contrary, the decisions of each Chamber and its committees must be made by a majority vote whenever an absolute majority of its members is present.[18]

3. Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate

The National Congress and both its chambers must have permanent and temporary committees (Comissões Parlamentares), constituted in the form and with the powers provided for in the respective bylaw or in the act of their creation.[19]  In forming the Executive Committees and each Committee, proportional representation of political parties or parliamentary groups that participate in the respective Chamber must be assured to the extent possible.[20]

Committees, based upon the subjects over which they have jurisdiction (competência), have the power to

I) discuss and vote on bills that, in accordance with the bylaws, do not require the authority of the entire body, unless an objection is made by one-tenth of the members of the Chamber;

II) hold public hearings with entities of civil society;

III) summon Ministers of the Federal Government to provide information on matters inherent to their duties;

IV) receive petitions, claims, representations, or complaints from any person against acts or omissions of government authorities or public entities;

V) request the deposition of any authority or citizen; and

VI) examine construction programs and national, regional, and sectorial development plans, and issue opinions on them.[21]

The Chamber of Deputies currently has twenty-five permanent committees,[22] while the Senate has fourteen permanent committees.[23]  In addition, the chambers have a number of joint committees, including among others joint committees on combatting violence against women, on climate change, and on intelligence activities,[24] and temporary committees.[25]

Among the temporary committees are Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry (Comissões Parlamentares de Inquérito, CPIs) that have the same investigative powers as judicial authorities in addition to other powers set forth in the bylaws of their respective chambers.  Such committees must be created by the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, either jointly or separately, upon the request of one-third of its members, to investigate certain facts for a determined period of time.  If appropriate, their conclusions must be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether to pursue civil or criminal liability of the offenders.[26]

During recess periods, the National Congress must be represented by a committee elected by its two chambers at the last ordinary session of the legislative term, with powers defined in common bylaws, and reflecting the proportional representation of the political parties to the extent possible.[27]

4. Internal Rules

The Federal Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, and the National Congress have their own regulations, called Internal Regulations (Regimentos Internos), that define the procedures governing their operations, including the drafting and introduction of bills; discussions, deliberations, votes, sanctions, vetoes, and enactment; and the publication of new laws.[28]

B. Chamber of Deputies

1. Internal Regulation

The Internal Regulation of the Chamber of Deputies was designed to adjust the operation of the chamber to the legislative process provided for in the Constitution, and has the power of an ordinary law.[29]  The Regulation addresses the rules and principles that guide the functioning of the institution.  A complete copy of the Chamber’s current Regulation is available online.[30]

2. Composition and Powers

The Chamber of Deputies[31] is comprised of representatives of the people, elected in each state, each territory, and the Federal District by a proportional system.[32]  The total number of Deputies, as well as the representation of each state/territory and the Federal District, is established by a supplemental law[33] in proportion to the population.[34]  The necessary adjustments must be made in the year prior to the elections so that none of the units of the Federation has fewer than eight or more than seventy Deputies.[35]  Each territory must elect four Deputies.[36]  A list of current Deputies is available on the Chamber of Deputies’ website.[37]

Except where there is a constitutional provision to the contrary, the decisions of each chamber and its committees must be made by a majority vote whenever an absolute majority of its members is present.[38]

The Chamber of Deputies has exclusive power to

I) authorize, by two-thirds of its members, the initiation of legal charges against the President and Vice-President of the Republic and the Ministers of State;

II) ask the President of the Republic to provide an accountability report, when it is not submitted to the National Congress within sixty days after the start of the legislative session;

III) draft [the Chamber’s] internal rules;

IV) provide for its organization, operation, and police; the creation, transformation, or termination of offices, jobs, and positions in its services; and the initiation of bills of law setting the respective remuneration [for the positions created], observing the parameters established in the law of budgetary directives; [and]

V) elect members of the Council of the Republic, according to the terms set out in article 89(VII) of the Constitution.[39]

Bills of law and other proposals pending in the Chamber of Deputies may be researched and accessed via the Chamber’s online database.[40]

C. Federal Senate

1. Internal Regulation

The Federal Senate’s Internal Regulation, published in two volumes, addresses the legislative process and the administrative functioning of the Senate.[41]

2. Composition and Powers

The Federal Senate[42] is comprised of representatives of the states and the Federal District, elected by majority vote.[43]  Each state and the Federal District must elect three Senators for eight-year terms.[44]  The representation of each State and the Federal District must be renewed every four years, alternately reelecting one-third and two-thirds.[45]  Each Senator must be elected along with two alternates.[46]  A list of current Senators is available on the Federal Senate’s website.[47]

According to article 52 of the Constitution, the Federal Senate has exclusive power to

I) try for impeachable offenses the President and the Vice-President of the Republic; Ministers of the Union; and the Commanders of the Navy, Army, and Air Force;

II) try the offenses (crimes de responsabilidade) of the Ministers of the Federal Supreme Court, members of the National Council of Justice and the National Council of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Attorney-General of the Republic [Procurador-Geral da República[48]], and the Attorney-General of the Union [Advogado-Geral da União[49]];

III) give its prior approval, by secret ballot after a public hearing, on the selection of:

a) judges, in cases established in the Constitution;

b) Ministers of the Audit Tribunal of the Union nominated by the President of the Republic;

c) Governors of the territories;

d) the president and directors of the Central Bank;

e) the Attorney-General of the Republic; and

f) holders of other offices, as determined by law;

IV) give its prior approval, by secret ballot, after closed hearing, on the selection of the heads of permanent diplomatic missions;

V) authorize foreign financial transactions of interest to the Union, states, Federal District, territories, and counties;

VI) establish, as proposed by the President of the Republic, global limits for the amount of the public debt of the Union, states, Federal District, and counties;

VII) provide for global limits and conditions for the foreign and domestic credit transactions of the Union, states, Federal District, and counties, their agencies (autarquias), and other entities controlled by the Union;

VIII) provide for limits and conditions on the concession of the Union’s guarantee of foreign and domestic credit transactions;

IX) establish global limits and conditions for the amount of the debt of the states, Federal District, and counties evidenced by bonds or other securities;

X) suspend enforcement, in whole or in part, of laws declared unconstitutional by final decision of the Supreme Federal Tribunal;

XI) approve, by absolute majority and secret ballot, removal from office of the Attorney-General of the Republic before the end of his or her term of office;

XII) draft [the Senate’s] internal rules;

XIII) provide for its organization, operation, and police; the creation, transformation, or abolition of offices, jobs, and positions in its services; and the initiation of laws setting the respective remuneration [for the positions created], observing the parameters established in the law of budgetary directives;

XIV) elect the members of the Council of the Republic pursuant to article 89(VI); and

XV) periodically evaluate the functioning of the structure and components of the National Tax System [Sistema Tributário Nacional[50]] and the performance of the tax administrations of the Union, states, Federal District, and counties.[51]

In those cases provided for in subsections I and II of article 52 of the Constitution (above) concerning the Federal Senate’s exclusive powers, the President of the Federal Supreme Court must preside at the trial, a conviction may only be rendered by a two-thirds vote of the Federal Senate, and the penalty imposed must be limited to loss of office, with disqualification to hold any public office for a period of eight years, without prejudice to any other judicial sanctions that may be applicable.[52]

Bills of law and other proposals pending in the Federal Senate may be researched and accessed via the Senate’s online database.[53]

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III. Elections

A. Generally

The President and the Vice-President of the Republic are elected simultaneously on the first Sunday of October for the first round, and on the last Sunday of October if there is a second round, of the year prior to the termination of the term of office of the current president.[54]

The Electoral Code determines that elections for federal deputies, senators, and alternates; president and vice-president; governors and lieutenant-governors; and state deputies are to happen simultaneously throughout the country.[55]  Only candidates registered by political parties can participate in elections.[56]  No registration will be accepted less than six months prior to the election.[57]

B. Political Rights: Voting

Popular sovereignty is exercised by universal suffrage and by direct and secret votes that have equal value for all (one man, one vote) and, as provided by law, by plebiscite, referendum, or popular initiative.[58]  Voter registration and voting are compulsory for those over eighteen years of age and optional for the illiterate, those over age seventy, and persons aged sixteen and seventeen.[59]

The legal conditions for eligibility to vote are as follows:

I) Brazilian nationality;

II) full exercise of political rights;

III) voter registration;

IV) electoral domicile in the district;

V) party affiliation; and

VI) a minimum age of:

a) thirty-five years for President and Vice-President of the Republic, and Senator;

b) thirty years for Governor and Lieutenant-Governor of a state and the Federal District;

c) twenty-one years for Federal, State, or a District Representative, Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and Justice of the Peace; and

d) eighteen years for councilman.[60]

Foreigners and conscripts serving their period of compulsory military service may not register to vote.[61]  Illiterate persons can vote, but cannot be elected.[62]

C. Political Rights: Seeking Public Office

The President of the Republic, governors of the states and the Federal District, mayors, and those that have succeeded or replaced them in the course of their mandates may be reelected for a single, subsequent term.[63]  In order to run for other offices, the President of the Republic, governors of states and the Federal District, and mayors must resign from their respective offices at least six months prior to the election.[64]

Spouses and relatives by blood or marriage up to the second degree, or by adoption, of the President of the Republic; the governor of a state, territory, or the Federal District; or a mayor, or those replacing them during the six months preceding the election, are ineligible to run for office in the jurisdictional territory of the incumbent, unless they already hold elective office and are candidates for reelection.[65]  A member of the armed forces who can register to vote is only eligible to seek public office if he or she has served for less than ten years and takes leave from military activities; in cases of service over ten years, he or she must be discharged from military duties and, if elected, must be automatically retired upon taking office.[66]

A supplemental law[67] establishes other cases of ineligibility and periods for which such ineligibility must remain in force, in order to protect administrative probity, morality (considering the past life of the candidate), and the normality and legitimacy of elections from the influence of economic power or abuse from holding an office, position, or a job in the direct or indirect administration.[68]

Elective mandates may be challenged in the Electoral Courts within a period of fifteen days after certification of an election, with supporting evidence of abuse of economic power, corruption, or fraud.[69]  A suit challenging a mandate must be processed in closed proceedings (segredo de justiça), and the plaintiff must be held liable, as provided by law, if the suit lacks cause or is proposed in bad faith.[70]

Deprivation of political rights is forbidden; the loss or suspension of such rights may occur only in cases of

I) cancellation of naturalization by a final, unappealable judgment;

II) absolute civil incapacity;

III) a final, unappealable criminal conviction, for so long as its effects remain in force;

IV) refusal to comply with an obligation imposed upon everyone or to perform alternative service, in accordance with article 5(VIII) of the Constitution; and

V) administrative impropriety, in accordance with article 37(§4) of the Constitution.[71]

Laws altering the electoral process enter into force on the date of their publication but do not apply to elections that occur within one year from that date.[72]

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IV. The Legislative Process 

A. Generally

The legislative process may be initiated with the proposal of an ordinary or supplemental law (a bill of law) by any member or committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Federal Senate, or National Congress; the President of the Republic; the Federal Supreme Court and Higher Federal Courts; the Attorney General of the Republic; or by any ordinary citizen in the manner and cases provided for in the Constitution.[73] 

A bill approved by one Chamber must be reviewed by the other in a single round of discussion and voting.[74]  If the reviewing Chamber approves the bill, it must be sent for enactment or promulgation, or if it is rejected, it must be archived.[75]  If a bill is amended, it must return to the Chamber that initiated it.[76]

After being approved by the reviewing house, a bill is then sent to the President for final approval or veto.[77]  If approved by the President, it becomes law forty-five days after its publication in the Official Gazette (Diário Oficial),[78] or within the period of time established in the bill. 

The President may veto a bill of law in whole or in part if he or she considers it unconstitutional or contrary to the public interest.[79]  The veto must occur within fifteen working days, counted from the date of receipt, and the President must inform the President of the Senate of the reasons for his or her veto within forty-eight hours.[80]  According to article 66, section 3, after a period of fifteen days has elapsed, silence on the part of the President of the Republic operates as an approval.[81]

Pursuant to article 66, section 4, of the Constitution, a presidential veto must be examined in a joint session within thirty days from the date of receipt by Congress, and may be rejected only by an absolute majority of the Deputies and Senators.[82]  Per article 66, section 5, if the veto is not upheld, the bill is sent to the President for promulgation.[83]  If the period for examination lapses without a vote, the veto must be placed on the order of the day for the immediate session, suspending all other proposals, until its final vote.[84]  If the law is not promulgated by the President of the Republic within forty-eight hours in the situations set out in article 66, sections 3 and 5 (discussed above), the President of the Senate must promulgate it, and if he does not do so within the same period, it is incumbent upon the Vice-President of the Senate to do so.[85]

The matter in a rejected bill of law may only be the subject of a new bill during the same legislative session upon proposal of an absolute majority of the members of either chamber of the National Congress.[86] 

B. Amendments to the Constitution

Constitutional amendments may be proposed by

I) at least one-third of the members of the Chamber of Deputies or the Federal Senate;

II) the President of the Republic; and

III) more than one-half of the Legislative Assemblies of the Federation, each manifesting its decision by a simple majority of its members.[87]

The Constitution cannot be amended during a federal intervention,[88] a state of defense,[89] or a state of siege.[90]  A proposed amendment must be debated and voted on in each Chamber of the National Congress in two rounds, and must be considered approved if it obtains three-fifths of the votes of the respective members in both rounds.[91]  A constitutional amendment must be promulgated by the Executive Committees of the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate, taking the next sequential number.[92]

No proposed constitutional amendment may be considered that is aimed at abolishing

I) the federalist form of the National Government;

II) direct, secret, universal, and periodic suffrage;

III) separation of powers; or

IV) individual rights and guarantees.[93]

The subject of a defeated or prejudiced proposal for a constitutional amendment may not be made the subject of another proposed amendment in the same legislative session.[94]

C. Ordinary and Supplementary Laws

As noted above, any member or committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Federal Senate, or National Congress; the President of the Republic; the Federal Supreme Court or the Superior Tribunals; the Attorney General; or any ordinary citizen, is competent to initiate a supplementary or ordinary law.[95]  The reason for the existence of supplementary law is that the legislators who drafted the Constitution understood that certain matters, despite their obvious importance, could not be regulated in the Constitution itself.  Only the subject matter exhaustively provided for in the Constitution can be subject to supplementary law.  All other matters must be the subject of ordinary law.[96]  In addition, while an ordinary law must be approved by a simple majority,[97] approval of a supplementary law requires an absolute majority.[98]

D. Provisional Measures

In relevant and urgent cases, the President of the Republic may adopt provisional measures that have the force of law.  Such measures must be submitted immediately to the National Congress.[99]   Provisional measures may not be enacted on matters

I) with respect to:

a) nationality, citizenship, political rights, political parties and electoral law;

b) criminal law, criminal procedure and civil procedure;

c) organization of the Judiciary and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the careers and guarantees of their members; and

d) multi-year plans, budgetary directives, the budget, and additional and supplementary credits, except as provided for in article 167(§3) of the Constitution;

II) that deal with the detention or sequestration of property,  savings, or any other financial assets;

III) that are reserved for supplementary law; and

IV) that have already been regulated in a bill approved by the National Congress that is awaiting approval or veto of the President of the Republic. [100]

With certain exceptions, provisional measures lose their effectiveness as of the day of their issuance if they are not converted into law within a period of sixty days, which period may be extended for an additional sixty days.[101]  It is the responsibility of the National Congress to regulate, by legislative decree, the legal relations stemming from such measures.[102]  The sixty-day period starts to run from the date of publication of the provisional measure.[103]  The running of this period is suspended during those periods in which the National Congress is in recess.[104]

In addition, a provisional measure that involves the institution of or an increase in taxes, except as provided for in constitutional articles 153(I) (import of foreign products), (II) (export to other countries of national or nationalized products), (IV) (industrialized products), (V) (credit transactions, foreign exchange operations, insurance, or transactions relating to negotiable instruments or securities), and 154(II) (authorizing the Union to impose extraordinary taxes at the imminence or in the case of external war), may only produce effects in the following fiscal year if it has been converted into law by the last day of the fiscal year in which it was issued.[105] 

The deliberation of each of the chambers of the National Congress on the merits of a provisional measure is contingent upon a prior judgment as to the measure’s compliance with constitutional requirements.[106]

If a provisional measure has not been considered within forty-five days, the provisional measure is given “urgent” status.  Subsequently, in each of the chambers of the National Congress, all other legislative deliberations of the chamber to which the measure was presented must be suspended until it is finally voted upon.[107]

The effectiveness of a provisional measure may be extended once for sixty days, if during the initial sixty-day period it has not been submitted to a final vote in the two chambers of the National Congress.[108]  Provisional measures must be voted on first in the Chamber of Deputies.[109]

A mixed commission of Deputies and Senators has the duty to examine provisional measures and to issue an opinion about them, prior to their consideration in separate sessions by the full membership of each chamber of the National Congress.[110]

Reenactment in the same legislative session of a provisional measure that has been rejected or that has lost its efficacy by the running of time is forbidden.[111]

If a bill to convert or modify the original text of a provisional measure has been approved, the provisional measure must be maintained in force in its entirety until the bill is signed or vetoed.[112]

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Prepared by Eduardo Soares
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
February 2018


[2] Id. art. 1(Sole para.).

[3] Id. art. 2.

[4] Id. art. 44.

[5] Id. art. 59.

[6] See id. arts. 127, 128, 129, 130.  For more information on the Public Prosecutor’s Office, see the Ministério Público website, at http://www.mpu.mp.br/, archived at https://perma.cc/996V-MY8W.

[7] C.F. art. 134.  For more information on the Public Defender’s Office, see the Defensoria Pública website, at http://www.dpu.def.br/, archived at https://perma.cc/2J45-WNPZ.

[8] C.F. art. 48 (all translations by author).

[9] Direct administration is considered to be the body of public administrative services exercised directly by the government (federal, state and municipal) through government organs, like ministries and secretaries, which are integrated into the structure of the executive branch.  Indirect administration is the body of acts and services rendered by decentralized administrative agencies (autarquias) or public entities created by law in the exercise of their own activities or government functions, through delegation of the government.  1 Maria Helena Diniz, Dicionário Jurídico 123, 124 (São Paulo, SP: Editora Saraiva, 2005).

[10] See C.F. arts. 71, 72, 73, 74.  For additional information on the Audit Tribunal of the Union, see the Tribunal de Contas da União website, at http://portal.tcu.gov.br/, archived at https://perma.cc/S5ZN-WQ34.

[11] C.F. art. 49.

[12] Id. art. 57.

[13] Id. art. 57(§1).

[14] Agenda Legislativa, Câmara dos Deputados, http://www2.camara.leg.br/atividade-legislativa/agenda (last visited Jan. 4, 2018), archived at https://perma.cc/PEA5-8863; Atividade Legislativa, Senado Federal, https://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade (last visited Jan. 4, 2018), archived at https://perma.cc/T65G-573B.

[15] C.F. art. 57(§3).

[16] Id. art. 57(§4).

[17] Id. art. 57(§5).

[18] Id. art. 47.

[19] Id. art. 58.

[20] Id. art. 58(§1).

[21] Id. art. 58(§2).

[22] O Papel das Comissões Permanentes, Câmara dos Deputados, http://www2.camara.leg.br/atividade-legislativa/comissoes/comissoes-permanentes (last visited Jan. 4, 2018), archived at https://perma.cc/NUD4-F7E8.

[23] Atividade Legislativa: Comissões, Senado Federal, http://legis.senado.leg.br/comissoes/;jsessionid= 57861A3D502D7959B90F444761667E04?0# (last visited Jan. 4, 2018), archived at https://perma.cc/5NF8-YE3P.

[24] Id.

[25] For complete committee lists see O Papel das Comissões Permanentes, Câmara dos Deputados, supra note 22, and Atividade Legislativa: Comissões, Senado Federal, supra note 23.

[26] C.F. art. 58(§3).

[27] Id. art. 58(§4).

[28] O que é o Processo Legislativo?, Senado Federal, http://umapiruetaduaspiruetas.wordpress.com/brasil/ perguntas-e-respostas-%E2%80%93-senado%C2%A0federal/, archived at https://perma.cc/DB7P-HBPX (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[29] Glossário, Câmara dos Deputados, http://www2.camara.leg.br/glossario/r.html (last visited Dec. 11, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/ZTK4-YC9C .

[30] Regimento Interno da Câmara dos Deputados, Câmara dos Deputados, http://bd.camara.gov.br/bd/ bitstream/handle/bdcamara/18847/regimento_interno_18ed.pdf?sequence=68 (last visited Dec. 11, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/YJ4N-U7XK.

[31] Câmara dos Deputados, http://www2.camara.leg.br/ (last visited Dec. 11, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/4BKD-WXDN.

[32] C.F. art. 45.

[33] Lei Complementar No. 78 de 30 de Dezembro de 1993, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/Leis/ LCP/Lcp78.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/6VNJ-APLA (regulating article 45(§1) of the Constitution regarding the number of federal deputies).

[34] C.F. art. 45(§1).

[35] Id.

[36] Id. art. 45(§2).

[37] Conheça os Deputados, Câmara dos Deputados, http://www2.camara.leg.br/deputados/pesquisa, archived at https://perma.cc/2UDF-HJSN (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[38] Id. art. 47.

[39] Id. art. 51.

[40] Projetos de Lei e Outras Proposições, Câmara dos Deputados, http://www.camara.leg.br/buscaProposicoes Web/pesquisaSimplificada, archived at https://perma.cc/5CRU-PL6W (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[41] Regimento Interno do Senado Federal vols. I & II (2015 & 2016), http://www25.senado.leg.br/web/ atividade/regimento-interno#/, archived at https://perma.cc/AU2B-G8CR and https://perma.cc/WQD4-EWFX.

[42] Senado Federal, https://www12.senado.leg.br/hpsenado, archived at https://perma.cc/FB97-X4K5 (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[43] C.F. art. 46.

[44] Id. art. 46(§1).

[45] Id. art. 46(§2).

[46] Id. art. 46(§3).

[47] Senadores, Senado Federal, http://www25.senado.leg.br/web/senadores, archived at https://perma.cc/DWC9-7BH6 (last visited Dec. 11, 2017).

[48] The Attorney-General of the Republic is the head of the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (Ministério Público Federal) and performs the functions of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) and in the Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça, STJ), and is also the Electoral Attorney-General (Procurador-Geral Eleitoral).  The Attorney-General of the Republic must always participate in all cases.  In the STF, the Attorney-General of the Republic is entitled to propose direct actions of unconstitutionality, to request federal intervention in the states and the Federal District, and propose criminal and civil actions.  In the STJ, the Attorney-General of the Republic may request federalization of cases of crimes against human rights and criminal action.  Procurador-Geral da República, MPF, http://www.mpf.mp.br/pgr/institucional/procurador-geral-da-republica (last visited Dec. 12, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/DDR4-YH5V.

[49] Pursuant to article 131 of the Constitution, “the Attorney General’s Office is the institution that, directly or through a related body, represents the Union, judicially and extrajudicially, under the terms of the supplemental law that provides for its organization and functioning, [and] performs activities of consulting and legal advice to the executive branch.”  Funções Institucionais, Advocacia-Geral da União, http://www.agu.gov.br/page/ content/detail/id_conteudo/200643 (last visited Dec. 12, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/3AEG-R3E8See Lei Complementar No. 73, de 10 de Fevereiro de 1993 [Supplemental Law No. 73 of February 10, 1993], http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/LCP/Lcp73.htm (last visited Dec. 12, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/2DQY-VHD5.

[50] Law No. 5,172 of October 25, 1966, provides for the national tax system and general tax rules applicable to the Union, states, and municipalities.  Lei No. 5.172 de 25 de Outubro de 1966, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ ccivil_03/Leis/ L5172Compilado.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/A5L8-DKZK.

[51] Id. art. 52.

[52] C.F. art. 52(Sole para.).

[53] Atividade Legislativa, Senado Federal, http://www25.senado.leg.br/web/atividade (last visited Dec. 11, 2017), archived at https://perma.cc/EWX5-M4H8

[54] C.F. art. 77.

[55] Lei No. 4.737, de 15 de Julho de 1965, art. 85, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/L4737compilado.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/ED5K-8HEU.

[56] Id. art. 87.

[57] Id. art. 87(Sole para.).

[58] Id. art. 14.

[59] Id. art. 14(§1).

[60] Id. art. 14(§3).

[61] Id. art. 14(§2).

[62] Id. art. 14(§4).

[63] Id. art. 14(§5).

[64] Id. art. 14(§6).

[65] Id. art. 14(§7).

[66] Id. art. 14(§8).

[67] Pursuant to article 14(§9) of the Constitution, Supplemental Law No. 64 was enacted to establish the cases of ineligibility, periods for termination, and other provisions.  Lei Complementar No. 64, de 18 de Maio de 1990, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/Leis/LCP/Lcp64.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/NLN3-D25U.

[68] C.F. art. 14(§9).

[69] Id. art. 14(§10).

[70] Id. art. 14(§11).

[71] Id. art. 15.  Article 37(§4) of the Constitution determines that acts of administrative impropriety must result in suspension of political rights, loss of public office, freezing of assets, and reimbursement to the public treasury, in the form and degree provided by law, without prejudice to the appropriate criminal action.

[72] C.F. art. 16.

[73] Id. art. 61.

[74] Id. art. 65.

[75] Id.

[76] Id. art. 65(Sole para.).

[77] Id. art. 66.

[78] Decreto-Lei No. 4.657, de 4 de Setembro de 1942, art. 1, http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/Decreto-Lei/Del4657compilado.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/W6RB-BC7W.  

[79] C.F. art. 66(§1).

[80] Id.

[81] Id. art. 66(§3).

[82] Id. art. 66(§4).

[83] Id. art. 66(§5).

[84] Id. art. 66(§6).

[85] Id. art. 66(§7).

[86] Id. art. 67.

[87] Id. art. 60.

[88] “Federal intervention” is the exceptional interference, within the limits imposed by the Constitution, of the Union (União) in the states, temporarily excluding the prerogatives of state autonomy, with the aim of: defending the federation and protecting federated units from situations that endanger the national integrity and public order; repelling a foreign invasion or the invasion of one state into another state; ensuring the free exercise of any of the states’ powers; reorganizing state funds; providing for the enforcement of federal law; or requiring observance of constitutional principles.  2 Maria Helena Diniz, Dicionário Jurídico 1042, 1043 (São Paulo, SP: Editora Saraiva, 2005).

[89] Article 136 of the Constitution defines “state of defense” as an exceptional measure decreed by the President of the Republic, after consulting the Council of the Republic and the Council of National Defense, to preserve or promptly restore, in restricted and determined places, public order or social peace where the country is threatened by serious and imminent instability or hit by major natural disasters.  C.F. art. 136.

[90] C.F. art. 60(§1).

[91] Id. art. 60(§2).

[92] Id. art. 60(§3).

[93] Id. art. 60(§4).

[94] Id. art. 60(§5).

[95] Id. art. 61.

[96] Alexandre de Moraes, Direito Constitucional 624, 625, 20th Ed. (Editora Atlas S.A., 2006).

[97] C.F. art. 47.

[98] Id. art. 69.

[99] C.F. arts. 62(§3), (§7), (§11), (§12).

[100] Id. art. 62(§1).

[101] Id. art. 62(§3).

[102] Id.

[103] Id. art. 62(§4).

[104] Id.

[105] Id. art. 62(§2).

[106] Id. art. 62(§5).

[107] Id. art. 62(§6).

[108] Id. art. 62(§7).

[109] Id. art. 62(§8).

[110] Id. art. 62(§9).

[111] Id. art. 62(§10).

[112] Id. art. 62(§12).

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Last Updated: 07/09/2018