Brazil?s New Special Venue for Alleged Unlawful Enrichment by Public Officials

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Saturday, March 1, 2003
Jorge Nemr
Fearing the possibility of facing a ?storm? of procedures in the first level, mainly for administrative improbity and in several venues in Brazil, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso negotiated with the Congress the amendment to the wording of article 84 of our Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore, one of his last acts in the Presidency of the Republic was the enactment, on December 24, 2002, of Law No. 10,628. This was a true Christmas gift he received at the end of his office. The new law provides that the lawsuit in common crimes, responsibility crime and administrative improbity crimes (unlawful enrichment in the exercise of office, position, employment or function referred to by Law No. 8,426-92) shall be filed before the competent court to prosecute and judge criminally the employee or authority, even if the inquiry or judicial lawsuit is commenced after the cessation of the exercise of the public function. Therefore, despite his condition of common citizen, any investigation or criminal lawsuit against him, which investigates facts or acts practiced during his administration, must be conducted by the Federal Supreme Court.