STF suspends judgment on scope of military justice
The score was 5-2 to reaffirm the jurisdiction of the Military Justice to try this type of crime.
The Federal Supreme Court (STF) has suspended the Military Justice Framework to try crimes committed by the armed forces in civilian operations due to lack of quorum. A new analysis date has yet to be determined.
An action filed by the Attorney General’s Office in 2013 questions the jurisdiction of Military Justice to try crimes committed by members of the armed forces in what are normally civilian operations, such as Law and Order (GLO) or election security.
The proceedings, which were being tried in a virtual plenary session last month, were moved to a physical plenary session at the prominent request of Ricardo Lewandowski, the minister. The score was 5-2 to reaffirm the jurisdiction of the Military Justice to try this type of crime. However, following a request to be distinguished, ministers must correct or change votes already cast.
The PGR argued that the Armed Forces’ activities in the GLO were ancillary because the agents assisted the police in providing public safety, and not typical military activities. He also pointed to the risk that crimes committed by the military against civilians based, for example, on the work of the armed forces in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, would be subject to military justice.
The rapporteur minister, Marco Aurelio Mello (now retired from the court), voted against the PGR’s request, namely to uphold the conviction of crimes in the GLO actions in the Military Justice. It is not possible for the judge to rule out the military nature of this operation.
In his vote read today, Lewandowski emphasized that public safety is a civilian activity, and that’s why even policemen and firefighters who are called military are subject to the states and the Federal District. “It is obvious that we are dealing here with auxiliary activities, purely cooperation of military and civilian authorities to carry out, as the name itself indicates, civil defense itself,” he said.
Lewandowski also pointed out that the contested norm “creates a kind of forum with a privilege of function” to the military, although only the Constitution can list which public agents enjoy such a privilege.
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