The Minister of the Federal Superior Court (STF) Luiz Roberto Barroso said this Saturday (26), after participating in the Esfera Brasil Forum, that it is necessary to see “civility in relations between people” in the construction of a democratic society.
“The normal thing in life is to respect the result of the elections. It is necessary to have the perception that a democracy is not made only of those who win, it is made by all people”, Barroso told journalists. “People need to be able to have a conversation, putting ideas on the table without offending other people. Lying needs to go back to being wrong again.”
The minister was one of the guests on a debate panel on legal security and the Constitution on the second day of the seminar organized by Grupo Esfera Brasil.
The panel was also attended by the minister of the Superior Judiciary Court (STJ), Luiz Felipe Salomão; the president of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), Alexandre Cordeiro, the lawyer and member of the elected government transition team, Cristiano Zanin; and the lawyer and member of the Lula government’s transition team in the area of justice and public security, Pierpaolo Botiini.
In Barroso’s view, legal certainty presupposes integrity. “Integrity has two basic initial rules: first in the public space, which is not to embezzle money; Second, in the private space, don’t pass others off, ”he said.
The minister also highlighted that, in Brazil, there are two areas of “immense” legal uncertainty: the tax area and the labor area. “In the tax area, we have the most complex tax system in the world. No country spends the time that is spent in Brazil on tax compliance. Therefore, the simplification of this system is imperative, because without it, there will be no legal security and we will always be dealing with those tax corpses that exist in the closet.”
Regarding the labor area, Barroso said that Brazil only finds out about the cost of it after it ends, because the litigiousness surrounding the issue in the country is astonishing. “I was a lawyer for 30 years, a lawyer for a large bank, and the president said he tried to comply with all labor rules, had the best lawyers, prepared himself, did everything possible, followed the guidelines, but even so, he had thousands of complaints,” he commented.
“A country, where an honest businessman tries to comply with the legislation and fails, has a problem that we need to face. So I consider that insecurity in Brazil, the tax and labor issue”.
Another highlight of the STF minister was in relation to the regulation of the media. He spoke of a technological revolution underway. “The result of this is the internet, and one of the products of the internet is social media, which has also revolutionized social communication. Nowadays, information and access to the public space often takes place without the intermediation of the professional press, which used to filter what reached the public space”, said Barroso.
“You have to regulate to protect copyright, to prohibit the abuse of economic power, to protect privacy. And you have to regulate to prevent inauthentic behavior, which is the false amplification of news. And you have to regulate so you can’t sell weapons, so you can’t have pedophilia, “she quoted.
STJ minister Luiz Felipe Salomão highlighted that legal security can have a range of different visions. “Legal security is one of the foundations of the existence of the Judiciary. It exists to provide judicial security. When there is a conflict of interests, it is the Judiciary that composes to re-establish social peace”, he stated.
Salomão said that the 21st century is the period in which the Judiciary must stand out worldwide. “The 19th century was that of the Executive. The 20th Century of the Legislature. But after the Second World War, where that tragedy took place, and also where force did not solve the problems, the entire Judiciary in the world was strengthened. And the idea that the judiciary is the channel for solving problems was also strengthened.”
“Fundamentally, this idea of security, which is the basis of the Judiciary, exists to guarantee legal security, to guarantee rights, to open doors for the citizen to seek the promises that were established in the Constitution and brought this role to the Judiciary”, pointed out.
Alexandre Cordeiro, president of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), spoke about the body’s role in the investigation into alleged abuse of economic power by Petrobras, due to the volatility in fuel prices. According to him, this issue affects the Brazilian consumer and is a topic that interests the entire world. “The world is experiencing an energy crisis, an oil crisis, and this really affects everyone. And it ends up affecting inflation indirectly,” he declared.
Cade has a specific role, and Cordeiro said that it is not to control prices, but to defend competition, that is, to repress abuses of a dominant position, cartels. “The Petrobras case is not just one case, there are several cases at Cade. When fuel was being discussed, there was a competitive theory behind it. The competition theory was precisely a possibility of abuse of Petrobras’ dominant position, in the institution and formation of its prices”, he reported.
According to Cordeiro, what is normally discussed is whether Petrobras is a monopolist, whether it can charge whatever it wants for fuel and what the market rules look like. “There is a need to investigate and understand how to bring this into competition law and into institutional competences.”
The panel also entered into the discussion on Lava Jato. Lawyer and member of the elected government’s transition team, Cristiano Zanin, said that when we talk about legal security, we are talking about a stable and predictable legal system.
“Lava Jato was anything but a stable and predictable legal system. On the contrary, we had to see a code created in Curitiba, with rules outside of what is foreseen in our Constitution and legislation.”
According to Zanin, this experience has to serve as a basis for there not to be more situations like this in Brazil. “Any investment and activities carried out by a citizen or company will always be guided by predictability, stability, and not the creation of specific rules by a particular judge or state authority,” he said.
In the opinion of Pierpaolo Botiini, a lawyer and member of the Lula government’s transition team in the area of justice and public security, when talking about the Lava Jato operation, we are talking about an abnormality. “What we had was an authoritarian application of criminal law, of criminal procedure, distortion of legislation in Curitiba, but which, somehow, was taken over by sectors of the media, by courts and caused these arbitrariness to end up having an effect devastating effect on the political and economic and business world.”
Botiini stressed that it is very important to fight corruption in Brazil, as it is known that a country with high levels of corruption does not have economic and social development and that no public policy can be made in an environment of corruption. “But the fight against corruption cannot be done through illegalities, especially in criminal law. When we talk about criminal law, and it is very important here that we discuss this, we are talking about the State against an individual.”
Source: CNN Brasil
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