Cassation

Article

January 26, 2022

Cassation is a punishment that denies the convict the right to hold public office and to be elected to any other office for a certain period of time.

Brazilian Constitution

The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil, in its article 55, items I, II and VI, lists the cases in which the mandate of a representative elected by the people may be revoked. Are they: Sign or maintain, since the issuance of the diploma, a contract with a legal entity governed by public law, autarchy, public company, mixed capital company or public service concessionaire, except when the contract complies with uniform clauses; Accept or exercise, also from the issuance of the diploma, a position, function or remunerated employment, including those that may be dismissed "ad nutum", in an autarchy, public company, mixed capital company or public service concessionaire; To be, from the date of inauguration, the owner, controller or director of a company that enjoys a favor deriving from a contract with a legal entity governed by public law, or to exercise a remunerated function therein; To occupy, also from the date of inauguration, a position or function that may be dismissed "ad nutum", in an autarchy, public company, mixed capital company or public service concessionaire; Sponsor, also from the date of inauguration, a cause in which an autarchy, public company, mixed capital company or public service concessionaire is interested; Be, also from the date of inauguration, holder of more than one public elective office or mandate; Proceed in a manner incompatible with parliamentary decorum; Suffering a criminal conviction in a final and unappealable sentence. Article 55 also lists the cases in which the mandate may be terminated.

Historical cases

The first senator in Brazilian history to have his mandate revoked was Luís Estêvão, on June 28, 2000, for breach of parliamentary decorum (a case listed in article 55, item II, of the Brazilian Constitution). Estêvão was directly involved with Judge Nicolau dos Santos Neto in the scheme to embezzle funds from the works of the Regional Labor Court of the State of São Paulo. The fact was repeated in 2012, this time being the target of Senator Demóstenes Torres, who had his mandate revoked on charges of breach of parliamentary decorum and of using the mandate to favor the business of the bookie Carlinhos Cachoeira. Demóstenes had his political rights contested and was ineligible for 11 years (until 2023), thus becoming the second senator impeached in the history of the Brazilian Federal Senate. A third case took place in May 2016, when Senator Delcídio do Amaral (PT-MS) was impeached for breach of parliamentary decorum - for trying to obstruct the investigation of Operation Car Wash. His political fate was sealed in the Senate after he closed a plea bargain and cited several Senate colleagues in testimony to the Public Ministry. With the decision, Delcídio lost his political rights and was ineligible for 11 years, that is, until 2027. Other Brazilian senators, such as Jader Barbalho, José Roberto Arruda, Antônio Carlos Magalhães, Magno Malta (PL/Espírito Santo), Serys Slhessarenko ( PT/Mato Grosso) and Ney Suassuna (PMDB/Paraíba) were already close to having their mandates revoked. The first three chose to resign from their mandates. The others, involved in the controversial Sanguessugas Scandal, were "saved" by Senator Wellington Salgado (PMDB/Minas Gerais), who proposed a mere verbal warning. In the Chamber of Deputies, the story is a little different. Famous and influential federal deputies, such as José Dirceu and Roberto Jefferson, involved in the well-known Mensalão Scandal, did not want to ask for resignation from their mandates and ended up being impeached by their colleagues. Valdemar Costa Neto, another influential parliamentarian (he was, at the time, president of the extinct Liberal Party and is currently

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