Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Amicus brief filed in Supreme Court of Brazil

Conectas Direitos Humanos, a Brazilian human rights nongovernmental organization; the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School; international human rights attorney Masha Lisitsyna; and the Editor have filed this brief as amici curiae brief with the Supreme Court of Brazil. The amici explain that a 2017 amendment to the Brazilian Military Penal Code is unconstitutional because the intentional killing of civilians by military personnel must be tried in ordinary, civilian courts:

  • The Brazilian Military Justice System is not independent or impartial because judges are not insulated from the military hierarchy, which contributes to impunity for human rights violations
    • Brazilian military investigators are not competent to investigate human rights violations

    • Because their judges generally are active-duty members of the military, Brazilian military courts are not impartial
  • Brazil's military court system lacks jurisdiction over intentional killing of civilians by military personnel because military courts have a limited and exceptional jurisdiction that does not include the prosecution of human rights violations
    • International and regional human rights standards limit the scope of military jurisdiction to crimes of a purely military nature committed by military personnel
    • Human right violations are excluded from military jurisdiction because, by definition, they are not crimes of a purely military nature

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