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Military Justice



As a reminiscence of the recent military period, Brazil still has a Military Justice.
The Military Justice is mentioned by articles 122 to 124 of the Constitution.

History registers that, during the dictatorship period (1964-1985), militaries committed excesses, such as torturing political prisoners. Then, it was in the interest of the Generals who ruled the country to create an specific Justice, where militaries would be trialed under "specific" rules.
The dictatorship is gone, but the Militaries had still power in 1988 (when the Constitution was voted) to maintain an specific Justice. The militaries feared that, if trialed by civilian courts, there could be cases of vendeta against soldiers and officials.

Brazil is a peaceful country, so, cases of crimes in the Armed Forces are rare.
However, cases of misconduct among the Military Police (which are under jurisdiction of each State) are very common). Many cases of, e.g., a soldier killing a suspect "by accident" were sent to the Military Justice, and corporativism, whether little or much, had influence in the sentences. Also, another rather usual situation was that in which a military alleged that a crime had been commited with a military weapon, and as such it should be trialed by the Military Justice.
In 2004, Constitutional Amendment 45 changed that situation. Article 125 of the Constitution now states that, except for cases specifically defined by law as military crimes, all crimes commited by militaries against civilians are now competence of the State Justice.

Official site: Superior Military Court.


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