by Camila Jordan and Fernanda Nogueira, Editors and Writers at Brazil Talk
[7 min read]
(This article was updated on Monday, 16th of October 2017)
On October 10th, the Senate approved the PLC 44/2016 amendment to the 9.299/2016 Law; the proposal alters the current decree that defines the Military Penal Code, from October 21st, 1969, concerning the judging process of military servants in the exercise of their duties. In layman terms, it means that crimes committed by the military in duty (under policing and “Law and Order enforcement” operations) against the lives of civilians would be judged by the Military Justice System.
As of today, Monday the 16th of October, Michel Temer, acting President of Brazil, has sanctioned the Law PLC 44/2016. The law was already published in the Diário Oficial da União, roughly translated as the Federal Official Journal of Brazil.
When it took effect in 2012, Brazil’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was seen as a revolution in the fight against secrecy and bureaucracy. Yet, albeit necessary, the law has since proved to be insufficient in ensuring transparency and accountability in the public sector. In 2014, Transparency Audit Network, an initiative based at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro, submitted over 500 electronically freedom of information requests to eight jurisdictions. Only 31 percent got full responses – a very low rate that shows governments still have a long way to go to comply with transparency regulations.