The majority of justices making up Brazil’s Supreme Court decided in favor of making it illegal for defendants or people under investigation to be forcibly taken before a court or police authority for questioning—a practice known in Brazilian law as condução coercitiva.
With six votes against five, the plenary session thus upholds the temporary injunction lodged in December last year by Justice Gilmar Mendes, who is spearheading the case, which banned judges from issuing such warrants with the sole aim of questioning as part of a court or police case.
The matter was brought under consideration after two motions were filed by the Workers’ Party (PT) and the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), both claiming that the practice, outlined in the country’s criminal code, is not compatible with the constitutional right to come and go.
The motions were brought months after Federal Judge Sérgio Moro authorized the condução coercitiva of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was taken to the Federal Police for questioning under Operation Car Wash.
The legal device has so far been used 227 times by the task force of Operation Car Wash in Curitiba city since the beginning of probes.