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STF begins the trial to discuss action on the limits on the actions of the Armed Forces

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) will begin analyzing an action that refers to the constitutional limits for the actions of the Armed Forces and the hierarchy in relation to the Powers. The exam is carried out in the virtual plenary, and is expected to last until Friday (8).

With an action presented by the PDT party in 2020, this is how the issue reached the Supreme Court, where points of the law on the regulation of the employment of the Armed Forces are mentioned. For example, the attribution of the President of the Republic to decide on all other Powers surrounding the Armed Forces.


In the same year, Luiz Fux, who is a minister and also the rapporteur of the action, took the initiative to decide in a preliminary (provisional) manner declaring that the Armed Forces have no power to act as moderator in any possible conflicts between three Powers, Executive , Legislative and Judiciary. With this decision, Fux said that, in a federation, no Power can prevail over the others.

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No authority above the limits of the Constitution

The minister wrote that the supremacy of the President of the Republic over the Armed Forces is related to the principles of hierarchy and discipline that guide military actions. However, this does not mean that presidential authority prevails over the separation and harmony between the Powers, which sustain constitutional democracy. In this context, no authority is above others or outside the limits of the Constitution.

Brazilian Army (Photo: reproduction/Leonardo Duarte/ Secom-ES)

The backdrop to the PDT's request to the court to investigate the matter were statements by then-president Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters about a supposed constitutional provision that would allow states to request military intervention to restore order. In a video of a ministerial meeting held on April 22, 2020, released after the verdict, the President states that “it would be necessary to implement article 142 of the Constitution. Everyone wants to implement article 142 of the Constitution.”


The issue has already been decided by the STF, which ruled out the possibility of the civilian government submitting to the military. According to Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, current president of the court, “no element of interpretation – literal, historical, systematic or teleological – justifies giving article 142 of the Constitution such a meaning that the Armed Forces have a moderating hegemonic position”. stating that the armed forces have no power of control and cannot be used by the executive against other Powers.

The Armed Forces are not a conflict mediator

In a case presented in October 2023 to the Supreme Court, the AGU states that “any interpretation that authorizes the military to neutralize or mediate inter-jurisdictional conflicts must be rejected”. For the AGU, the leadership of the armed forces. The president's powers are limited to what is defined in the Constitution, and any other interference of power would be an extrapolation of this role.

Now the case returns to the Federal Supreme Court while the Federal Police investigate the alleged scam. the country's aspirations for military intervention. Bolsonaro's former advisor, Mauro Cid, states in his veto negotiations that the leadership of the Armed Forces was invited to Alvorada to discuss a bill that required the declaration of a state of siege in the country.

Featured photo: Brazilian Army Soldiers (Reproduction/Fabio Rodrigues-Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

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STF begins the trial to discuss action on the limits on the actions of the Armed Forces

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