Deconstituents practices and the advance of democratic erosion in Brazil

The concern with contemporary democracies has taken over the main research agendas in the world. Although the movement of democratic decline is global, reaching both long-lasting and consolidating democracies, the effects of the crisis are stronger on young democracies as they affect the dynamics of protecting social rights, which causes structural damage. Based on this assumption, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how the Brazilian Constitution is being used by political and legal actors to promote deconstituents practices (considered as actions that de-constitutionalize rights without more refined constitutional changes) that affect fundamental rights and guarantees, with a focus on social labor rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hoped that this research can contribute to a better characterization of the reality in the face of the ongoing democratic erosion.

The National Security Law under Bolsonaro government in the Brazilian democratic backsliding

The Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil challenged the government with the adoption of measures to face the disease. One can say that President Bolsonaro is characterized by his negationist standing over the sanitary actions recommended by health authorities. This behavior led many people to criticize Bolsonaro in the media. Some reactions presented by state organs against the critics, mainly the police, was the enactment of criminal investigations based on the National Security Law (NSL), a statute approved while Brazil was under a dictatorship (1983). That situation forced a movement to replace the NSL. This paper aims to analyse how the bills presented in the Congress with this objective can improve the mechanisms to defend the Brazilian institutions without harm the fundamental rights enshrined by the 1988 Constitution. The investigation’s relevance arises from the need to replace one more authoritarian remnant in Brazilian legislation with a statute capable of strengthening democracy.

The Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil as a circumstantial limit to amendment the Constitution

The amendments are important tools in consolidating the constitutions in modern democracies and to guarantee the original text’s fundamental decisions. In Brazil, the design purpose to amend the Constitution has some limits, such as the circumstantial limitations, that prohibit to create amendments in the state of siege, state of defense and federal intervention. The Covid-19 pandemic led the government to enact officially a public calamity state, installing an exceptional situation on public sectors. Despite all this, four amendments were edited on this time. This paper intends to discuss if the public calamity state could be considered a circumstantial limit to amend the Constitution and, therefore, if the amendments edited until now are legitimate. The research is relevant to promote the debate about the limits and reach of reforming power and how to deal with the consequences of all the changes occurred at the constitutional order in an exceptional period of his history.

Authoritarian liberalism and deregulation: fundamental rights under siege in Brazil

In 1933, Hermann Heller drawn authoritarian liberalism as a political concept to, critically, combine economics liberalism and political authoritarianism, on a close connection with the schmittian qualitative strong State. Both are marked by a profound distinction between State and economics, and consequent dejuridification, deregulation and no-intervention of the State in social life, as well as a strong State military, beside the control of intellectual-political functions and mass media instruments.
Using this theoretical framework to explore current Brazilian scenario, this paper identify those traces while federal government is repealing series of legislation. Under the premise of de-bureaucratize public administration and foster economic development, this deregulation process is taking down the last decades civilizational standards such environmental protection, human rights policies and public security enforcement.