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Brazilian Legal Framework for Investigation, Prosecution and Trial of Corporate Crime and the Criminal Liability of Corporate Entities (From UNAFEI Resource Material Series No. 76, P 47-65, 2008, Grace Lord, ed. See NCJ-229030)

NCJ Number
Mabel Alves De Faria Correa
Date Published
December 2008
19 pages
This paper explains Brazil's law enforcement efforts against the criminal activities of corporate entities and briefly explains how the Brazilian legal system applies administrative and civil liability against corporate entities, with attention to the sanctions for such liability.
The paper first outlines the material and procedural warranties established in the 1988 Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil. Regarding procedures for obtaining evidence, the Federal Constitution makes clear that evidence obtained through illicit means must be excluded from consideration in criminal proceedings. This paper also explains the constitutional basis of the criminal liability of the legal person as well as the criminal liability of corporations for crimes against the environment. Whenever a legal entity is responsible for serious damage to the environment, it might be possible to prosecute this entity for crimes against the environment, even if the damage resulted from an individual act or omission or of cumulative acts and/or omissions committed over time. One section of the paper explains how Federal law No. 9,605 of February 12, 1998 pertains to the criminal liability of the legal person. According to this law, the liability of the legal person does not exclude the liability of the natural person. Other sections of the paper address the liability of the legal person in civil matters and administrative matters. Crimes against the economy and against consumer relations are discussed in another section. In this section, the concept of the economic criminal organization is discussed. This is an organization notable for economic crimes such as fraud, money laundering, and cartel formation linked to corruption. Money laundering and crimes against public administration are also discussed in this section. Remaining sections of the paper describe Brazil's criminal investigation and prosecution procedures in general and specifically the legal tools for investigating and processing economic crimes.