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Brazil's Supreme Court Upholds Amnesty for Deforestation Crimes

03/01/2018 - 10h58



On Wednesday (the 28th) the Federal Supreme Court (STF) upheld amnesty rulings for environmental crimes committed before 2008, which are provided for in the Forest Code.

In more general terms, this means that the STF upheld provisions of the law of 2012.

This was one of the main points among dozens of provisions of the Forest Code that were being questioned in five cases that came before the STF in 2012.

The Forest Code is federal legislation that regulates the use of rural properties in Brazil and was modified in the midst of major controversy in 2012.

The proceedings regarding the Forest Code at the STF began in November 2017 but had been interrupted at the request of Justice Cármen Lúcia.

Federal Law no. 12.651/12 stipulates how rivers, forests and slopes should be preserved in areas where alimentary products are being developed and cattle are being raised.

Since 1965, when it was originally created, the Forest Code has gone through many modifications.

The primary complaint from specialists relates to the specific provisions for amnesty for those responsible for deforestation up until 2008.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office (PGR) had held that the amnesty was unconstitutional, arguing that it violated the constitutional rule for protecting the environment and recovering damages.

The Government's Attorney General had held, however, that the new Forest Code's rules were constitutional and argued that "it isn't amnesty, but rather the conversion of the pecuniary fine in the provision of environmental services and only in the case that the agreed upon recuperation has been fully complied with".

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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