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Judicial populism in Brazil: an investigation on the use of populist rhetoric by STF in criminal rulings against members of Congress

Grant number: 19/23465-5
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2021 - December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law
Principal Investigator:Rafael Mafei Rabelo Queiroz
Grantee:Rafael Mafei Rabelo Queiroz
Host Institution: Faculdade de Direito (FD). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The proposed research aims to investigate the existence of judicial populism in Brazil. By judicial populism, we mean an extreme form of judicial activism that employs elements of populist rhetoric to break the limits of legal texts and its own jurisprudence, with the objective of investing against the legitimacy of agents of the other powers of the State. Identifying elements of populist rhetoric in contemporary literature dedicated to it, in authors such as Mudde, Rovira Kaltwasser, Müller, Pappas and Weyland, the research proposes to (i) adjust these elements to the rhetoric of judicial motivation and, from there (ii) conduct extensive investigation in the criminal jurisprudence of the STF to catalog in database and critically evaluate its results. The object of the research will be cases of criminal jurisdiction originating from the STF and others related to them (see explanation in the item "Methodology" below), judged between 2003 and 2019 by the Full Court. For the literature review on populist rhetoric, the method of structural philosophical reading will be used; for the research of jurisprudence, the qualitative reading of the judged and their cataloguing in database built after preliminary exploratory research on a reduced set of judged. The proposed research will result in at least two publishable articles, one of which will be published in an international journal. (AU)

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