Brazil’s Supreme Court confirmed an injunction ordering the Senate to launch a congressional hearings committee investigating the federal government’s pandemic response. In a speedy vote intended to avoid further confrontations with lawmakers, the court ratified the decision without analyzing additional aspects, such as whether the hearings may take place remotely.
Justice Luís Roberto Barroso — who issued the initial order to launch the investigation — said that how the hearings will take place will be up to the Senate, “whether it be by videoconference, in-person, or partly in-person.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco indicated he may approve an in-person hearings committee. However, according to The Brazilian Report‘s sources, he is wary of committing to the decision after the high number of Covid-19 cases in the Senate, and Senator Major Olimpio’s death last month.
A compromise would by carrying out the investigation in a hybrid capacity, with some in-person meetings and others held via videoconferences. In an attempt to block the hearings committee, government allies argue that meetings cannot be held remotely due to network security fears. However, the National Council of Justice regulated remote interrogations and other legal processes during the pandemic period.