Today, the Supreme Court is set to finish a trial it began one year ago concerning whether or not politicians should continue to enjoy legal privileges that other mortals don’t have. So far, ten of the Court’s 11 justices have voted to restrict those privileges. While a majority has already been secured, a decision can only be proclaimed after Justice Gilmar Mendes casts his own vote.
Although it would appear safe to claim that the Supreme Court could curb some of the perks of being a politician, a handful of doubts remain in the air. Here, we break them down for you:
How does parliamentary immunity work in Brazil?
Brazil’s elected officials have a prerogative of only being prosecuted and tried by the Supreme Court. While that gives them no appeals, it also means that they could be let off the hook without ever facing trial. Each Supreme Court justice is overburdened with more than 12,000 cases a year, and a criminal case usually takes multiple years before going to trial.