Brazil

PSB et al. v. Brazil (on deforestation and human rights)

Jurisdiction: Federal Supreme Court


Principle law(s): Plan to Control Illegal Deforestation and Recovery of Native Vegetation (PPCDAm)


Side A: Partido Socialista Brasileiro and six others (Individual)


Side B: Brazil (Government)


Core objectives:

Whether Brazil's failure to curb deforestation and resulting climate change violates fundamental constitutional rights of indigenous peoples and current and future generations.


Summary
On November 11, 2020, seven political parties in Brazil (Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB) and six others) brought an action against the federal government for violating fundamental constitutional rights by failing to implement the national deforestation policy, and thereby contributing to dangerous climate change. The political parties, organized by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), allege that by failing to implement Brazil's Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAm), the federal government violated the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples and present and future generations. 

The suit demands that the federal government and its bodies implement the PPCDAm and suggests the Court set benchmarks for compliance including: meet an 80% deforestation rate reduction relative to the 1996-2005 average by 2021, enact a temporary moratorium on all deforestation until 2022 if that rate cannot be reached by 2021, and increase the power of federal authorities to set penalties for illegal deforestation. 

The coalition of NGOs organized the lawsuit and compiled evidence of the government's suspended enforcement of the PPDCAm. According to the NGOs, Brazil saw a 34% increase in the Amazon deforestation rate between 2018 and 2019. Due to procedural requirements for such an action alleging the violation of a fundamental constitutional right, heard directly at the Supreme Court, the NGOs organized seven political parties to bring the case.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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