Strong Rights, Weak Remedies, and the Hollow Hope: Covid-19, Social Marginalization, and the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil

Anuscheh Farahat, Marius Hildebrand, and Teresa Violante (eds.). Solidarity in Crisis: How Law Shapes Critical Transformations of Our Times, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2023

See all articles by Daniel Wang

Daniel Wang

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo

Date Written: April 7, 2023

Abstract

Indigenous peoples, favela communities and the prison population are some of the most marginalized groups in Brazil. The Covid-19 pandemic made their vulnerability even more salient. Moreover, the then President Jair Bolsonaro has often shown his disregard for the rights of these groups. In response to this context, there have been attempts to protect these groups during the pandemic through structural litigation at the Brazil Supreme Court (STF). This paper will analyse the STF´s decisions in these cases focusing on three dimensions: the strength of the rights involved, of the remedies ordered, and of the monitoring of compliance. It concludes that, although the STF articulated the language of rights to reaffirm the solidaristic commitments in the Constitution, the court intervention was unable to promote timely material change. In the same way that transformative constitutions can coexist with high levels of marginalization, eloquent and innovative court rulings can also coexist with a largely undisturbed status quo for marginalized sectors of the population.

Suggested Citation

Wang, Daniel, Strong Rights, Weak Remedies, and the Hollow Hope: Covid-19, Social Marginalization, and the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil (April 7, 2023). Anuscheh Farahat, Marius Hildebrand, and Teresa Violante (eds.). Solidarity in Crisis: How Law Shapes Critical Transformations of Our Times, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4412519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4412519

Daniel Wang (Contact Author)

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School at São Paulo ( email )

São Paulo
Brazil

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