new Misconduct Law does not retroact for res judicata

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) decided today (18) that the changes promoted in the Administrative Improbity Law last year do not retroact to reach the final and unappealable cases, that is, for which there is no possibility of appeal.

However, most ministers also understood that the new law retroacts to benefit those who still respond to the process in progress for culpable improbity, a modality that was extinguished by the new rule.

The outcome of the trial, which began on August 3, will have an impact on the candidacies of politicians who were responding to lawsuits. Despite the end of the culpable modality in the new law, judges will still be able to assess the possible commission of the act of willful misconduct, which can cause ineligibility.


The Supreme Court judged the validity of the changes that were approved by Congress in Law 14,230 of 2021 and sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro in October last year. The final text no longer provided for punishment for wrongful acts (without intent), requiring proof of intent (willful misconduct) for the conviction of public agents.

Under the Constitution, new criminal rules can be retroactive to benefit convicts in criminal actions. The defenders of retroactivity maintained that the new law defined that the conduct of improbity has the nature of a sanctioning right, that is, it must also retroact.

The case that motivated the trial deals with an action by the National Institute of Social Security (INSS) to collect compensation from a lawyer accused of causing a loss of R$ 391 thousand due to negligent performance as the body’s legal representative.

Article changed at 20:48 for clarification of information

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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