The Federal Senate
Article 52. The Federal Senate shall:
- effect the legal proceeding and trial of the President and Vice-President of the Republic for crime of malversation, and the Ministers of State and the Commanders of the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force for crimes of the same nature relating to those
- effect the legal proceeding and trial of the Justices of the Supreme Federal Court, the members of the National Council of Justice and of the National Council of the Public Prosecution, the Attorney-General of the Republic, and the Advocate-General of the Union for crimes of malversation
- give prior consent, by secret voting, after public hearing, on the selection of: a) judges, in the cases established in this Constitution; b) Justices of the Federal Audit Court appointed by the President of the Republic c) Governor of a territory; d) president and directors of the Central Bank; e) Attorney-General of the Republic; f) holders of other offices, as the law may determine;
- give prior approval, by secret voting, after closed hearing, on the selection of heads of permanent diplomatic missions;
- authorize foreign transactions of a financial nature, of the interest of the Union, the states, the Federal District, the territories and the municipalities;
- establish, as proposed by the President of the Republic, total limits for the entire amount of the consolidated debt of the Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities
- to provide for the total limits and conditions for foreign and domestic credit transactions of the Union, the states, the Federal District and the municipalities, of their autonomous Government entities and other entities controlled by the Federal Government;
- to provide for limits and conditions for the concession of a guarantee by the Union in foreign and domestic credit transactions
- to establish total limits and conditions for the entire amount of the debt of the states, the Federal District and the municipalities
- to stop the application, in full or in part, of a law declared unconstitutional by final decision of the Supreme Federal Court
- to approve, by absolute majority and by secret voting, the removal from office of the Attorney-General of the Republic before the end of his term of office
- to draw up its internal regulations
- to provide for its organization, functioning, police, creation, change or abolishment of offices, positions and functions of its services, and the introduction of a law for the establishment of their respective remuneration, taking into account the guidelines set forth in the law of budgetary directives;
- to elect the members of the Council of the Republic, as established in article 89, VII.
- to carry out a regular assessment of the functionality of the National Tax System, as regards its structure and components, as well as the performance of the tax administrations of the Union, of the States, the Federal District, and the Municipalities.
In the cases provided for in items I and II, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Federal Court shall act as President and the sentence, which may only be issued by two-thirds of the votes of the Federal Senate, shall be limited to the loss of office with disqualification to hold any public office for a period of eight years, without prejudice to other applicable judicial sanctions.
Section 5: Deputies and Senators
Article 53. Deputies and Senators enjoy civil and criminal inviolability on account of any of their opinions, words and votes.
Paragraph 1. Deputies and Senators, from the date of issuance of the certificate of election victory, shall be tried by the Supreme Federal Court.
Paragraph 2. From the date of issuance of the certificate of election victory, the members of the National Congress may not be arrested, except in flagrante delicto of a non-bailable offense. In such case, the case records shall be sent within 24 hours to the respective House, which, by the vote of the majority of its members, shall decide on the arrest.
Paragraph 3. Upon receiving an accusation against a Senator or Deputy, for an offense committed after the issuance of the certificate of election victory, the Supreme
Federal Court shall inform the respective House, which, by the initiative of a political party therein represented and by the vote of the majority of those House members, may, until such time as a final decision is issued, stay consideration of the action.
Paragraph 4. The request for stay shall be examined by the respective House within the unextendable period of forty-five days as from its receipt by the Directing Board.
Paragraph 5. The stay of proceedings shall suspend the limitation for the duration of the term of office.
Paragraph 6. Deputies and Senators shall not be compelled to render testimony on information received or given by virtue of the exercise of their mandate, nor on persons who rendered them information or received information from them.
Paragraph 7. Incorporation into the Armed Forces of Deputies and Senators, even if they hold military rank and even in time of war shall depend upon the prior granting of permission by the respective House.
Paragraph 8. The immunities of Deputies and Senators shall be maintained during a state of siege and may only be suspended by the vote of two-thirds of the members of the respective House, in the case of acts committed outside the premises of Congress, which are not compatible with the implementation of such measure.
Article 54. Deputies and Senators may not:
- after the issuance of their certificate of electoral victory:
- a) sign or maintain a contract with a public legal entity, autonomous Government agency, public company, mixed-capital company or public utility company, unless the contract is in accordance with uniform clauses
- b) accept or hold a paid office, function or position including those from which they may be dismissed ad nutum in the entities mentioned in the preceding subitem;
- after taking office:
- a) be the owners, controllers or directors of a company which enjoys benefits arising from a contract with a public legal entity or perform a remunerated position therein
- b) hold an office or function from which they may be dismissed ad nutum, in the entities mentioned in item I, a
- c) act as lawyer in a cause in which any of the entities referred to in item I, a, has an interest; d) be the holders of more than one public elective position or office.\
Article 55. A Deputy or Senator shall lose his office:
- if he violates any of the prohibitions established in the preceding article;
- if his conduct is declared incompatible with parliamentary decorum;
- if he fails to appear, in each legislative session, at one-third of the regular sessions of the House to which he belongs, except for a leave of absence or a mission authorized by the House concerned
- if his political rights have been lost or suspended
- whenever decreed by the Electoral Courts, in the cases established in this Constitution
- if he is criminally convicted by a final and unappealable sentence
Paragraph 1. Abuse of the prerogatives ensured to a Congressman or the gaining of undue advantages, in addition to the cases defined in the internal regulations, is incompatible with parliamentary decorum.
Paragraph 2. In the cases of items I, II and VI, loss of office shall be declared by the Chamber of Deputies or the Federal Senate, by secret voting and absolute majority, on the initiative of the respective Directing Board or of a political party represented in the National Congress, full defense being ensured.
Paragraph 3. In the cases set forth in items III to V, the loss shall be declared by the Directing Board of the respective House, ex officio or upon the initiative of any of its members, or of a political party represented in the National Congress, full defense being ensured.
Paragraph 4. The resignation of a Congressman submitted to a legal suit that aims at or may lead to loss of mandate, under the provisions of this article, will have its effects suspended until the final deliberations mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 3. Article 56. A Deputy or Senator shall not lose his office:
- if vested with the office of Minister of State, Governor of a territory, Secretary of a state, of the Federal District, of a territory, of a state capital or head of a temporary diplomatic mission;
- if on leave of absence from the respective House, by virtue of illness or, without remuneration, to attend to private matters, provided that, in this case, the absence does not exceed one hundred and twenty days per legislative session.
Paragraph 1. The substitute shall be called in cases of vacancy, of investiture in the functions set forth in this article or of leave of absence exceeding 120 days.
Paragraph 2. Upon the occurrence of a vacancy and there being no substitute, if more than fifteen months remain before the end of the term of office, an election shall be held to fill it.
Paragraph 3. In the event of item I, the Deputy or Senator may opt for the remuneration of the elective office.