Chapter 1 Section 8

Legislative Process Icon

November 20, 2021

Subsection 1: General Provision

Article 59. The legislative process comprises the preparation of:

  1. amendments to the Constitution;
  2. supplementary laws;
  3. ordinary laws;
  4. delegated laws;
  5. provisional measures;
  6. legislative decrees;
  7. resolutions.

A supplementary law shall provide for the preparation, drafting, amendment and consolidation of laws.

SUBSection 2: Amendments to the Constitution

Article 60. The Constitution may be amended on the proposal of:

  1. at least one-third of the members of the Chamber of Deputies or of the Federal Senate;
  2. the President of the Republic;
  3. more than one half of the Legislative Assemblies of the units of the Federation, each of them expressing itself by the relative majority of its members.

Paragraph 1. The Constitution shall not be amended while federal intervention, a state of defense or a state of siege is in force.

Paragraph 2. The proposal shall be discussed and voted upon in each House of the National Congress, in two readings, and it shall be considered approved if it obtains in both readings, three-fifths of the votes of the respective members.

Paragraph 3. An amendment to the Constitution shall be promulgated by the Directing Boards of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate with its respective sequence number.

Paragraph 4. No proposal of amendment shall be considered which is aimed at abolishing:

  1. the federative form of State;
  2. the direct, secret, universal and periodic vote;
  3. the separation of the Government Powers;
  4. individual rights and guarantees. Paragraph 5. The matter dealt with in a proposal of amendment that is rejected or considered impaired shall not be the subject of another proposal in the same legislative session.

SUBSection 3: The Laws

Article 61. The initiative of supplementary and ordinary laws is within the competence of any member or committee of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate or the National Congress, the President of the Republic, the Supreme Federal Court, the Superior Courts, the Attorney-General of the Republic and the citizens, in the manner and in the cases provided for in this Constitution.

Paragraph 1. It is the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic to introduce laws that:

  1. determine or modify the number of Armed Forces troops
  2. provide for: a) creation of public offices, functions or positions in the direct administration and in autonomous Government agencies or increases in their salaries; b) administrative and judicial organization, tax and budgetary matters, public services and administrative personnel of the territories; c) government employees of the Union and Territories, their legal statute, appointment to offices, tenure and retirement; d) organization of the Public Prosecution and of the Public Legal Defense of the Union, as well as general rules for the organization of the Public Prosecution and the Public Legal Defense of the states, the Federal District and the territories; e) creation and abolishment of Ministries and Government bodies, with due regard for the provision of article 84, VI; f) military of the Armed Forces, their legal statute, appointment to offices, promotions, tenure, remuneration, retirement, and transfer to the reserve. Paragraph 2. The initiative of the people may be exercised by means of the presentation to the Chamber of Deputies of a bill of law subscribed by at least one percent of the national electorate, distributed throughout at least five states, with not less than three-tenths of one percent of the voters in each of them.

Article 62. In important and urgent cases, the President of the Republic may adopt provisional measures with the force of law and shall submit them to the National Congress immediately. (CA No. 32, 2001)

Paragraph 1. The issuance of provisional measures is forbidden when the matter involved:

  1. deals with: a) nationality, citizenship, political rights, political parties, and election law; b) criminal law, criminal procedural law, and civil procedural law; c) organization of the Judicial Branch and of the Public Prosecution, the career and guarantees of their members; d) pluriannual plans, budgetary directives, budgets, and additional and supplementary credits, with the exception of the provision mentioned in article 167, paragraph 3;
  2. aims at the detention or seizure of goods, people’s savings, or any other financial asset;
  3. is reserved for a supplementary law;
  4. has already been regulated by a bill of law passed by the National Congress which is awaiting sanction or veto by the President of the Republic.

Paragraph 2. A provisional measure to institute or increase taxes, with the exception of the taxes mentioned in articles 153, I, II, IV, V, and 154, II, shall only produce effects in the subsequent financial year if it has been converted into law before or on the last day of the financial year in which it was issued.

Paragraph 3. With the exception of the provisions mentioned in paragraphs 11 and 12, provisional measures shall lose effectiveness from the day of their issuance if they are not converted into law within a period of sixty days, which may be extended once for an identical period of time under the terms of paragraph 7, and the National Congress shall issue a legislative decree to regulate the legal relations arising therefrom. Paragraph 4. The period mentioned in paragraph 3 shall be counted from the date of publication of the provisional measure and shall be interrupted while the National Congress is in recess.

Paragraph 5. Deliberation by each House of the National Congress upon the merits of provisional measures shall depend on prior determination of their compliance with the constitutional requirements.

Paragraph 6. If a provisional measure is not examined within 45 days as of its date of publication, it shall subsequently be forwarded to urgent consideration in each House of the National Congress, and the deliberation of all other legislative matters shall be suspended in the House where it is under consideration, until such time as voting is concluded.

Paragraph 7. If the voting of a provisional measure is not concluded in both Houses of the National Congress within the period of sixty days as of its date of publication, its period of effectiveness may be extended once for an identical period of time.

Paragraph 8. The voting of provisional measures shall start in the House of Deputies.

Paragraph 9. It is incumbent upon the joint committee of Deputies and Senators to examine provisional measures and issue an opinion thereon, before they are submitted to floor action in each House of the National Congress in a separate session.

Paragraph 10. It is forbidden to reissue a provisional measure in the same legislative session in which it was rejected or lost its effectiveness due to lapse of time.

Paragraph 11. If the legislative decree mentioned in paragraph 3 is not issued within sixty days as of the date the provisional measure was rejected or lost its effectiveness, the legal relations constituted and arising from acts performed during its period of effectiveness shall still be regulated by such provisional measure.

Paragraph 12. Should a bill of law be passed that alters the original text of a provisional measure, the latter will remain effective in full until such date as the bill is sanctioned or vetoed.

Article 63. An increase in expenditure proposals shall not be admitted:

  1. in bills of the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic, except for the provisions of article 166, paragraphs 3 and 4;
  2. in bills concerning the organization of the administrative services of the Chamber of Deputies, the Federal Senate, the Federal Courts and the Public Prosecution.

Article 64. The discussion and voting of the bills of law which are the initiative of the President of the Republic, the Supreme Federal Court and of the Superior Courts shall start in the Chamber of Deputies.

Paragraph 1. The President of the Republic may request urgency in the examination of bills of his own initiative.

Paragraph 2. If, in the event of paragraph 1, the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate fail to act, each one, successively, on the proposition, within the period of 45 days, deliberation on all other legislative matters shall be suspended in the respective House, save those which must be considered within a stipulated constitutional period, in order that the voting may be concluded.

Paragraph 3. Amendments of the Federal Senate shall be examined by the Chamber of Deputies within a period of ten days, in accordance, otherwise, with the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

Paragraph 4. The periods of time referred to in paragraph 2 shall not be counted while the Congress is in recess and shall not apply to the bills of codes.

Article 65. A bill of law approved by one House shall be reviewed by the other in a single reading of discussing and voting and sent for sanctioning or promulgation, if approved by the reviewing House, or it shall be dismissed, if rejected.

If the bill is amended, it shall return to the House where it was proposed.

Article 66. The House in which voting is concluded shall send the bill of law to the President of the Republic, who, if he concurs, shall sanction it.

Paragraph 1. If the President of the Republic considers the bill of law, wholly or in part, unconstitutional or contrary to public interest, he shall veto it, wholly or in part, within fifteen work days, counted from the date of receipt and he shall, within forty-eight hours, inform the President of the Senate of the reasons of his veto.

Paragraph 2. A partial veto shall only comprise the full text of an article, paragraph, item or subitem.

Paragraph 3. After 15 days, the silence of the President of the Republic shall be considered as sanctioning.

Paragraph 4. The veto shall be examined in a joint session, within 30 days, counted from the date of receipt, and may only be rejected by the absolute majority of the Deputies and Senators, by secret voting.

Paragraph 5. If the veto is not upheld, the bill shall be sent to the President of the Republic for promulgation.

Paragraph 6. If the period of time established in paragraph 4 elapses without a decision being reached, the veto shall be included in the order of the day of the subsequent session, and all other propositions shall be suspended until its final voting.

Paragraph 7. If, in the cases of paragraphs 3 and 5, the law is not promulgated within forty-eight hours by the President of the Republic, the President of the Senate shall enact it and if the latter fails to do so within the same period, the Vice-President of the Senate shall do so.

Article 67. The matter dealt with in a rejected bill of law may only be the subject of a new bill during the same legislative session, upon proposal of the absolute majority of the members of either House of the National Congress.

Article 68. Delegated laws shall be drawn up by the President of the Republic, who shall request delegation from the National Congress.

Paragraph 1. There shall be no delegation of acts falling within the exclusive competence of the National Congress, of those within the exclusive competence of the Chamber of Deputies or the Federal Senate, of matters reserved for supplementary laws and of legislation on:

  1. the organization of the Judicial Power and of the Public Prosecution, the career and guarantees of their members;
  2. nationality, citizenship, individual, political and electoral rights;
  3. pluriannual plans, budgetary directives and budgets. Paragraph 2. The delegation to the President of the Republic shall take the form of a resolution of the National Congress, which shall specify its contents and the terms of its exercise. Paragraph 3. If the resolution calls for consideration of the bill by the National Congress, the latter shall do so in a single voting, any amendment being forbidden. Article 69. Supplementary laws shall be approved by absolute majority.

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