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Making Law MatterEnvironmental Protection and Legal Institutions in Brazil$
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Lesley K. McAllister

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758239

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758239.001.0001

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Effective Enforcement: Brazil and Beyond

Effective Enforcement: Brazil and Beyond

(p.178) 7 Effective Enforcement: Brazil and Beyond
Making Law Matter
Stanford University Press

The success of prosecutorial enforcement in Brazil has depended on having prosecutors with a relatively high level of political independence from the executive branch. In São Paulo, where state prosecutors are highly independent, environmental enforcement has become a significant area of prosecutorial work. In Pará, where the independence of state prosecutors is not well established, environmental enforcement activities remained low. Yet this same independence leads to two important challenges for the Brazilian prosecutorial enforcement model. First, the Ministério Público's work is weakened by the lack of institutionalized forms of cooperation and coordination with other enforcement actors, particularly environmental agencies. Second, the Ministério Público lacks mechanisms of accountability. Prosecutors are not adequately “answerable” and “sanctionable” for unlawful actions or omissions. This chapter discusses the effectiveness of prosecutorial enforcement, the issues of prosecutorial independence, coordination challenges, and prosecutorial accountability. It concludes by examining whether the Brazilian model can be “diffused” or “transplanted” to other developing countries.

Keywords:   prosecutorial enforcement, prosecutorial independence, accountability, public prosecutors, São Paulo, Pará, Ministério Público

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