Opinion: Brazil’s “Ficha Limpa” Law and Lula

Passed in 1990, the law declares criminals convicted of certain crimes ineligible for public office for eight years after their conviction, even if they are appealing the decision.

Opinion by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Tomorrow a three-judge panel of the Federal Court of Appeals (TRF) in Porto Alegre will decide whether to confirm, modify or overturn the lower court decision by Judge Sergio Moro that convicted former President Lula of corruption.

If the panel confirms the conviction, the “Ficha Limpa” law will come into play. Passed in 1990, the law declares criminals convicted of certain crimes ineligible for public office for eight years after their conviction, even if they are appealing the decision.

Because of widespread political support for Lula’s candidacy in 2018, questions . . .

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