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The Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor's Office: from Defender of Rights to Anticorruption Fighter (1988-2018)




Historical Institutionalism, Change, Incrementalism, Public Prosecutor Office, Accountability, Discretion


This article deals with the institutional change of the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) from a rights-defending institution to an anticorruption fighter. It has a twofold objective: first, empirical, is to demonstrate that the constituents did not have corruption as a relevant concern, but that, despite this, the action of the (MPF) prioritized the fight against corruption in the 2000s over other equally relevant attributions; b) second, analytical, is to analyze and discuss the incremental institutional changes after 2003 that explain the MPF as a corruption fighter. To this end, the content of official documents of the National Constituent Assembly, the results of two surveys with members of the MP, applied in 1996 and 2016, and data from the extrajudicial and judicial activities of the MPF between 2012 and 2018 are performed. It concludes that a combination of exogenous and endogenous factors facilitated institutional change, however there is an institutional model that allows greater autonomy and discretion, which, in a given context, can be used, for example, against the political system.


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How to Cite

Kerche, F., & Viegas, R. R. (2023). The Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office: from Defender of Rights to Anticorruption Fighter (1988-2018). In SciELO Preprints.


Human Sciences