Justice Innovations in the Fight Against Crime

The continuous growth of the phenomenon of crime in our country has been causing great concern to all agents of the State who in some way act in the system of criminal repression, mainly due to the inefficiency that the Public Power itself has been demonstrating in combating this problem and mitigating the enormous degree of anguish lived by the whole society that assists perplexed to the escalation of the crime to the detriment of the law and the social peace.

 

Obviously, this is an extremely complex issue

an extremely complex issue

The solution of which will not be achieved by any sector in isolation, nor the implementation of plans prepared in a hurry to satisfy public opinion in the face of extreme episodes that, unfortunately, become more common.

It is necessary to devise long-term strategies, unrelated to electoral interests and political disputes, which act not only in repression but also in crime prevention, and to bring together, in a coordinated and efficient manner, all sectors of the State related to the fight against crime.

 

With respect to the role of the Judiciary in this context

role of the Judiciary

One must bear in mind the distinction between observance of procedural guarantees and the implementation of public policies of general action, inherent to each State Power. In other words, in spite of the observance of constitutional principles in the performance of the judicial-repressive activity (impartiality, inertia, presumption of innocence), the Judiciary can and should establish general policies to improve judiciary as an active and efficient instrument combat crime , abandoning the traditional attitude of passivity and inertia that, in the last analysis, characterizes an unjustifiable omission of Justice as an essential Function of the State.

Following this line of thought, we seek to adopt at the forefront of the Federal Courts of Justice of the Second Region (Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo) some measures and projects that are intended to make judicial activity more agile, effective and efficient in provision of criminal jurisdiction and criminal prosecution, acting in the restricted field of improvement of procedures and structural organization of judicial bodies, independent of lengthy legislative changes or governmental policies that imply new budgetary expenditures.

The first example of this policy concerns the custody and management of property seized in criminal proceedings.

The most recent studies on the phenomenon of crime show, criminal activities have been generating for their agents increasing amounts of financial resources that end up fueling and increasing such activities, while on the other hand, the Government has great difficulty to allocate the necessary resources to their repression, especially in countries subject to strict fiscal austerity rules such as Brazil.

In this context, it seems unjustifiable how the vast array of assets (real estate, cash, weapons, vehicles, computer equipment, etc.) has been historically administered and used. In fact, there is currently no systematic control over these goods in Brazil which, as a rule, is subject to deterioration or misuse.

 

Unprecedented project

Unprecedented project

In view of this situation, an unprecedented project was created in the creation of a unified register of assets seized in criminal proceedings that will allow, in addition to the registration of these assets in a computerized system, prompt identification and monitoring of essential information, such as, for example, the respective custodian and the final destination (or absence thereof) of the seized property.

To illustrate the importance of this project, only assets with a total value of more than R $ 4 million were registered with the 5th Federal Criminal Court / RJ (where it was implemented in a pilot role). Taking into account that only 10% of the total collection of lawsuits has been analyzed so far, and that there are only 8 Federal Courts with criminal jurisdiction in the city of Rio de Janeiro, it concludes without greater difficulties than the amount of seized assets, only with the Federal Court of the Capital / RJ, amounts to an estimated amount of millions of Reais.

If a national estimate is made, including the State Court, it does not seem exaggerated to say that the amount of resources that remain remains judicial custody far exceeds the resources allocated in the federal and state budgets for the acquisition of goods and equipment used in criminal repression.

Although the use of these assets by the public service suffers some legal and procedural limitations, it is unquestionable to keep them under effective supervision and adequate custody of the State to enable the practical application of the concept already established at the constitutional level 243 of the Federal Constitution) and legal (Law No. 10,409 / 2003) that assets seized from crime must be used, for the benefit of society, in combating crime itself.

Another line of action carried out by the Federal Court in the 2nd Region concerns the adoption of the most modern technological instruments, especially in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčinformation technology, for the more efficient and expeditious performance of criminal procedures. The implementation of the system of audiovisual recording, in digital media, of the hearings and testimonies rendered in court is a good example of this position.

Using equipment of relatively low cost (and whose purchase price is quickly compensated by the generated economy of paper, load for printers and other equipment), this system was installed in a pilot character next to the 2nd Federal Criminal Court / RJ having attained excellent results , among which the reduction of the average time of the audiences by two thirds is outstanding; the decongestion of the hearing guidelines, allowing a faster process of proceedings; and the greater fidelity of the testimonies brought to the process, which remain recorded on cd-rom, taking to the extreme the principle of real truth in the criminal process.

 

Finally

crime

A third innovation adopted by the Federal Court of the 2nd Region (following the policy laid down by the Superior Court of Justice and the Federal Council of Justice) is the installation of Criminal Courts specialized competent to prosecute and try money laundering crimes and crimes against the national financial system in both sections that make up the judicial Region 2 (Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo).

In the case of crimes of an extremely complex nature and a high degree of sophistication, specialization allows greater efficiency in the repression of such a delinquent modality that, in the final analysis, serves the support for the most varied criminal activities, including those of greater to the community, among which are illicit drug trafficking, corruption in the public sector and illegal arms sales, whose fight must be prioritized.

These are, therefore, some projects and experiences that have been developed in the Federal Court of the 2 nd Region, following the policy of making Justice active and efficient in the fight against crime, assuming in the part that it is responsible for the solution of this serious scourge that afflicts our society more and more.

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