Federal government of Brazil

The Federal Government of Brazil is the national government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, a republic in South America divided in 26 states and a federal district. The Brazilian federal government is divided in three branches: the executive, which is headed by the President and the cabinet; the legislative, whose powers are vested by the Constitution in the National Congress; and the judiciary, whose powers are vested in the Supreme Federal Court and lower federal courts. The seat of the federal government is located in Brasília. This has led to "Brasília" commonly being used as a metonym for the federal government of Brazil.

Federal Government of Brazil
Governo Federal do Brasil
National Seal of Brazil (color)
Seal of the Government
Founding documentConstitution of Brazil
JurisdictionFederative Republic of Brazil
Legislative branch
LegislatureNational Congress
Meeting placePalácio Nereu Ramos
Executive branch
LeaderPresident of Brazil
HeadquartersPalácio do Planalto
Main organCabinet
Judicial branch
CourtSupreme Federal Court

Division of powers

Brazil is a federal presidential constitutional republic, which is based on a representative democracy. The federal government has three independent branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of Brazil. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of Brazil and the federal government. It provides the framework for the organization of the Brazilian government and for the relationship of the federal government to the states, to citizens, and to all people within Brazil.

Executive power is exercised by the executive, headed by the President, advised by a Cabinet of Ministers. The President is both the head of state and the head of government. Legislative power is vested upon the National Congress, a two-chamber legislature comprising the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Judicial power is exercised by the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Federal Court, the Superior Court of Justice and other Superior Courts, the National Justice Council and the regional federal courts.

Executive branch

Palacio do Planalto.jpeg
Palácio do Planalto, headquarters of the Executive Branch of the Brazilian Government
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President of the Republic Jair Bolsonaro Social Liberal Party 1 January 2019
Vice-President of the Republic Hamilton Mourão Brazilian Labour Renewal Party 1 January 2019

Legislative branch

The bicameral National Congress (Congresso Nacional) consists of

  1. The Federal Senate (Senado Federal), which has 81 seats — three members from each States and the Federal District, elected according to the principle of majority to serve eight-year terms. One-third are elected after a four-year period, and two-thirds are elected after the next four-year period; and
  2. The Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados), which has 513 seats. Federal deputies are elected by proportional representation to serve four-year terms.

There are no limits on the number of terms one may serve for either chamber. The seats are allotted proportionally to each state's population, but each state is eligible for a minimum of eight seats and a maximum of 70 seats. The result is a system weighted in favor of smaller states that are part of the Brazilian federation.

Currently, 15 political parties are represented in Congress. Since it is common for politicians to switch parties, the proportion of congressional seats held by particular parties changes regularly. To avoid that, the Supreme Federal Court ruled in 2007 that the term belongs to the parties, and not to the representatives.

Brasilia Congresso Nacional 05 2007 221

The National Congress building

Judicial branch

Brazilian courts function under civil law adversarial system. The Judicial branch is organized in states' and federal systems with different jurisdictions.

The judges of the courts of first instance take office after public competitive examination. The second instance judges are promoted among the first instance judges. The Justices of the superior courts are appointed by the President for life and approved by the Senate. All the judges and justices must be graduated in law. Brazilian judges must retire at the age of 70.

Federal judicial branch

STJ visto do TST 02
Superior Court of Justice

The national territory is divided into five Regions, which are composed of two or more states. Each region is divided in Judiciary Sections (Seções Judiciárias in Portuguese), coterminous with the territory of each state, and subdivided in Judiciary Subsections (Subseções Judiciárias), each with a territory that may not correspond to the states' comarcas.

The Judiciary subsections have federal courts of first instance and each Region has a Federal Regional Tribunal (Tribunal Regional Federal) as a court of second instance.

There are special federal court systems, such as Labour Court (Justiça do Trabalho) for labor or employment-related matters and disputes, Election Justice (Justiça Eleitoral) for electoral matters, and Military Justice (Justiça Militar) for martial criminal cases, each of them with its own courts.

Superior Courts

There are two national superior courts that grant writs of certiorari in civil and criminal cases: the Superior Justice Tribunal (Superior Tribunal de Justiça, STJ) and the federal supreme court, called the Supreme Federal Court (Portuguese: Supremo Tribunal Federal).

The STJ grants a Special Appeal (Recurso Especial) when a judgement of a court of second instance offends a federal statute disposition or when two or more second instance courts make different rulings on the same federal statute. There are parallel courts for labor law, electoral law and military law.

The STF grants Extraordinary Appeals (Recurso Extraordinário) when judgments of second instance courts violate the constitution. The STF is the last instance for the writ of habeas corpus and for reviews of judgments from the STJ.

The superior courts do not analyze any factual questions in their judgments, but only the application of the law and the constitution. Facts and evidences are judged by the courts of second instance, except in specific cases such as writs of habeas corpus.

See also

External links

Attorney General of Brazil

The Attorney General of the Union, (or Solicitor General, (Portuguese: Advogado-Geral da União, AGU) is a cabinet-level position in the Brazilian government charged with advising the Executive Branch and representing the federal government of Brazil in legal proceedings [legally known as the Union (União)]. The Attorney General is defined under Article 131 of the Brazilian Constitution as one of the essential functions of Brazilian judicial administration, along with the roles performed by the judicial branch, the Prosecutor's office, the public defenders and private lawyers. The current Attorney General is Grace Mendonça.The Attorney General of the Union is appointed by the President of Brazil and confirmed by the Senate. Under the constitution, the Attorney General must be at least 35 years old. All Attorneys General within the Office must be bar members in Brazil. The Attorney General of the Union is a member of the Brazilian cabinet, holds the rank of Minister, and is also the head of the Advocacia-Geral da União (AGU), which is an essential function and branch of the federal government formed by its own Federal Prosecutors.

The Federal Prosecutors who compose the AGU are divided in four careers: the National Treasury Prosecutors (Procuradores da Fazenda Nacional), who represent the federal government in financial issues; the Union Attorneys (Advogados da União), who represent the government through general cases, the Federal Prosecutors (Procuradores Federais), who represent the federal agencies; and Brazilian Central Bank Prosecutors (Procuradores do Banco Central). Their functions are not limited to the Judiciary, and they are also responsible for inside legal control of the government and international legal representation of the Republic.

Avança Brasil

The Avança Brasil (Advance Brazil) was a federal infrastructure program under the Cardoso administration. The program had an estimated budget of $43 billion and was planned to be implemented from 2000-2020. The program was replaced by the Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (Growth Acceleration Program) under the Lula da Silva and Rousseff administrations.

Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet

Brazilian Civil Rights Framework for the Internet (in Portuguese: Marco Civil da Internet, officially Law No 12.965) is the law that governs the use of the Internet in Brazil, through forecasting principles, guarantees, rights and duties to those who use the network as well as the determination of guidelines for state action.

The draft bill was approved by the Brazilian Congress Câmara dos Deputados on March 25, 2014 and was submitted to the Senado Federal. The Marco Civil was approved by the Senado Federal on April 22, 2014 and sanctioned by president Dilma Rousseff on April 23, 2014, at the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance.

Cabinet of Brazil

The Cabinet of Brazil (Portuguese: Gabinete Ministerial do Brasil) is composed of the Ministers of State and senior advisors of the executive branch of the federal government of Brazil. Cabinet officers are appointed and dismissed by the President. There are currently twenty-two Ministries, including six Ministry-level offices: the Chief of Staff, Secretary of Government, General-Secretary of the Presidency, Institutional Security, Attorney General, and President of the Central Bank.

Constitution of Brazil

The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil) is the supreme law of Brazil. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of Brazil and the federal government of Brazil. It provides the framework for the organization of the Brazilian government and for the relationship of the federal government to the states, to citizens, and to all people within Brazil.


Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos (English: Brazilian Post and Telegraph Corporation), abbreviated as ECT, also known as Correios, is a state-owned company that operates the national postal service of Brazil since the seventeenth century.The company created and manages the Brazilian postal code system known as Código de Endereçamento Postal. It also provides e-commerce platform (CorreiosNet Shopping), banking (Banco Postal) acting as proxy of Banco do Brasil, Boleto bill payment collection and express mail service Sedex, with its international service network reaching more than 220 countries worldwide. It is the largest employer in Brazil with more than 109,000 own employees and outsourced, being the only company to be present in all municipalities in the country, with a wide network of owned and franchised units. The company is fully owned by the Federal Government of Brazil and subordinated to the Ministry of Communications.

Diário Oficial da União

The Diário Oficial da União, abbreviated DOU, is the official journal of the federal government of Brazil. It is published since 1 October 1862 and was created via the imperial decree 1.177, of September 9 of the same year. It is published by the Brazilian National Press.

Though the journal is published since 1862, it had many predecessors, as follows:

Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro (10/9/1808 - 29.12.1821)

Gazeta do Rio (1/1/1822 - 31/12/1822)

Diário do Governo (2/1/1823 - 28/6/1833)

Diário Fluminense (21/5/1824 - 24/4/1831)

Correio Oficial (1/7/1833 - 30/6/1836) e (2/1/1830 - 30/12/1840)

Sem jornal próprio (31/12/1840 - 30/8/1846)

Gazeta Oficial do Império do Brasil (1/9/1846 - 31/7/1848)

Diário do Rio de Janeiro (1/6/1821 - 30/10/1878) - it published government material from 2/1/1841 - 30/8/1846 and from 1848 - 1862

Diário Oficial (16/11 - 28/11/1889)

Diário Oficial da República dos Estados Unidos do Brasil (24/11/1889 - 31/12/1891)

Diário Oficial - 1/1/1892 - current one

Federal District (Brazil)

The Federal District (Portuguese: Distrito Federal [dʒisˈtɾitu fedeˈɾaw]) is one of 27 federative units of Brazil. Located in the Central Plateau of the Brazilian Highlands, the Federal District is divided into 31 administrative regions, and contains the Brazilian capital city, Brasília, which is also the seat of the three branches of the federal government of Brazil (executive, legislative and judiciary).

Federal University of Santa Maria

The Federal University of Santa Maria (Portuguese: Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, UFSM) is a Brazilian public university located in Santa Maria, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, funded by the federal government of Brazil. It was founded in 1960, by Professor José Mariano da Rocha Filho. Its campuses span over 1,837.72 ha, with a total of 386,968 m² of buildings and 28,307 students.

UFSM's presence in the municipality of Santa Maria is one of the reasons why the city is sometimes called "university city" or "culture city". It is located in western Rio Grande do Sul, approximately 290 km far from the capital city of the state, Porto Alegre, thus being set in the heart of the pampas of Brazil.

As a public university, students do not pay tuition fees. It is the oldest federal university not located in a Brazilian state capital city, and the largest in number of undergraduate courses offered in Rio Grande do Sul state. As for 2015, the university was ranked at position 15 at national ranking from MEC.

Institutional Security Office of Brazil

The Institutional Security Cabinet (Portuguese: Gabinete de Segurança Institucional da Presidência da República, GSI) is an executive cabinet office of the federal government of Brazil responsible for the direct and immediate assistance to the President on matters of national security and defense policy. It is currently headed by Army General Augusto Heleno.

Luz para Todos

Luz para Todos ("Light for All") is a program of the Federal Government of Brazil, launched in November 2003, with a goal of bringing electricity to more than 10 million rural people by the year 2008. It was initiated by Dilma Rousseff, then Minister of Mines and Energy of Brazil, operated by the large power utility company Eletrobras, and executed by electricity concessionaires and cooperatives.The project promotes renewable energy as the most practical solution in remote areas. To encourage utilizing that kind of energy, the federal government pays up to 85% of the costs for renewable energy projects in those areas.During the program execution, more families without power at home were located, and the program was extended to be completed in 2010.

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development

The Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Portuguese: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) is an organization of the Brazilian federal government under the Ministry of Science and Technology, dedicated to the promotion of scientific and technological research and to the formation of human resources for research in the country.

National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage

The National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (Portuguese: Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, IPHAN) is a heritage register of the federal government of Brazil. It is responsible for the preservation of buildings, monuments, structures, objects and sites deemed of historic or cultural importance to the country. It currently holds 1,047 sites.

Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento

The Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (Growth Acceleration Program), better known as PAC, is a major infrastructure program of the Federal government of Brazil. The program was launched on January 28, 2007, by the Lula da Silva administration, consisting of a set of economic policies and investment projects with the objective of accelerating economic growth in Brazil. The program had a budget of $503.9 billion reais for the 2007-2010 quadriennium. The Rousseff administration has continued the program under the name PAC-2.

State University of Maringá

The State University of Maringá (Portuguese: Universidade Estadual de Maringá, UEM) is a public university whose main campus is in Maringá, Paraná, Brazil. It was founded in 1970 and recognized in 1976 by the Federal Government of Brazil. Its academic population is estimated in 18,000 people among professors, undergraduates, graduate students and manager technicals.

UEM has 48 undergraduate courses and about 25 graduate programs. The university has 5 campuses in Maringá, Goioere, Cianorte, Cidade Gaúcha and Umuarama, all cities located in Paraná state.

State University of Western Paraná

The Western Paraná State University (Portuguese: Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná, UNIOESTE) is one of the public universities of the State of Paraná, Brazil.

Was created in 1988 and recognized in 1994 by the Federal Government of Brazil. UNIOESTE has 55 undergraduate courses and about 24 graduate programs. Based in the city of Cascavel, and campuses in the following cities: Foz do Iguaçu, Francisco Beltrão, Marechal Cândido Rondon and Toledo, all cities located in Paraná State, Brazil.

Superintendência do Desenvolvimento da Amazônia

Superintendência do Desenvolvimento da Amazônia (SUDAM; English: Superintendency of Development for the Amazon) is a local authority of the federal government of Brazil aiming to promote the development of the Amazon region by creating special financial and tax incentives.

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