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Supreme Court declared the constitutionality of the Supporter Defense Statute

Thursday, February 23, 2012


By unanimous vote
, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) declared on Thursday (23) the constitutionality of the Supporter Defense Statute (Law 10.671/2003). Many of the norm provisions were questioned by the Progressive Party (PP) through a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 2937, judged totally unfounded this afternoon. The general understanding followed the vote of the president of the Court, minister Cezar Peluso, rapporteur of the case.

In the action, the party said that the Supporter Defense Statute is an affront to the constitutional principles of freedom of association, prohibition of state interference in the functioning of associations and above all, the autonomy of sport. The party said that the rule have extrapolated the constitutional limit given to the Union to legislate on sport, which is concurrent with the states and Federal District, and damages individual rights and guarantees.

Through his vote, Minister Cezar Peluso rejected all arguments of PP: "In my view they are wrong (the party)". He said that the Supporter Statute is an ordered set of rules of a general nature, with a text that meets the good legislative rule and establishes commandments of "manifest generality" that "shapes broadly based and general guidelines for the discipline of national sport" related to consumer protection.

The Minister emphasized that, by proposing the text of the Statute, the Union has exercised powers under clause 24 of Article IX of the Constitution. The device determines that the Union, states and Federal District have concurrent jurisdiction to legislate on education, culture and sport. "The law does not care about the trifles or peculiarities that might be reserved for such state concurrent jurisdiction", he said.

He stressed that the federal regulation would not achieve a minimum of social effectiveness without providing certain procedural aspects required in the regulation of sports competitions. "Laws that are not useful for anything are not what this country needs, especially in the complex issue involving the relationship between managers and sports associations", he stated.

Quoting a fragment of the opinion from the Federal Prosecutor's Office (MPF) in defense of the Statute, Minister Cezar Peluso noted that, in fact, the norm fixed principles for protection of the supporter rights, establishing instruments to guarantee the effectiveness of these principles. "While it may have inspiration in football characteristics, the most popular sport, and that moves the higher rates on the planet, the Statute is applicable to many different sports", he concluded.

The Rapporteur added that, insofar as it defines the sport as a civil right, it becomes a protected legal interest in the legal system for which the autonomy of sport is a simple instrument or means for implementation.

Finally, he said he did not find "any trace of affront" to individual rights and guarantees in the norm, as claimed by the PP. "Any bad managers, the ones who do not gain from law enforcement, must suffer the appropriate penalties, once investigated the violations and responsibilities, under the most severe respect for individual rights and guarantees provided in the Statute itself", concluded Minister Cezar Peluso.

All the Ministers present at the session followed the rapporteur. "I share the understanding that the statute is actually intended to ensure the supporter’s safe exercise of their passion. This involves making organizers accountable for their sports events", said Minister Rosa Weber.

I do not think there is any exorbitance in the law", agreed Minister Carmen Lúcia Antunes Rocha. To Minister Ayres Britto, the statute protects the supporter-consumer. "It is the duty of State to foster the practice of sport as a right for each of us, every supporter”, he stated. In the same direction voted the Ministers Luiz Fux, Dias Toffoli, Gilmar Mendes, Marco Aurelio and Celso de Mello. Ministers Ricardo Lewandowski and Joaquim Barbosa did not participated on the trial.

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