On Wednesday (13/12), Justice and Public Security Minister Flávio Dino was approved by the Senate to become a Supreme Court (STF) minister. The Dino was one of Lula’s most popular ministers, although also polemic, known for many debates with members of the political opposition. His accession into the STF was seen by many as a political move to reinforce the courts power amid a campaign against the court promoted by powerful groups from the Congress interested in limiting the judges’ power, particularly to carry monocratic decisions.
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Now, the Court will once again have a full composition, with 11 ministers. He will take over the chair held until October this year by minister Rosa Weber, who retired.
Ministers Appointed by Lula
Flávio Dino is President Lula’s second appointment to the Federal Supreme Court in his third term, which began in January this year. When Dino is sworn into the Court, Lula will have four magistrates chosen by him to work in the court. However, if those appointed by Dilma Rousseff are also taken into consideration, presidents elected by the Workers’ Party (PT) have appointed seven judges that are now in the court.
Two other appointments were made by former president Jair Bolsonaro. Former presidents Michel Temer and Fernando Henrique Cardoso each have one each.
The Role as Minister of Justice and Public Security
Dino’s performance at the head of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP), has been the subject of much controversy, mainly due to his role in the acts of 8 January.
For instance, the Workers’ Party members connected with public security activity criticize his management, among other things, for the use of the Armed Forces in Rio de Janeiro via the Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO), considered a typical measure of conservative governments.
For experts, like PUC-MG Professor Luis Flavio Sapori, it frustrated the expectations of many who expected a true “revolution” in national public security policy. Many expected the formulation and implementation of a strategic plan for medium and long-term crime control. However, during his mandate, Dino responded to a series of emergencies, something which he accomplished competently, according to Sapori.
Dino managed the numerous public security crises that erupted throughout the year. In the first half of 2023, for example, the attack against the Three Powers Plaza, which exposed an intelligence failure. Later, there were serious massacres occurred in schools, an issue with which the Minister got involved and released measures to mitigate the problem. There were also security crises in Rio Grande do Norte, Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. The ministry cooperated with the state governments to confront the drug trafficking gangs and the militias.
In terms of regulations, the civil polices and military polices organic laws were published. In addition, most of the 40 new regulations easing civilian access to firearms adopted by the former government were revoked.
Specific operations to repress environmental crimes in the Amazon were carried out as well.
Nonetheless, by responding to all these emergencies, Dino did not develop a strategic legacy. In this sense, his main failure was to ignore the implementation of the Unified Public Security System (SUSP), as established by Federal Law 13,675, of June 2018. The SUSP would enable the national governance of public crime control policy, articulating the efforts of the Union , States and Municipalities. Furthermore, it would establish institutional mechanisms of cooperation between the various state and federal police organizations, including municipal guards and criminal police. Experts believe that through the implementation of SUSP that Brazil will have the real opportunity to consolidate a public security policy that transcends the succession of governments.