Case AI 745391/MG

AI 745391/MG (Attorney General of the Union v. Federal Prosecutor), Supremo Tribunal Federal [Federal Supreme Court] (2011) (Braz.).
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Country: Brazil
Region: Americas
Year: 2011
Court: Supremo Tribunal Federal [Federal Supreme Court]
Health Topics: Health care and health services, Medicines, Poverty
Human Rights: Right to health, Right to life
Tags: Access to health care, Access to medicines, Access to treatment, Budget

The Brazilian Federal Government filed an interlocutory appeal with the Supreme Court against the decision of the lower court, the Federal Court of the 1st Region (Tribunal Regional Federal da 1ª Região), to dismiss the extraordinary appeal filed to challenge the court’s decision recognizing the legitimacy of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office to propose a public civil action aimed at ensuring the supply of medication to those in financial need. The lower court considered the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office as a legitimate institution for defending individual rights when these rights have repercussions on the fundamental human right to health and life.

The Court denied the extraordinary appeal, holding that the Federal Public Prosecutors' Office was acting within the scope of its powers, in accordance to article 127 of the Constitution, which granted the Prosecutor the authority to defend "inalienable social and individual interests, such as to ensure the supply of medicines for the disadvantaged." The Supreme Court relied on holdings from the Court and the Superior Court of Justice in similar cases, recognizing the legitimacy of the Federal Public Prosecutors' Office to file public civil actions in defense of those in financial need.

"- O Ministério Público está legitimado a defender direitos individuais homogêneos indisponíveis, quando tais direitos têm repercussão nos direitos humanos fundamentais da saúde e da vida das pessoas."

"The Public Department is responsible for defending the inalienable and equal individual rights, when such rights have repercussions in the people’s fundamental human rights to health and to life."

"1. A Constituição do Brasil, em seu artigo 127, confere expressamente ao Ministério Público poderes para agir em defesa de interesses sociais e individuais indisponíveis, como no caso de garantir o fornecimento de medicamentos a hipossuficiente."

"1. The Brazilian Constitution, in its article 127, expressly confers on the Public Department the power to act in defense of the inalienable public and individual interests, as in the case of providing medication to the person in need."