Brazilian Senate approves agreements for the repatriation of convicts with Morocco and Switzerland

11/Oct/2022 - Juridical -

On October 6, 2022, in plenary, the Senate approved two agreements between Brazil and other countries for the repatriation of convicts. The agreements, with Morocco and Switzerland, establish cooperation in the area of ​​criminal enforcement to allow convicts to serve their sentences in their countries of origin after the judicial proceedings have ended. The projects that deal with the instruments had already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and are going to be promulgated.

In the same session, the Plenary approved another 13 international agreements, including those on confidentiality of information, defense and air services, the opening of an OECD office in Brazil, and on tax information and registration of industrial designs.

Treaties on the transfer of Convicted Persons were signed in 2015 with the Swiss Confederation and in 2019 with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. The rapporteurs of the projects dealing with the agreements (PDLs 332/2021 and 379/2021) in the Foreign Relations Commission (CRE) were, respectively, Senators Fabiano Contarato (Rede-ES) and Nelsinho Trad (PSD-MS).

According to both texts, the request must come from the convicted person and can be presented by either of the two signatory countries. According to the agreements, the transfer will only occur if certain requirements are met: the convict must be a citizen of the country in which he will be imprisoned; the cause of conviction must be classified as a crime in the legislation of both countries; the sentence must be final; the remainder of the sentence must be at least 12 months; and the two countries must agree to the transfer.

On the part of Brazil, it will be up to the Ministry of Justice to present and receive transfer requests. In the case of Morocco, the agreement also establishes that, if there is a sentence of life imprisonment that does not exist in the country responsible for the execution, the government may deny the transfer or request the commutation (transformation) of the sentence.

Once the convict is transferred, the execution of the sentence in the sentencing State is suspended. But if the person escapes criminal execution, the country that sentenced him regains the right to have him in its territory to carry out the remainder of the sentence. On the other hand, countries will have the right to adapt the penalty to their own legislation, including the length of imprisonment.

Also under the treaty, the country where the sentence will be carried out will not be able to prosecute the person convicted again for the same crimes. The granting of grace, pardon or amnesty will have to obey the Constitution and other legal norms of the two States and have the consent of both governments. Only the sentencing State has the right to rule on any request for a review of the judgment.

Human rights
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the return of convicts to their countries of origin has humanitarian, social and economic advantages and is in line with the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, which deals with the reintegration of convicts into life in society.

Source: Agência Senado (