April 11, 2012
Justice Ayres Brito, reporting judge in the case filed by the National Confederation of Brazilian Agriculture (CNA) that challenges the constitutionality of the so-called “Slave Labor Blacklist”, decided on April 10 to reject the Direct Actions of Unconstitutionality (ADI) No. 3347, with no judgment of merit, since the case has lost its “object”.
The rule called into question by the CNA and that created the so-called “Slave Labor Blacklist” (Decree No. 540/2004 of the Ministry of Labor) has been revoked and a new Inter-Ministerial Decree (Inter-Ministerial Decree No. 2 of May 12, 2011) was issued with similar content. Consequently, ADI 3347 that challenges the old decree, in Justice Ayres Brito’s opinion, has lost its object and would never be heard by the other Supreme Court justices. The reporting judge concluded that the court cannot discuss the constitutionally of a rule that no longer exists in the legal framework.
For Conectas, which was granted amicus curiae status in ADI 3347, yesterday’s decision, despite the fact that it did not address the merit of the case, is grounds for celebration, since as a result the “Slave Labor Blacklist” continues in force and with full effect.
The blacklist is a key tool for the eradication of slave labor in Brazil, since besides publicly exposing the employers involved in the exploitation of workers in conditions that are analogous to slavery, it can prevent them from obtaining credit from public financing institutions.