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A decade of public hearings in the Supreme Federal Tribunal (2007-2017)

Abstract

The present article offers an assessment of the last 10 years of public hearings in the Brazilian Supreme Federal Tribunal. It is argued that, during this period, the institute has been employed in an incoherent and inconsistent manner. The incoherency refers especially to the attempt to attribute the function of democratic legitimacy to the institute of public hearings. This association between public hearings and democracy can be criticized on the basis of normative reasons, with respect to the positive law, and conceptual reasons. On the other hand, the inconsistency refers to the unstandardized operationalization of the institute. This second conclusion will be argued with the help of a set of mostly quantitative analysis.

Keywords:
public hearings; judicial review; democratic legitimacy; epistemic justification; scientific knowledge

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