In Brazilian constitutional law, a popular action is a constitutional action which can be employed by private citizens in the interest of the public good. It can be used against state agencies which have an interest in public administration, the environment, or historical or cultural heritage, requiring the cessation of the wrongful act.
By means of this legal avenue, any citizen can act as a steward of the civil government. In order to invoke this action, three conditions must be met. First of all, the claimant must be a Brazilian citizen with full legal rights. Secondly, the act in question must be illegal and being practiced by the public agency in question. Thirdly, the act must present damages relating to the four spheres mentioned above (public administration, environment, historical or cultural heritage).
In view of the first requirement, this legal remedy is not available to legal entities. Popular actions can be taken against both public and private entities that are in some way hurting the public good in one of the four areas defined by law. Beneficiaries of wrongful acts can also be the subject of a popular action, including foreign persons or other legal entities, such as corporations.
Ricardo Tosto is an attorney in Sao Paulo practicing in a number of areas, including constitutional and electoral law. After graduating from Sao Paulo’s McKenzie Law School, Ricardo Tosto quickly passed the bar exam and embarked on a career in civil litigation.
Ricardo Tosto’s specialty areas include collections and bankruptcy law. In addition, he has a deep interest in criminal law and politics. Through years of hard work and perseverance, Ricardo Tosto’s law firm, Ricardo Tosto & Associates, has become one of the leading firms in all of Brazil.