Purpose and legal powers

In Brazil, the Legislative Branch is organized in a bicameral system, that is, it is constituted by two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate. Together, the two Houses make up the National Congress and have specific functions, established in the Federal Constitution. Their main function is the elaboration, the debate and the approval of laws. The Federal Senate consists of 81 senators: Three for each one of the 26 states and the Federal District, in an equal division. Senators are elected for an eight-year term of office.


It is exclusively the competence of the Federal Senate (Article 52 of the Federal Constitution and Constitutional Amendments No. 19/1998, 23/1999, No. 42/2003 and No. 45/2004):

•   To effect the legal proceeding and trial of the President and Vice-President of the Republic, Ministers of State, Justices of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), the Attorney-General of the Republic and the Advocate-General of the Union for crimes of malversation;

•    To give prior approval on the appointment by the President of the Republic of judges, in the cases established in this Constitution, Justices of the Federal Audit Court, Governors of territories, president and directors of the Central Bank, the Attorney-General of the Republic, heads of diplomatic missions and holders of other offices, as the law may determine;

•    To authorize foreign transactions of a financial nature, of the interest of the Union, the states, the Federal District, territories and municipalities;

•    To provide for the regulation of executive and regulatory agencies;

•    To stop the application, in full or in part, of a law declared unconstitutional by final decision of the Supreme Federal Court (Article 52 of the Federal Constitution and Constitutional Amendments No. 19/1998 and No. 23/1999).