conduct adjustment agreement

Scope note

In Brazilian law, a preventative or punitive legal agreement that allows the modification of the behaviour of a private individual or a company that has committed, is committing, or is threatening to cause harm to collective rights. The tool may be used for the legal protection of assets in the areas of employment, the environment, consumer law, public property, natural goods, assets of artistic or historic value, for the protection of the urban organisation and economic life. The purpose is to find an extra-judicial solution to compensation or reparation before a dispute occurs and is brought before a judge, including in criminal matters. Under the agreement, the private individual or company acknowledges the harm to a collective interest and undertakes to eliminate the irregularity. This tool is generally associated to the investigative role of the prosecutor (but also other "legitimate public bodies", according to the terms of the Brazilian law, such as States and territorial collectivities). The agreement may provide for fines in the event of a failure to perform and, in civil matters, may operate as an enforceable title. In this context, the person liable shall be subject to court enforcement by specific performance (to adjust the behaviour) and, as the case may be, to the payment of the fines provided for.

Legal sources
  • Article 211 of the Brazilian Federal Law No. 8069 of 13 July 1990 (Child and Adolescent Statute).
  • Article 113 of the Brazilian Federal Law No. 8078 of 11 September 1990 (Code of Consumer Protection).
  • Article 5º, §6º of the Brazilian Federal Law No. 7347 of 24 July 1985 (Representative Action).
  • Article 68 and 79-A of the Brazilian Federal Law No. 9605 of 12 February 1998 (Environmental Crimes Act).
  • Superior Court of Justice, Brazil (STJ), REsp 213.947-MG, rel. Min. Ruy Rosado de Aguiar, DJ 21.02.2000.
  • STJ Brésil, REsp 802060-RS, rel. Min.  Luiz Fux, 2005.
  • STJ Brésil, REsp 443.407-SP, rel. Min. João Otávio Noronha, DJU de 25.04.2006.
  • STJ Brésil, REsp 596.764-MG, rel. Min. Antonio Carlos Ferreira, DJe 23.05.2012.
  • STJ Brésil, REsp 605343, rel. Min. Felix Fischer, DJ 17.12.04.
Bibliographic note
  • L. R. Barroso, « La protection collective des droits au Brésil et quelques aspects de la class action américaine », communication au colloque Les actions collectives : points communs et divergences des expériences américaines et européennes, Cour de cassation, 2 juin 2005, disponible sur :
  • J. S Carvalho Filho, Ação civil pública: comentários por artigo, Rio de Janeiro, Freitas Bastos, 1995.
  • P.A.L. Machado, Direito ambiental brasileiro, 21ª. ed., São Paulo, Malheiros, 2013, p. 431-434.
  • H. N. Mazzilli, O inquérito civil: investigações do ministério público: compromissos de ajustamento e audiências públicas, São Paulo, Saraiva, 1999.
  • J. R. Morato Leite, « Termo de ajustamento de conduta e compensação ecológica », in M. Buzaglo Dantas (et al.), Aspectos processuais do direito ambiental, Rio de Janeiro, Forense Universitária, 2003, p. 109-112.
  • L.A.M.G. Silva, Termo de ajuste de conduta, São Paulo, LTr, 2004.

conduct adjustment agreement

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