Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Outcome of the decision
Through a civil action brought by the Public Ministry Office, the civil, municipal Court of Brasília ordered the Instituto de Educação Superior de Brasília (Iesb) to return 9.33% of the monthly fees from March to December to students enrolled in 2020. The institute filed an appeal and alleged contractual imbalance, lack of academic prejudice, and budget shortfall. It also informed that it had applied discounts according to the student's needs. In the second instance, the Federal District Court of Justice reformed the order that had forced the granting of the discount to all students. The decision followed the precedent of the Federal Supreme Court. Applying linear discounts to university students due to the pandemic crisis and online education is unconstitutional.
Facts of the case
The Public Ministry filed a civil action against the public education institution, Instituto de Educação Superior de Brasília (Iesb). The claim argued that the institution should refund students enrolled during the 2020 academic year, the percentage of 9.33% (nine-point thirty-three percent) on the tuition paid between March and December 2020.
It did not apply to those who received rebates in an amount equal to or greater than that percentage. In the first instance, a discount was granted to the students. Subsequently, the Public Prosecutor's Office filed an appeal, which the Court heard. The Appellant claimed the absence of contractual imbalance, lack of academic loss, and drop in revenue. It also informed that it applied a 10% to 90% discount on tuition fees, according to the needs of each student.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
For the Court, in the first instance decision, the judge could not assess whether the quality of face-to-face teaching had declined with the substitution of remote teaching. The competence for issues of this type would be of the Federal Court. Additionally, it emphasized that the business risk arising from defaults and the drop in revenue directly related to COVID-19 pandemic situation could not be disregarded.
The Court applied the Federal Supreme Court decision, ADPF 713. Through this decision, STF found unconstitutional the determination to grant linear discounts to students affected by the health crisis without considering the peculiarities of both contractual parties.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Federal District Court of Justice reformed the order that had forced the granting of the discount to all students. The decision followed the precedent of the Federal Supreme Court. Applying linear discounts to university students due to the pandemic crisis and online education is unconstitutional.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
- Right to education
- Right to health (inc. right to vaccination, right to access to reproductive health)
Fundamental Right(s) instruments (constitutional provisions, international conventions and treaties)
- Right to health, Art. 6, Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988
- Right to education, Art. 6, Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
Balancing techniques and principles (proportionality, reasonableness, others)
The Court did not apply any general principle nor weighting technique.