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The Journal of Administrative Law and Infrastructure – RDAI – has been conceived to deepen the studies about Administrative Law, with emphasis on the field of infrastructure. RDAI takes a normative perspective of the legal phenomenon: it considers Law as a set of rules, valid within a certain territory. The norms and rules in force within the Brazilian territory, i.e., the Brazilian Law, are the central object of the Journal. In addition, its fundamental theoretical premise is that such a set of rules comprises a system with unity, completeness, and consistency and which has a hierarchical structure, with the constitutional norm at its apex. Therefore, any incompatibility between a hierarchically inferior norm and the higher constitutional norm renders the first void. The Journal considers that it is possible to develop a scientific study of this normative system, to determine: (a) which norms comprise the normative system; (b) what the meaning and scope of those norms are; (c) which of such norms are invalid due to an incompatibility with higher norms.
RDAI also takes a modern constitutional perspective, according to which the normative system establishes an objective order of values, binding on all operators of the Law. Last, but not least, RDAI also departs from a concrete-based premise in the sense that all normative interpretation is conditioned by the reality before which the rule will be applied. Departing from such premises and keeping the possibility of a scientific analysis of Law – whose main mission is to identify the existing norms, determine their content and reach, and identify which norms are valid – as its guiding principle, RDAI seeks to contribute to the advancement of the Science of the Brazilian Administrative Law. As a consequence of its primary mission, RDAI aims at contributing to disseminate a correct understanding of the norms that comprise Administrative Law and, in doing so, to improve the relations between the Public Administration and those subject to it.
RDAI also departs from an ethical-constructionist perspective, in the sense that such correct interpretation, to be revealed by the Science of Law, stems from the juxtaposition of ideas, in a constant debate among scholars dedicated to the subject. With this in mind, RDAI adopts a pluralistic and democratic attitude. It does not identify itself with any pre-established ideology or specific doctrinal current. On the contrary: RDAI considers that understanding the various currents of thought is a necessary prerequisite for scientific development.
The scientific activity requires serious critical analysis and this presupposes knowledge of divergent positions. This perspective is emphasized here: as a fundamental theoretical presupposition, RDAI fosters the publication of diverse theoretical standpoints, based on different conceptual premises. The correct interpretation will not be achieved via the revelations of one scholar acting on individual inspiration, but via the debate among many scholars, in a respectful discussion based on arguments and counter-arguments regarding any given subject.
RDAI also recognizes the importance of Comparative Law as a premise for the correct understanding of Brazilian norms. Keeping under consideration the aforementioned concrete-based perspective and the fact that local reality is inherently conditioned by that perspective, many of the instruments incorporated in the Brazilian legislation have been discussed in foreign law. Furthermore, many of the problems faced by the Brazilian Public Administration and by those subject to it are similar to those found in other States. Reflections about foreign law are, therefore, considered fundamental for national scientific development. Consequently, RDAI aims at disseminating foreign scientific studies related to the theme of the Journal.
RDAI focuses on the theme of infrastructure, considered a necessary structural element in the development of contemporary societies, such as transport systems – roads, public transportation, railroads, ports and airports; sanitation systems – sanitation, water supply, waste management, and drainage; public lighting; communication systems – postal and telegraph, telecommunications, and sound, and sound and image broadcasting, and energy production and distribution – oil, natural gas, pre-salt and hydroelectric power plants. Such examples are evidence of how vast the theme of infrastructure is. The theoretical deepening of its legal regime is vital to increase legal certainty and foster greater economic development of the country.
Infrastructure impacts people’s lives on a daily basis. Combining economic development and life quality improvement is the biggest challenge imposed on those who have the obligation to improve national infrastructure. Compared studies, in this sense, reveal the successes and misfortunes of large infrastructure projects undertaken around the world, enabling their adequate deployment in our country, with any necessary adaptations. Developing infrastructure projects that meet society’s expectations and provide concrete satisfactory results, positively changing the lives of citizens, and allowing the country to be competitive in the international market, is the main objective to be reached by the scientific deepening of the respective sectoral norms.
Despite its thematic emphasis, RDAI is, first of all, a Journal of Administrative Law, and only secondly, one of Infrastructure. There is a reason for such order: RDAI is intended to foster the theoretical deepening of all topics related to Administrative Law, not just those directly associated with infrastructure. This is because all of them, to a greater or lesser extent, interfere with infrastructure. Indeed, it is intuitive that each one of the sectoral fields of infrastructure is intimately connected to the theme of administrative law as a whole. For example, the entire infrastructure sector is linked to themes such as public services, public assets, civil servants, administrative organizationS, etc.
Deepening the Science of Administrative Law, with emphasis on the theme of infrastructure, requires a deepening of the theory of law. This aspect is usually overlooked in specialized publications in the area, but it is the keynote of RDAI’s editorial line. Its scientific vocation values conceptual analysis and, therefore, the advancement of such investigations in light of the theory of law. Precisely for this reason, RDAI is open to publishing studies regarding the theory of law considered important for the scientific progress of Administrative Law.
The goals of the journal will not be achieved only with the publication of scientific articles, though. Other approaches are very effective to deepen the scientific debate. Therefore, RDAI intends to publish: (a) opinions; b) jurisprudence reviews; c) bibliographical reviews; (d) brief doctrine reviews; e) interviews with important names in the area of Brazilian Administrative Law and infrastructure; (f) recent normative instruments; g) reviews to normative texts.
Administrative Law and the Infrastructure Law are built not only at the Academia but in the practical application and the day-to-day activities of forensic and administrative life. Opinions prepared by elite jurists about the exegesis of the administrative norms have an unquestionable scientific value. In addition, the knowledge and the examination of relevant administrative and judicial decisions, the review of currently published works of doctrine, and the presentation of and comments on recently issued normative instruments are of extraordinary relevance to the improvement of the debate. The scientist of the law must know what the new normative texts are, how they are being applied, and what the new works on the subject are. RDAI, despite being primarily and foremost a scientific journal and, consequently, primarily dedicated to the publication of academic studies, opens its pages to the publication of other legal productions considered useful for the scientific debate.
Science is the result of a long process of reflection; one cannot make Science if one has contempt for the advances obtained so far. RDAI, sensitive to this state of affairs, intends to recover those studies that have impacted Brazilian Administrative Law. Re-publishing these studies – considered “turning points” in their respective fields – is extremely positive to scientists. Only by paying due attention to what has already been produced, can one move forward. This is not just a tribute to those who have made Science advance; it is a relevant service to researchers and practitioners of the law. Revisiting those magnificent pieces of work means making access to such pieces easier and immediate by the “academic youth”, and this can be of great aid to scientific progress.
With this editorial line, the Coordinators truly believe that RDAI will fulfill its mission. However, this vehicle can only fulfill its role if it contributes in some way so that the Brazilian State reaches its constitutional objectives, as established in Art. 3 of the Federal Constitution of 1988. Ultimately, RDAI calls upon itself the same goals imposed to the Brazilian State: building a free society, fair and supportive; ensuring national development; eradicating poverty and marginalization, reducing social and regional inequalities, and promoting the well-being of all, with no prejudice against origin, race, sex, color, age or any other form of discrimination. Based on the premises expressed herein, the task will not be carried out on an individual basis. Everyone, with no exception, scientists and operators of the law, regardless of a political party, ideology, or line of thought, is invited to embark on this great journey towards the advancement of this fundamental scientific branch of the legal sciences.