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In Washington, Justice Ellen Gracie highlights advances made with binding precedent and general repercussion

Notícias STF - 20/09/2010

In Washington, Justice Ellen Gracie highlights advances made with binding precedent and general repercussion 

Justice Ellen Gracie, of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), attended the 2nd Conference on Innovation Brazil-United States, in Washington DC (USA), in which she noted the progress made with the creation of the binding precedent and the general repercussion, institutes introduced in Constitution by the Judicial Reform (Constitutional Amendment No. 45/2004). She stressed that there was a drop of 62% in the amount of appeals distributed in the STF annually. In 2007, there were 106,617 lawsuits of these type. In 2009 the total had dropped to 32,649 and, this year, they are 11,639 until now.

Through general repercussion, ministers of the Supreme Court may choose appeals that are juridically, socially or economically relevant and, once the appeal paradigm is tried, the decision shall apply to all similar cases. In the case of the binding precedent, decisions of the Supreme must necessarily be reproduced in the lower courts when dealing with the same subject. Since 2004, 30 precedents have been published by the Supreme Court. "The precedent increases legal safety and predictability of decisions (of the judiciary)," said Justice Ellen Gracie during a roundtable at the conference, which is promoted by the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI).

Justice Gracie also cited technological advances that have had significant impact on the Brazilian judiciary. Among them, the electronic monitoring of processes, which gives users access to every step of the process via the Internet, and the partnership with the Central Bank, which allows judges to speed up banking secrecy breaks and block financial assets (BacenJud system). Judge of the District Court of Maryland (USA), Peter Messitte, praised the progress made by the Brazilian judiciary and said that Brazil "is no longer the country of the future, it got there."

Comparing the rules of patent protection in Brazil and the United States, Messitte, who is an expert in Brazilian studies, said the two countries are on the same level. He noted that the security of intellectual property is essential for economic growth, as it stimulates innovation and new projects. Messitte also praised the Brazilian initiative to create specialized courts on technical matters as protection of intellectual property and bankruptcy, located in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. He said the growth of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and conciliation are "movements in the right direction."

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