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Brazilian Judiciary approves goals for 2012 and 2013

Friday, November 18, 2011.

The Brazilian courts will have to judge in 2012 a larger number of cases than those beginning the same year. This is the first of five national goals approved by the Presidents of 90 courts of the country during the Fifth National Meeting of the Judiciary, which closed on Friday (18), in Porto Alegre (RS). "The goals are for all branches of the Judiciary", said the chairman of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Chief Justice Cezar Peluso.

The minister highlighted the importance of that first goal and also of Goal nr. 2, as both deal with the increased productivity of the Judiciary. "With the fulfillment of Goal 1, the Courts automatically will be judging every year more cases of previous years," added the Minister. The President of CNJ also stressed that the results of partial achievement for 2011 "are proof of the efforts of all Courts in trying to adapt their material possibilities to overcome the usual results that would be observed without the establishment of goals." For 2011, the Courts have judged, until September, 74.4% of the 4.3 million cases brought to Court up until December 2005.

In addition to the five goals to be achieved throughout the Justice system, 14 judges have set specific targets for the various segments of the Judiciary (Federal, Labor, Elections and Military) in 2012. One of the novelties for next year is the resizing of Goal 2 approved with different percentages for each segment of Justice. It defines new collections of cases to be judged by the end of 2012 and 2013, depending on the year they were brought before first instance judges or Superior Courts. The definition of these collections varies from one branch to another of the Judiciary, given the peculiarities of each. It would be a rematch of Goals 2 for 2010 and 2011.

Another goal coming into force in 2012 provides for the appointment of a judge to act as co-operation judge. He should provide a dialogue between judges to facilitate the implementation of measures that are hindered due to bureaucratic issues. That theme was approved by the CNJ at its 136th plenary session as a recommendation, and the managers decided to turn it into a goal for the entire Judiciary as it was considered that the initiative will have more impact with a wide participation of Courts.

Apart from adopting the 2012 goals, the magistrates also anticipated a vote of two productivity goals for 2013 in order to allow the Courts to have time to plan budget actions to assist in meeting those goals. "This year, we arranged to adjust the calendar so that the Courts know the goals in time to reserve resources for projects that help them to fulfill those goals," said Antonio Carlos Alves Braga Junior, Deputy-President of the CNJ.

Goals for the Judicial Comptroller

Ten other specific goals for the Judicial Comptroller of Courts in 2012 were approved during the meeting. The goal is to improve the management of disciplinary and enforcement processes in local Courts. "At the moment the CNJ discusses the goals for 2012, the National Judicial Comptroller is also negotiating with local magistrates what they can do, not only in relation to disciplinary activity, but also in relation to case management," explained Minister Eliana Calmon.

The first one of those goals provides for the establishment within 120 days of a Management Plan for 2012, under some general premises, but also take into account the regional realities of each Court. Other goals include, for example, the publication of 100% of correctional cases (preserving in-camera requirements), as well as the annual correction of at least 30% of County Courts in each State. Other objectives pursued by the Judicial Comptroller are the creation of Harmonization Panels for uniform statewide jurisprudence and ensuring that 80% of the disciplinary procedures are reported in up to 180 days.

Compliance with the goals

The partial balance of goals to be achieved by the Judiciary by the end of 2011 and the evolution of productivity goals in the last three years were presented by the Deputy President of the CNJ Judge Antonio Carlos Alves Braga Junior, during the Fifth National Meeting. According to that survey, the Courts around the country judged 74.42% of the 4.3 million cases which were brought before them up until December 2005 (Goal 2, 2009). This index represents more than 3.1 million cases coming to a final judgement. To facilitate the analysis of information, the presentation focused on productivity goals: Goal 2, 2009, Goal 3 Goal 3, 2010 and 2011. Until March 2012, all the information about the goals of the 2011 Annual Report will be compiled and the data on the performance of each Court will be available on the Internet through the CNJ site.

Although there’s still some data from the last quarter of this year not available, the Courts have already exceeded the rate established or are close to reaching the goals proposed by Goal 3, 2011 (to judge the equal amount of cases brought before the Court in 2011 plus a certain amount of cases from previous years) . The State Courts reached 87.89% of the target, followed by the Labour Courts (98.71%) and the Superior Courts (99.29%). Other segments have already exceeded the goal agreed in 2011. They were: The Federal Courts (101.41%) Military Courts (105.92%) and the Electoral Courts (111.93%).

In relation to Goal 3, 2010 (20% reduction in tax collection-related cases) the highest percentage of compliance was achieved by the Labour Courts (9.21%) and the lowest was obtained by the Electoral Courts (-73.69% ). The national rate of reaching the goal stood at 8.59%. As for non-tax cases also addressed in Goal 3 (reduction of at least 10% of the number of cases related to compliance of Court orders) of 7,388,522 of such cases in the country in December 2009, 1,596,166 have come to a final judgement (21.60%).

Minister Peluso argues that the citizen is at the center of the goals of the Judiciary

The President of the National Judiciary Council (CNJ) and of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil (STF), Minister Cezar Peluso, said at the opening of the Fifth National Meeting of the Judiciary that "the key is what is perceived by society," citing French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, emphasizing that this should be the focus of the work of judges and employees of the Judiciary in Brazil. "This is the big goal by which the Judiciary should be guided," said Peluso at the opening of that meeting on Thursday (17), in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.

The meeting, sponsored by the CNJ, has had the participation of Courts’ Presidents and Vice Presidents, of the Judicial Comptroller and of Counselors of the CNJ. At the opening, Minister Peluso, addressed the President of the Court of Rio Grande do Sul (RS-TJ), Judge Leo Lima, the State Governor Genro, and the President of the Legislative Assembly of Rio Grande do Sul, Adam Vilaverde (PT-RS).

By giving a warm welcome to participants of the V Meeting, Judge Leo Lima stressed the importance of "goals as tools to assist in improving the productivity of Courts." The Gaucho Governor recalled that Justice is the core idea of the democratic rule of law. "We are proud that the meeting is held in Rio Grande and helps in decision making so that the Judiciary meets the Citizens’s thrist for a swift justice," said Genro.

In turn, the General Secretary of the CNJ, Fernando Marcondes, announced that CNJ is working on the creation of a "big database" with information on all Brazilian Courts. This new tool will serve to ensure greater transparency and will disclose to the public the work of Courts and their difficulties. "The CNJ recognizes the efforts of Courts to improve their services and poor material and budget conditions with which the Courts have to live," said Fernando Marcondes, adding that the work of the CNJ is to support the Courts.

Source: CNJ

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