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Experiences in Mercosur countries inspire STF servants

Did you know that in Chile, there is an Administrative Corporation of the judicial power Judiciary responsible for the organization of the entire national sector? And that the hearings of criminal justice cases in the first instance are recorded in mp3, and are uploaded in the informational system together along with a summary of the hearings, becoming part of the courts’ process substantiating appeals.

These and other differences between Brazil and Chile were observed by Cristianne Maarraoui, Rosemary de Almeida, and Espedito Oliveira, who were part of the group of civil servants  sent to the Mercosul and Associated countries by the Brazilian Supreme Court in the latest edition of the Joaquim Nabuco exchange program, conducted between the 18th and 29th of June, 2012.

The Paraguayan Experience:

Guilherme Penchel Marinho and Felipe Justino were in Paraguay. The Palace of Justice houses not only the Supreme Court, but it also the lower courts of the Judiciary. Guilherme, who works at the Security Office, has told that not only pedestrians but also vehicles go through a strict security check before entering the garage of the building: the bottom part of the car is checked with mirrors to ensure that there are no explosives, the trunk is opened and checked and a security officer  checks for traces of explosives materials with special gloves and a hight-tech device.

In addition to visiting the Judiciary bodies in Paraguay, Guilherme Penchel Marinho and Felipe Justino had the opportunity to visit the Permanent Review Court of the Mercosul (TPR), responsible for ensuring the correct interpretation, implementation, and fulfillment enforcement of the fundamental legal instruments of the integration process. The MERCOSUR Member States may resort to the TPR to request Advisory Opinions, which were recently regulated by the Brazilian Supreme Court in what concerns the Brazilian judiciary (Amendment to the Internal Rules n. 48/2012).

Visit to Uruguay:

Francisco das Chagas Bezerra, who was in Uruguay, was impressed with the possibility of any citizen to question the constitutionality of a law before the Supreme Court, in the cases which there is a connection between the challenged law and the plaintiff. Another aspect which caught Franciscos’ attention was the fact that there was no abstract control of constitutionality, only the concrete review of constitutionality with effects on the parties of the case.

Fernando Vinícius Souza, has informed that the strategic management of the Uruguayan judicial system is done through PROFOSJU- Program for Strengthening of Judiciary, an office responsible for improving of the Uruguayan Judiciary System of. One of the important products of this system is the Exclusive Document Identifier (IUD), implemented in 2004, used in processes and documents, from its origins to the final processingin the Supreme Court. Another important product is the Electronic Notifying System (SNE), a type of electronic mail, which Through which litigating parties and attorneys are notified of procedures, replacing the publication in any official gazette. Implemented since March, 2009 there have been issued more than 500.000 notifications, without any reported problems

However, the apple of the the Uruguayan Judiciary eyes is the Management System of the Courts (SGT). It consists of an electronic system that handles the processing, production and entering in the docket of papers and documents, consisting of a database of legal pleadings templates to standardize all filings , reducing the time required to its preparation for as little as two minutes, including an electronic signature and integration with the SNE.

Monica Villarino summarizes her experience in the country: “I was very impressed with the organization of the Uruguayan Judiciary l Power. With a few resources and a lot of determination, it is possible to provide an efficient and effective judicial service.”

The eight civil servants, with different of educational and professional backgrounds in the Brazilian Supreme Court have all experienced a full and rich experience during their two week stay. They have also said that along with their professional visit, they had the opportunity to experience historical moments of the country. It is the case of  In Guilherme and Felipes’, who were in Paraguay during the dismissal of the President Fernando Lugo, later on followed by the  street manifestations, unforeseen events,; nevertheless, dealt with prudence and responsibility by the coordinators of the exchange program.

Investment return:

For Rosemary de Almeida, “the exchange program was really an opportunity to know and understand what is good and solid in our neighboring countries and bring this knowledge through the Joaquim Nabuco program into our own Courts.” She suggested that the servants who have participated in the exchange program should also be included in the discussions on strategic issues that seek the improvement of the Supreme Court, thus returning the valuable investment made by the institution.

Espedito Oliveira thinks found the program that this is a wonderful and was admired to know learn that in Chile “The processes are not assigned to specific the judges, but to the courtroom’s responsibility (…), there is a constant rotation of judges so that the processes do not stay still.” He was excited when remembering his experience: “there is a straighter path, and it is possible to make changes, knowing that tomorrow there can be a possibility of better, smarter, and more efficient implementation of laws in our country.” 

The experiences of the eight servants participating in this 2012 edition of the exchange program are described in the following reports, which also include comparisons, personal impressions and photos

Cristianne Sarkis Carvalho Maarraoui - Chile
Espedito Sousa Oliveira - Chile
Felipe Justino de Farias - Paraguay
Fernando Vinicius dos Reis Souza - Uruguay
Francisco das Chagas Bezerra de Sousa - Uruguay
Guilherme Penchel Marinho - Paraguay
Monica Ferrari Villarino - Uruguay
Rosemary de Almeida - Chile

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