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Tobias Barreto program ends the day of the election of Justice Joaquim Barbosa to Chief Justice

 Thursday, October 11, 2012.

On Wednesday (10), the last day of the first edition of the exchange program for members of the Conference on Constitutional Jurisdictions of Portuguese Speaking-Countries, the delegation of magistrates visiting Brazil attended a lecture from Justice Dias Toffoli.

In his contribution to the Tobias Barreto Program, Justice Dias Toffoli traced a history on the organization of the Brazilian electoral system from the Empire to present days.

"Brazilian electoral system worked, and works well and has a great reputation and this is something that does not happen by chance," said Justice Dias Toffoli to the participants of the program. Justice Toffoli recalled that this year the Electoral Justice in Brazil celebrates 80 years since the creation of the first Brazilian Electoral Code, in 1932, when the need to create an impartial body, responsible for the voters’ registration and for the balloting and totalization of votes has arisen.

Justice Dias Toffoli also said that in the past ten years the Electoral Court has impeached more than a thousand applications, including those of councilors, mayors, governors, congressmen and senators, and he sees critically the large number of appeals. According to him, often the impeachment is more costly to the municipality than adopting another solution.

Dias Toffoli advocates the drafting of a modern Electoral Code, since the one in force was enacted in 1967, and considers the Brazilian legislation very strict about the use of propaganda and media during the election period.

During his lecture, Justice Dias Toffoli presented the participants updated data on the structure of the electoral system in Brazil and how and modern and agile are the elections held in Brazil, just as last Sunday, when more than 115 million voters went to the polls to choose their mayors, vice mayors and councilors in 5,518 municipalities.

On 28th October, voters in 50 cities return to polls to vote in the 2nd round in cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. Justice Toffoli also mentioned in his lecture the speed in the totalization of votes which was done in less than two hours after the end of voting in 20 states and said that the implementation of voter’s biometric identification will be an even greater breakthrough in Brazilian electoral system.

The last day of the Tobias Barreto program was marked by the election of Justice Joaquim Barbosa to Chief Justice, the first black man to take the highest office of the Brazilian Judiciary. The visitors attended the plenary session during which the voting process happened and, during the intermission, they were received by the Chief Justice, Justice Ayres Britto, and the newly elected president, Justice Joaquim Barbosa, at the office of the presidency.

Closing the schedule for the day, the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the STF, Sérgio Mendes, spoke on "The Public Sphere, the Constitutional Jurisdiction and Separation of Powers." In his explanation, he spoke of theories of democracy worldwide known and recalled great decisions of the Supreme Court, such as decisions on embryonic stem cells, demarcation of indigenous lands, press freedom and homosexual civil marriage, among others cases.

The first edition of Tobias Barreto Program was closed by the Chief Advisor for International Affairs, Luis Claudio Queiroz Coni.

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