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Justice Cármern Lúcia represents STF on an International Conference in Peru

Justice Cármen Lúcia attended an International Conference, which took place at Arequipa, Peru, and discussed the theme: "The Individual Access to Constitutional Justice in Latin America". She represented the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) President, Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa, in a two days' event organized by the Constitutional Court of Peru and the Venice Commission. In the lecture given on Thursday morning (30), the Associate Justice addressed the subject of “Access to the Constitutional Jurisdiction in Brazil” and presented the Brazilian legal system’s characteristics, as well as the innovations which are changing the STF, such as the broadcast of live plenary sessions by radio and TV, the usage of mechanisms such as the General Repercussion and Binding Summula, and the promotion of public hearings on important subjects of national relevance.

According to the Associate Justice, in the past 25 years Brazil has transformed itself. Since October 5th of 1998, when the Federal Constitution was promulgated, the Brazilian acquired a constitutional sentiment, which may be explained, in her opinion, by the recognition of the fundamental rights: such as one that provides that the law shall not exclude any injury or threat to a right from the consideration of the Judicial Power (subsection XXXV of Article 5) and the other which ensures to everyone a reasonable lenght of proceedings and the means to guarantee their expeditious consideration (subsection LXXVIII of the same article, introduced by the Judiciary Reform, through the Constitutional Amendment no 45 of 2004).

The Justice affirmed that, in terms of numbers, this sentiment can be found in millions of legal proceedings in progress, in a Country that has 193 million inhabitants and 16,804 justices working. “This situation makes the Brazilian case very special,” she affirmed, adding that every Brazilian know that they have constitutional rights and, among them, the right to have a judge that will hear them. To an audience composed by Justices of the Constitutional Courts of several countries, Justice Cármen Lúcia said that the live broadcast of the STF’s plenary sessions during the last 10 years makes the civilian know their Justices and to treat them with naturalness and familiarity. “The taxi driver knows my name and treats me with a familiarity that is not common in other countries. It is the "TV Justiça" that brings us to the people’s homes”, she explained.

The STF’s Associate Justice explained to the Conference’s participants how the instruments such as the Writ of Injunction and the Habeas Data work in Brazil, through which the citizens may ensure their constitutional rights. “Our activity has been called ‘judicial activism,’ but I would say that it is only constitutionally compromised.” The Associate Justice highlighted that there are 65,511 cases in progress at the Supreme Court and due to the General Repercussion and Binding Summula institutes it is being possible to restrain repetitive cases. The electronic legal proceeding and the new Law of Access to Information were points addressed on the Justice Cármen Lúcia’s lecture. The participation of the entities, as Amicus Curiae, interested in exposing their points of view during the trials conducted by the STF and the promotion of public hearings, in which the Brazilian Court hears the society before deciding on important cases for the nation, were also highlighted in her intervention.

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