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Dias Toffoli highlights improvements in Virtual Plenary videoconference with criminal lawyers


The Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Dias Toffoli, participated in a videoconference on the right of defense and criminal advocacy on Monday afternoon (27). "The essence of freedom is defended by nature by lawyers, but especially by criminal lawyers," the Justice pointed out, reminding the more than 23,000 Internet users who attended the event that the agenda of the Brazilian Supreme Court last year was of great relevance to criminal lawyers, "bringing fundamental parameters for legal security".

Justice Dias Toffoli recalled that the STF received petitions from various institutions linked to the practice of law with suggestions for improvement of the Virtual Plenary, to allow greater participation in the monitoring of sessions and ensure the right of contradictory and broad defense. In this regard, the Chief Justice said that changes had been implemented in the voting system to make the full votes of the Justices available as they were launched.

According to the Chief Justice, another demand contemplated in the Virtual Plenary updates - which come into force on 8 / 5 - is the mandatory visualization of oral arguments before the Justices access the voting field. In addition, lawyers will be able to send clarifications on the matters of fact during the virtual sessions, and the Justices will have the possibility of changing their votes while the session is open in the system, "respecting the dialectics of the convincing," quoted Toffoli.

Digital world

"We know that humanity is moving towards the digital world, and it is inexorable that Justice also moves in that direction. Brazil is one of the most prepared countries for this new reality", said Toffoli when quoting the changes imposed by social detachment as actions to confront the contagion from the new coronavirus and that should reverberate even after the end of the pandemic. For him, the country is mature because the process of electronic judicialization is very old: the Virtual Plenary was implemented still in the administration of former Chief Justice Ellen Gracie, in 2007, as a precursor experience among Constitutional Courts around the world.

The Chief Justice also highlighted the cases related to Covid-19 in progress at the Brazilian Supreme Court, made available on a panel on the Court's website. To date, there have been 1,416 cases, mostly Habeas Corpus, and 1,158 decisions issued, 622 of them dismissing. The president also stated that the goal of all members of the justice system is "to ensure legal security and bring peace so that the country can overcome this difficult moment as quickly as possible.

For the Brazilian National Council of Justice (CNJ), the Chief Justice highlighted the availability of a tool for the 18 thousand magistrates in Brazil to create a virtual meeting room, through which can be held hearings of instruction, trials, hearings and attendance to lawyers. The application, accessible free of charge by agreement, will be under the control and administration of the Council. "The judges hold a key, such as the door to the courtroom, which only enters who they allow, with all the transparency necessary with the disclosure of the acts," said Dias Toffoli.

The event was an initiative of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Lawyers Order (OAB), in partnership with the Migalhas Portal and the Lawyers Association (AASP). Also participating in the videoconference were the president of the Order's Council, Felipe Santa Cruz, the president of the OAB's Defense Right Guarantee Committee, Juliano Breda, and lawyers Alamiro Velludo Salvador Netto, Antônio Carlos de Almeida Castro, Helena Regina Lobo da Costa and Gabriela Prioli, as mediator.

Communications Office of the Presidency - CG/FB/GL

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