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Court servants evaluate the Mercosur and associate countries exchange experience

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) sent eight servants abroad so as to develop a study regarding the local judiciary system. They took part of the Program Joaquim Nabuco, of cooperation and exchange of magistrates and servants of the Supreme Courts from Mercosur and associate countries. They travelled in early June, remaining in Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay for a two weeks period.

The main purpose of this exchange program is information interchange, captured by the point of view of those who integrate the court. The court clerks followed an activities schedule, which included, amongst others, visits to courts, lectures, meetings with other members of the Judiciary and related institutions, comparative study of institutes and attendance to trial sessions. Back home, the learning is already being shared, with the production of reports and presentations.


In return, the general assessment is that the experience was important, both personally and professionally. Agnaldo Martins, from the Administration and Finances Secretariat, who travelled to Paraguay, says that the experience was beyond expectations, since it was possible for him to have an outlook of the Supreme Court, of the Judiciary’s institutional reality and also to meet people who made him a better person.

Edinalva Ferreira, who works at the Repetitive Appellate Decisions Section, and Fábio de Souza, who works at the International Jurisprudence Section, reveals that it was an honor to represent the STF in Uruguay, besides the reception was excellent and the judges were very simple and approachable. “It was also an opportunity to know the structure of another court of justice, another country, another culture and the most valuable, for me, was to meet other people and make friends”, concluded Edinalva.

Cintia Machado, chief of the Section of Preparation of Publications told that “It was really interesting to know a team that performs functions similar to ours”. And to it, she adds: “Besides of that, an important cultural dialogue was enabled and I made friends for life”.

Representation responsibility

Getting information regarding a country on books or in the internet is different from travelling to that same country and walk through the corridors, accompany colleagues during their business hours and talk to other servants. And it was this idea that motivated most of the people who made part of the exchange.

Francisco Bezerra, who works at the Receiving and Distribution of Procedures Section, says he enrolled in the selection process and travelled to Chile thinking about that. He believes that “it is possible to study a judicial system of any country at a distance. However, being there is effective learning”.

Everyone says that, acting as a type of special correspondent, the servant takes on a new responsibility, different in shape and size. Wagner Madoz, from the Secretariat of the Sessions, constantly watched his own manners, since he “was not there as the citizen Wagner, but as a court servant in an institutional visit, being received, respectfully, by authorities”.

Concerning that trust, Nayse Hillesheim, from the Advisory for International Affairs and supervisor of the Program Joaquim Nabuco, considers that “all the servants from the Federal Supreme Court, because of the good level they present, are in conditions to adequately represent the court”.

Institutes and news

In the exchange period, the servants observed the differences between the legal Brazillian institutes and those of the visited countries. Among the uniquenesses of each country, a few of them were highlighted.

In Chile, for instance, justice is free; there is a previous constitutionality control that falls upon bills; the magistrate has the power to raise, ex officio, a constitutional issue and the criminal justice system in the first instance is conducted orally.

As to Paraguay, they underlined the Supreme Court indication criteria; the workshops in mediation and the judicial facilitators program, that prepare local leaders and groups for conflict solving.

Servants sent to Uruguay highlight the electronic domicile system, which communicates with the lawyers in a computerized way, and the fact that the members of the court are all of them career judges.

Next group

The STF will send the second group of servants in the following semester. The program was extended to all areas applied to STF and, therefore, it will no longer be demanded the bachelor’s degree in Law.

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