Public participation in the Supreme Court

Organizations request changes to the process of appointing justices to Brazil’s highest court

The procedure to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Teori Zavascki in January has been criticized by civil society organizations. They are demanding greater public participation in the process that currently consists of an appointment by the President of the Republic and confirmation of the candidate by the Senate.

JusDh (Justice and Human Rights Association) released an open letter addressed to President Michel Temer and Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes emphasizing that, given the significant role played by the justice system in decisions about the direction taken by the country, the choice of the new Supreme Court justice should not be made without dialogue and social control mechanisms.

According to JusDh, “building mechanisms for the participation of society in the process of appointing people to serve on the highest court in the country would definitely be a pivotal step in making the justice system more pluralistic and in responding to social demands for rights and democracy”.

The association has suggested that the selection procedure include a public call for candidates, the publication of the names and qualifications of the people being considered by the Presidency, a period for public consultation on the shortlisted nominees and the preparation of a final report justifying the choice of the candidate who will be subjected to a confirmation hearing in the Senate.

The letter is available in full on the website of JusDh. It is still possible for other organizations to sign the document.

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