The president of the STJ (Superior Court of Justice), Minister Humberto Martins, signed a resolution providing for secret voting to form the first composition of the new Federal Regional Court of the 6th Region, in Belo Horizonte (MG).
This initiative clashes with the CNJ (National Council of Justice) rule, which provides for the choice, for promotions, “in public session, in nominal and reasoned vote”.
Resolution STJ/GP 16/2022 was approved last Friday (20), in an extraordinary session of the CJF (Council of Federal Justice), also chaired by Martins, “ad referendum” of the Plenary of the STJ.
This Wednesday (25), the Plenary will define the procedures to be adopted for the formation of the framework of the new court. The secret ballot was not mentioned by Martins in the CJF session and was not highlighted in the newsletter released by the court on the same day.
Article 7 of Resolution 16/2022 establishes that “the votes referred to in this resolution will be secret, pursuant to article 26, §7, of the Internal Regulations of the Superior Court of Justice”.
This article of the bylaws refers to the appointment of ministers to the STJ, recall judges who participate in the promotion process. It would not be the case for promotions of judges of first instance.
Resolution of the CNJ (National Council of Justice) establishes that “promotions by merit of magistrates in the 1st degree and access to the 2nd degree will be carried out in public session, in nominal, open and reasoned voting (…)”.
The same magistrates observe that the special norm, of the CNJ, overlaps the general norm in the promotion process. They understand that the CNJ rule meets the principle of publicity and was created to moralize the merit-based promotions system, avoiding the choice of “friends of the king”.
When consulted, the STJ informed, through the press office:
“The procedure for choosing the judge of the TRF-6 was defined by the commission of ministers, established for this purpose by the president of the STJ, and complies with the Constitution, Law No. 14.226/2021 and the regimental rules.
It is noted that the same procedure was adopted by the court when the first composition of the federal regional courts was formed, in 1989″.
In 1989 there was no CNJ. There was not yet the STJ. The composition of the federal regional courts was voted on in the defunct Federal Court of Appeals.
Law no. 14.226/2021 deals with the creation of the TRF-6, but does not define rules on secret voting.
Resolution 16/2022 creates two expectations around the vote of the national justice inspector, Minister Maria Thereza de Assis Moura:
a) if it will accompany the president of the Court, to which it belongs, or will comply with the rule of the Judiciary control body;
b) if they decide on the first option, how will future national magistrates act when other courts decide to follow the secret ballot model in promotions by merit.
The blog consulted Ajufe (Association of Federal Judges of Brazil) about Humberto Martins’ resolution. The president of the entity, Judge Eduardo Brandão, participated in the extraordinary session of the CJF, but did not give an opinion on the matter.
Ajufe’s press office informed that the entity is analyzing the resolution.
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