Friday, February 17, 2006


Supreme Court: Judges must dismiss relatives working with them

Last year, the newly created National Council of Justice determined that Judges could not appoint their own relatives to occupy trusting position in their own courts (most civil servants in Brazil must go through an admission process; only the servants in trusting positions may be freely appointed, in the cases determined by law).
This decision by the CNJ was acclaimed by Brazilian population. It was not uncommon to see a Judge employing his wife, sons, daughters, in-laws and parents to occupy positions in his staff, under the argument that "he should trust that person". The salaries of such positions are usually high, and because the boss is a close relative, the jobs are far from being physically or mentally demanding.
Many (most) Judges disputed the NCJ decision. Of course, nobody said they wanted to increase the familiar income, but that the decision was an interference in the free functioning of the Judiciary Power. Many Courts refused to comply with NCJ, alleging they were waiting for a final decision from the Supreme Court. On Feb. 16th, the Supreme Court sentenced that the NCJ decision must be obeyed; ten Justices voted, nine in favor of the NCJ, one (Marco Aurélio) against.

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