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Dias Toffoli named Brazil’s new Supreme Court chief justice

Justice Toffoli is known as a conciliator

Published in 13/09/2018 - 16:29

By André Richter Brasília

Brazil’s Supreme Court Justice Dias Toffoli is taking office today as the country’s top court new chief justice, a position previously occupied by Justice Cármen Lúcia. He is to serve a two-year mandate.

Toffoli is 50 years old and was appointed Supreme Court justice in 2009 by then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.  He is known for averting controversies and for adopting a conciliating tone in his decisions. Before reaching the Supreme Court, he was member of the country’s Attorney-General’s Office, and a lawyer in the electoral campaigns of Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT). As chief justice, he is also chair of the National Justice Council.

Controversial matters are not expected to be submitted to vote shortly after his nomination, but rather after Brazil’s general elections, whose first round is slated to be held on October 7.

In the view of Justice Gilmar Mendes, also a court member, the new chief justice will have the chance to continue implementing the public policies of the country’s Judiciary branch.

“My expectations are good. Justice Toffoli is really devoted to management—that’s what his focus was at the Attorney-General’s Office as well as the Superior Electoral Court. He has an organized cabinet team, and I think his administration will be good, both at the Supreme Court and at the National Justice Council,” Mendes said.

On the activities conducted by the Supreme Court, Toffoli recently said he reduced the archives in his cabinet by 77 percent in eight years. When he first occupied a post in the top court, the justice had some 11 thousand cases, now reduced to a mere 2 thousand.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Denise Griesinger / Nira Foster

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