Eros Grau leads productivity ranking in the STF; Ellen Gracie performs worse, says NGO


Author: Rosanne D Agostino

Source: BOL - São Paulo / SP - BRAZIL - 03/03/2010

From UOL News
In Sao Paulo

The Meritíssimos Project, launched on Wednesday (3) by the NGO Transparência Brasil, places Minister Eros Grau as the leader of a productivity ranking in the STF (Supreme Federal Court). Minister Ellen Gracie is at the bottom of the pyramid as the one that takes the longest to judge court cases, according to the survey.

The figures refer to the activity of each minister in the period between February 2008 until now, except for two members: Dias Tóffoli, who only took office last year, and Gilmar Mendes, who, as president of the court, practically receives no lawsuits.

According to the executive president of the NGO, Cláudio Weber Abramo, one of the factors that may have contributed to Gracie's poor performance was his dispute for the position of judge of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a position won in May 2009 by Mexican lawyer Ricardo Ramirez.

Another minister with low productivity is Joaquim Barbosa, who recently took sick leave for back problems. “This should not be accepted, because ministers have an obligation to show productivity. Evidently, slower ministers take court numbers down, ”says Abramo.

The Meritíssimos Project also counts statistics on numbers of cases distributed, judged and not judged by the STF since 1997. One of the conclusions is that the court is losing efficiency. According to the data, the congestion rate, that is, the relationship between the processes distributed to each minister and those actually decided, has been decreasing. However, it does not follow in the same proportion the decrease in the entrance fee of the processes.

“This shows that the Supreme Court is certainly not improving its performance. Added to this is the fact that judges have two months of vacation. This is reflected in production ”, says Abramo.

The main causes for this slowness, according to this initiative, are the large number of processes in progress, the large number of irrelevant causes, the legal deadlines to be met and the STF's internal bureaucracy.