According to a new study, the average court case in Brazil takes approximate four years and four months from start to finish, according to a report issued by the Brazilian National Justice Council. The study mapped out how long it took for a case to go through the system and for a judgement or sentence to be handed down. According to the study, the state of Pernambuco, a medium-sized jurisdiction in terms of case load, is the slowest venue in the country, with cases sometimes taking seven years to be heard.
According to Judge Alexandre Freire Pimentel, a professor at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, a huge part of the problem is a lack of judges to try cases. He points out that there are over 200 vacancies on the bench that have not been filled, and as a result, there are judges who have dockets filled with as many as 450 thousand cases.
The largest judicial circuits, among them the state courts of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, generally have much lower wait times. From beginning to end, cases take less than two years to move through the system on average in these larger districts. One major factor contributing to the disparity is technology as districts that have gone paperless tend to process cases much more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Ricardo Tosto is a prominent Brazilian attorney and jurist, and the managing partner of the law firm of Leite, Tosto and Barros in Sao Paulo. A graduate of FAAP Law School, his law office is listed in the AAA 500, Brazil’s main guide to legal services. In addition to his legal career, he is also a published author and historian, having written a book entitled “The Trial of Tiradentes,” which presents the famous sedition trial in a modern context.
Tosto’s firm specializes in a number of practice areas, including regulatory law, administrative law, environmental law, employment and labor law, international law, and tax law, as well as general civil and criminal business law. The Sao Paulo firm also has offices in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.