Gilmar Mendes takes office as Justice of the TSE

In a solemn ceremony held in the in plenary of the Court on February 13, the President of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Justice Marco Aurelio, inducted Minister Gilmar Mendes as Justice of the TSE to serve for a term of two years.

In a solemn ceremony held in the in plenary of the Court on February 13, the President of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Justice Marco Aurelio, inducted Minister Gilmar Mendes as Justice of the TSE to serve for a term of two years.

Elected on December 18 by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to take over the job of Justice Carmen Lucia in the TSE, Justice Gilmar Mendes holds the position of Justice of the Court for the second time. His first tenure was from June 2004 to April 2006, during which Justice Mendes presided the Court from February to April 2006. Before the inauguration today, Justice Gilmar Mendes was a deputy Justice at the Court.

After inducting Minister Gilmar Mendes, the President of the TSE, Minister Marco Aurélio, read and highlighted various points of the life trajectory of the magistrate. The president of the TSE recalled that Justice Gilmar Mendes is a professor of undergraduate and graduate level courses at Universidade de Brasília (UnB) and a "prestigious and well-regarded" author of 11 books on Constitutional Law.

Justice Marco Aurelio mentioned that Gilmar Mendes, appointed Attorney-General of the Union in January 2000, promoted "substantial and salutary changes" to the careers that constitute Brazil's Public Attorney services. He also mentioned several measures implemented by Justice Gilmar Mender during his tenures as President of the STF (2008 to 2010) and President of the National Council of Justice (CNJ), including the National Strategic Plan for the area, the implementation of electronic court proceedings, the national registry of Brazilians convicted of acts of misconduct, and others.
“Having read the summarized résumé of Justice Mendes, I can pronounce a decision that shall immediately be final: the decision that the Superior Electoral Court benefits from welcoming back Justice Mendes to the position of effective Justice of the TSE", highlighted Justice Marco Aurélio during his welcome remarks, given to Justice Gilmar Mendes on behalf of the Court's collegiate.

The incoming Justice emphasized that his return to the TSE occurs in an election year. “I believe it to be really important to be a part of this phase. We are now starting the electoral process, and we know that it causes discomfort and disruption to our lives (compounding to work in the Supreme Court and academic activity), but I think it is a worthwhile sacrifice," he said.

Justice Gilmar Mendes also spoke about the Clean Record Law (Complementary Law 135/2010). “This is a learning process, and the Court is already discussing. The Law is bold and has many defects, as has been pointed out in its review by the S1upreme Federal Court. I believe that the TSE will have the opportunity to improve it, and then we will be able to evaluate.”

In addition to the President of the TSE, Justice Marco Aurélio (who chaired the session), the official panel for the ceremony also included the Vice President of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, the President of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Henrique Eduardo Alves, the Deputy Electoral Attorney-General , Eugênio Aragão, other Justices of the TSE and the President of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Marcus Vinicius Furtado Coêlho.

In closing the inauguration ceremony, Justice Marco Aurélio thanked all who attended the solemn session of the TSE, after which Justice Gilmar Mendes received compliments from guests in the auditorium of the TSE. Gilmar Mendes' inauguration was attended by former Justices of the STF, former Justices of the TSE, Presidents and members of higher courts, members of the General Attorney's Office, Congress members, military and ecclesiastical authorities, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society representatives, academics, journalists and civil servants.

Born in Diamantino, state of Mato Grosso, Justice Gilmar Mendes is a Doctor of Law by the University of Münster, Germany, and a Master of State and Law by the Universidade de Brasília (UnB). Took office as Justice of the Supreme Federal Court in 2002, and presided the Court from 2008 to 2010. Also served as Attorney-General of the Union from 2000 to 2002, Deputy Chief of Legal Affairs of the Staff Cabinet of the Presidency from 1996 to 2000 and Federal Attorney from 1985 to 1988, among other public offices.

Composition of the TSE
The TSE is composed of at least seven Justices. Three are chosen from the Supreme Federal Court, the STF (one of which always presides the Electoral Court), two Justices from the Superior Court of Justice, the STJ (one of which is always the Electoral Inspector-General) and two practicing attorneys, representing the class.

The Justices of the Supreme Federal Court that currently comprise the TSE as effective Justices are Justice Marco Aurélio (Chief Justice), Justice Dias Toffoli (Vice President) and now Justice Gilmar Mendes. Other current members also include Justice Laurita Vaz, the current Electoral Inspector-General, João Otávio de Noronha (both from the STJ), and Justices Henrique Neves and Luciana Lóssio (representing advocacy).

STF Justices Luiz Fux and Rosa Weber are the current deputy Justices, designated to replace the Justices of the TSE in the event of absence of one of them. With the election and inauguration of Gilmar Mendes as Justice of TSE, the Court faces the task to choose a new Justice to fill the vacancy of deputy Justice now open in the Superior Electoral Court.