Justice Gilmar Mendes took office as vice-president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) during a formal sitting held at the Plenary of the Court on June 10. Because of a previously scheduled appointment, Justice Gilmar Mendes could not attend the inauguration of Justice Dias Toffoli as president of the TSE on May 13.
The board of the formal sitting was composed by all Justices of the TSE, along with the vice-president of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Justice Ricardo Lewandowski; Brazil´s Minister of Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo; the president of the Chamber of Deputies (House of Representatives), Henrique Eduardo Alves; the Deputy Federal Electoral Prosecutor, Eugênio Aragão; and the vice-president of the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Claudio Lamachia. Justice Dias Toffoli, president of the TSE, hosted the ceremony.
After the national anthem was played by the Brazilian Marine Corps Band, Justice Gilmar Mendes took the oath of office, and signed a declaration of acceptance of office. He had already taken office as a permanent member of the Court earlier on February 13. Justice Gilmar Mendes has already served as a permanent member of the TSE on other occasion, between June 2004 and April 2006, having chaired the Court between February and April 2006. Justice Dias Toffoli, president of the TSE, said he felt privileged to count on the support of Justice Gilmar Mendes to endure the “laborious period that precedes presidential elections”, referring to the General Elections to be held this October. He noted he was glad he could rely on the assistance of someone as qualified as Justice Gilmar Mendes to lead the Electoral Courts, and administrate both legal matters and administrative issues.
As he briefly described the profile of the new vice-president of the TSE, Justice Dias Toffoli pointed to the fact that Gilmar Mendes has already served as General Counsel to the Federal Government, and has taken office as member of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) on June 20, 2002, having chaired that Court between 2008 and 2010. He also noted that Justice Mendes was an accomplished writer, having authored many law books.
In a press interview, Justice Gilmar Mendes spoke about his expectations regarding this year´s elections. “We are already developing some kick off activities. We already passed applicable resolutions, and have a few pending issues to address, but I believe that although this will be a busy year, it will certainly be developed within a framework of normality. The Electoral Court System operates quite smoothly, and has managed to properly respond to the demands submitted to its appraisal, organizing elections in a rather short time. I believe we will obtain positive results from all this, that we will consolidate sound precedents. As I see it, these elections will be held peacefully, and I hope we enjoy from the same tranquility with respect to the confrontation of ideas, refraining from attacking or abusing opponents”.
By the end of the ceremony, Justice Dias Toffoli thanked all for having attended the event, and Justice Gilmar Mendes met with authorities and guests at the Main Hall next to the Plenary of the Court.
Born in the city of Diamantino, in the State of Mato Grosso, Justice Gilmar Mendes has been a member of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) since June 2002. He graduated in Law at the University of Brasília in 1978, where he also obtained a Master´s degree in Law and State in 1987.
In 1989, he completed a master´s degree program in Law at the University of Münster, in Germany, having obtained a Ph.D. degree one year later from the same institution. He taught Constitutional Law to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Brasília. He also served as Federal Prosecutor (1985-1988) and Deputy Chief of the Office of the Under Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic (1990-1991).