The Superior Electoral Court (TSE), highest body of the Electoral Justice, plays a fundamental role towards building and exercising democracy in Brazil. Its main competencies are established by the Federal Constitution and by the Electoral Code (Law No. 4,737, dated 07/15/1965).
The TSE has joint action with the Regional Electoral Courts (TREs), which are directly responsible for the administration of the electoral process in states and municipalities.
The Court is composed of seven Justices: three from the Supreme Federal Court, two from the Superior Court of Justice and two representatives from the class of - jurists - lawyers with remarkable legal expertise and suitability.
Each Justice is elected for a mandate of two years (biennium), and is prohibited of renewing it after two consecutive biennia. The rotation of the Justices in the framework of the Electoral Justice aims at maintaining the apolitical character of the courts, in order to guarantee the isonomy of the elections.
The TSE is chaired by a Justice from the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Currently, Justice Rosa Weber chairs the Court.
The Office of the Electoral Corregidor is held by one of the Justices of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ). It is currently occupied by Justice Jorge Mussi.
Attached to the Court’s Presidency are the General Secretariat of the Presidency, which is formed by the Judicial Secretariat and six advisories, and the Registry of the Court, which is formed by four advisories and six secretariats.
There is also the Electoral Judiciary School, which aims to carry out the training, updating and continuous or eventual specialization of the Electoral Justice magistrates and those interested in Electoral Law, who are appointed by public bodies and public and private entities.
The Brazilian Electoral Justice is composed by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the Regional Electoral Courts (TREs), the Justices and Electoral boards. All these bodies have their composition established by the Federal Constitution and their competence determined by the Electoral Code.
The Electoral Justice's history is confused with TSE's history, which was an institution created by Decree No. 21,076/1932- named as Superior Court of Electoral Justice – and installed on May 20of the same year, in a building on Avenida Rio Branco, downtown Rio de Janeiro. Its first president was Justice Hermenegildo Rodrigues de Barros.
Five years later, the New State’s Constitution, granted by Getúlio Vargas, extinguished the Electoral Justice and attached to the Union, privately, the power to legislate on electoral matters.
The TSE was only reestablished on May 28, 1945, by Decree- Law No. 7,586/1945. On June 1of the same year, the Court was installed in Palace Monroe, in Rio de Janeiro, under the chairmanship of Justice José Linhares. One year later, the institution’s headquarter was transferred to Rua 1º de Março, still in Rio de Janeiro.
On April, 1960, due to the change of the federal capital, the TSE was installed in Brasília, in one of the buildings in Esplanada dos Ministérios. Eleven years later (1971), the Court’s headquarters was transferred to the Square of Superior Courts.
On December 15, 2011 the new TSE’s headquarters was inaugurated.