Rio: Fudgeships In The Awarding of Judgeships?

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/fotos2FRoletaBicho.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Vintage roleta with bichos. Source: Musem of the Policia Civil, Rio de Janeiro

The suspicion is that the content of the exam was leaked to benefit sons, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and nephews of senior judges of the state court. Among those approved for judgeships by the examination process, seven are related to senior Rio judges.

Lilian Matsuura of Consultor Jurídico (Brazil) reports:

Houve fraude no 41º concurso para ingresso na magistratura feito pelo Tribunal de Justiça do Rio de Janeiro em 2006. Esta é a conclusão do relator do processo sobre o caso no Conselho Nacional de Justiça, promotor Felipe Locke Cavalcanti. O julgamento, contudo, não terminou porque o conselheiro Técio Lins e Silva pediu vista dos autos.

There was fraud in the 41st competitive entrance examination for the judiciary conducted by the state supreme court of Rio de Janeiro in 2006. That was the conclusion of the investigating magistrate for the National Justice Council (CNJ), prosecutor Felipe Locke Cavalcanti. The case has not concluded yet, however, because CNJ councillor Técio Lins e Silva has requested time to review the case file.

Ao ler seu voto de 51 páginas na sessão nesta terça-feira (26/2), o relator afirmou que houve quebra de sigilo do conteúdo da prova, além de diversas outras irregularidades. Com isso, os 24 juízes aprovados, e que estão trabalhando, correm o risco de ter de deixar os gabinetes. Apesar de constar que o processo não foi lícito, Locke não chegou a uma conclusão em relação ao que deve ser feito. Não conseguiu decidir se todos os aprovados devem perder o cargo ou apenas aqueles que se beneficiaram com a fraude.

Reading out his 51-pp. opinion in the Tuesday session of the CNJ, the investigating magistrate said [the contents of the test leaked out], along with other irregularities. With this, the 24 judges approved, who are already at work, run the risk of having to vacate their offices. Although he found that the process was not valid, Locke did not state a conclusion about what ought to be done about it. He could not manage to decide whether all those approved for judgeships should lose their posts or only those who benefited from the fraud.

The CNJ is an independent oversight body for the Brazilian judiciary, established in recent years.

The irritable Maierovitch, a former federal judge and national “drug czar” turned columnist, has questioned in the past whether the oversight is really all that effective. See

The judiciary has suffered a scandal or two in the last year or so, including two cases from the Rio-São Paulo corridor involving senior judges accused of selling verdicts favoring organized crime interests such as illegal gambling enterprises.

“Legal certainty” seems to have emerged as a major theme at the multilateral donor and credit agencies.

More on that in a minute. The following does tend to leave with the negative impression that some of the judges who might be adjudicating your contract dispute (7 of the  24 candidates approved are related to court members) might be disposed to lie, cheat, steal and otherwise engage in personal conduct not conducive to upholding the fabled majesty of the law in the eyes of its postulants.

As suspeitas eram de quebra de sigilo e fraude para beneficiar filhos, noras, genros e sobrinhos de desembargadores do TJ fluminense. Entre os aprovados no processo, sete têm parentesco com desembargadores.

The suspicion is that the content of the exam was leaked to benefit sons, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law and nephews of senior judges of the state court. Among those approved for judgeships by the examination process, seven are related to senior Rio judges.

Ouch.

The “how” of the alleged scheme is the most interesting part. I will translate when I get a chance. See also

A representação pela anulação do concurso foi proposta pela seccional do Rio de Janeiro da OAB e pelo Conselho Federal da Ordem. O pedido de liminar, analisado em março de 2007, foi negado pelo então conselheiro Alexandre de Moraes. Ele considerou graves as denúncias de fraude. Mas, para Moraes, “os documentos trazidos nos autos não permitem, ao menos por enquanto, a comprovação dos fatos alegados, havendo necessidade de uma mais detalhada instrução”. Com a saída de Moraes, Felipe Locke Cavalcanti passou a ser o relator do procedimento administrativo.

The petition to annul the competitive exam was filed by the Rio branch of the [Brazilian bar association, sort of] and the OAB’s federal council. The petition for an injunction, heard in March 2007, was denied by then CNJ councillor Alexandre de Moraes. He considered the fraud allegations a serious matter, but ruled that “the documents in the file do not consitute, at least for the time being, proof of the facts alleged, and a more detailed complaint is needed.” When Moraes left the CNJ, Felipe Locke took over the case.

Durante a sessão, após o voto do relator, alguns conselheiros defenderam a anulação de todo o concurso. E, para isso, citaram precedentes em que o CNJ, por unanimidade, decidiu neste sentido. Na ocasião, os conselheiros concluíram pela anulação total porque houve fraude desde o início do processo.

After hearing the opinion of the relator [reporting magistrate?], some councillors argued for the anullment of the entire exam, citing precidents in which the CNJ ruled unanimously to do so. At the time, the councillors resolved to annul the results entirely because the entire process was marked by fraud from the beginning.

O procurador-geral da República substituto, Roberto Monteiro Gurgel Santos, se manifestou pela anulação do concurso. Segundo ele, o laudo produzido pela Polícia Federal “não deixa dúvidas sobre as impressionantes convergências existentes” entre a prova dos candidatos suspeitos e do gabarito. Ele afirma que trechos inteiros foram copiados, além de pequenas modificações de tempos verbais, “que não podem ser consideradas mera coincidência”.

Substitute federal prosecutor Gurgel argued in favor of annuling the result, saying that the federal police report “leaves no doubt about the astonishing degree of overlap” between the test results of the suspect candidates and the answer key. He says that entire passages were plagiarized, except for minor differences in verb tense, “that cannot be considered mere coincidence.”

Em seu parecer, reproduziu trecho do depoimento do desembargador aposentado Ivan Cury, que participou da banca examinadora de Direito Processual Penal na primeira fase. Cury contou que dois desembargadores, cujos filhos eram candidatos, o procuraram para saber sobre as questões da prova. Ele disse ainda que esses desembargadores procuraram outros examinadores.

In his opinion, he reproduced a passage from the deposition of retired senior judge Ivan Cury, who was on the examination board for penal procedure in the first phase. Cury said that two senior judges whose sons were candidates for judgeships, contacted him for information on questions to be given on the exam. He also said these judges contacted other examiners.

Outro indício de fraude foi que a perícia encontrou o uso de corretivo para identificar as provas, na terceira linha da primeira questão de Direito Tributário. Diante dessas provas, defendeu que outro concurso seja feito.

Another sign of fraude was that the expert examination found the use of [white-out] to identify the testsin the third line of the first question in the section on tax law. Given this evidence, he argued that a new exam should be held.

Durante a sessão de julgamento do CNJ, o presidente nacional da OAB, Cezar Britto, também defendeu a anulação de todo o concurso. “A credibilidade não existe mais neste concurso”, afirmou. Ele lembrou aos membros do CNJ que não pode haver nenhuma dúvida na forma de seleção dos juízes. “Há uma comprovação clara que esse concurso público da magistratura no Rio de Janeiro está viciado e precisa ser anulado para que as vagas existentes sejam ocupadas por magistrados de credibilidade”, concluiu.

During the session of the CNJ, OAB national president Britto also defended annuling the examination.

Britto’s father is a Supreme Court justice.

“This competition has lost all credibility,” he said. He reminded CNJ members that there can be no doubt about the selection process for judges. “There is clear proof that this examination for the Rio judiciary was adulterated and needs to be annuled so that the openings can be filled with credible candidates,” he concluded.

O presidente da OAB-RJ, Wadih Damous, também fez uma intervenção na sessão do CNJ. Ele pediu a atenção dos conselheiros para o parecer da Procuradoria-Geral da República. E requeria uma conclusão em relação à denúncia de fraude: “ou não houve mácula nenhuma, ou esse concurso está eivado de vício e merece ser anulado dos termos do parecer do Ministério Público”. Damous elogiou o fato de o julgamento ter sido feito em sessão pública.

The president of OAB-Rio, Damous, also spoke at the session, calling attention to the opinion of the federal prosecutor and calling for a conclusion with respect to the fraud charges: “Either the process was spotless or else this competitive exam is [tainted] and deserves to be annuled as the Public Ministry recommends.” He praised the fact that the case was conducted in a public hearing.

Indícios de fraude

Signs of fraud

A principal prova usada pela OAB-RJ e pelo Conselho Federal para contestar a validade do concurso é o exame prestado por uma candidata. Ela é acusada de reproduzir textualmente, em seu exame, o gabarito da provas específicas de Direito Tributário. Ela foi reprovada na prova oral de Tributário, mas a violação da prova escrita, alegou a OAB, compromete a lisura do concurso, disputado por cerca de 1.800 candidatos.

The principal piece of evidence the OAB-RJ and federal OAB used to contest the validity of the examination is the examination paper handed in by a female candidate. She is accused of plagiarizing, word for word, in her exam the answer key for the section on tax law. She did not pass the oral exam on tax law, but the violation of the written portion compromises the integrity of the competition, which had 1,800 candidates.

Este fato, de acordo com a OAB-RJ, foi constatado pelo examinador Ricardo Aziz Cretton, um dos três da banca de Direito Tributário. Em declaração anexada à representação, ele disse ter visto outras provas de candidatos classificados para a etapa final do exame que “exibiam respostas com abordagens e raciocínio seqüencial similares aos do padrão gabaritado”.

This fact, according to the OAB-RJ, was noted by examiner Azia, one of three examiners for the tax law section. In a statement appended to the complaint, he said he saw other examinations by candidates who qualified for the next round that “displayed answers with an approach and line of reasoning similar to the answer key model.”

O examinador estranhou também o desempenho de outra candidata — esta incluída entre os 24 aprovados. Na prova oral de Tributário, ele deu à candidata nota 1 pelo que alega ter sido um fraco desempenho. Como ela obteve média cinco neste exame, os outros dois examinadores, deram a ela as notas oito e seis, o que revela uma inédita discrepância de resultados. Ela é professora do curso de Direito da Universidade Estácio de Sá, onde é colega de um ex-presidente do TJ-RJ — ambos dão aulas de Responsabilidade Civil.

The examiner was puzzled as well by the performance of another female candidate, this one among the 24 candidates approved for a judgeship. In the oral exam on tax law, he gave her a score of 1, which means weak performance. She received an average score of 5 on this section, which means the other two examiners gave her scores of 8 and 6 — a marked discrepancy. She is a professor at the Estácio de Sá law school, where she is a colleague of the former presiding justice of the TJ-RJ — both of them teach courses on civil liability.

A prova

The exam

O Tribunal de Justiça do Rio organiza seu próprio concurso, composto por três etapas eliminatórias: prova escrita preliminar, provas escritas específicas e provas orais. O presidente das etapas finais do último concurso foi o desembargador Cavalieri, na época presidente do Tribunal.

The Rio TJ organizes its own exam, which comprises three elimination rounds: A preliminary written exam, written exams on specific topics, and oral exams. The president of the final round was Justice Cavalieri, presiding justice of the court at the time.

Depois de passar pela prova preliminar, 77 candidatos classificados foram submetidos a provas escritas e orais específicas de Direito Civil, Processual Civil, Penal, Processual Penal, Constitucional, Administrativo, Empresarial e Tributário. Cada um dos temas contou com uma banca de três examinadores, que elaboraram as questões na hora, de acordo com o sorteio do ponto a ser abordado.

After passing the first round, 77 candidates took topic-specific written and oral exams in civil law, civil procedure, criminal procedure, constitutioal law, adminstrative law, business law and tax law. Each had a board of three examiners who made up the questions on the spot, based on a random drawing of the topic to be discussed.

Pela regra, o ponto é sorteado na presença dos membros da comissão e de três candidatos, que se apresentam espontaneamente (eles ficam isolados, para não ter chance de fazer consultas antes do exame). Mas, diferentemente de anos anteriores, neste concurso os demais candidatos só chegaram duas horas depois (e não no momento do sorteio), quando as provas foram distribuídas, depois de rodadas na gráfica do Tribunal.

By rule, the topic of the question is drawn in the presence of the commission members and three candidates, chosen at random, one by one, and isolated to prevent them from consulting one another …. But unlike previous years, in this competition the other candidates only arrived two hours later (not at the moment of the drawing), when the tests were distributed after being printed up at the court’s print shop.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s