Dias Toffoli, the Supreme Court (STF) president, who was workers party member and lawyer of that party during the Lula da Silva government said on Thursday he was optimistic about Brazil and said that now the role of national development must return to politics, after being taken over by the judiciary in recent years.
The statements were made to an audience of jurists attending a dinner in New York, NY, where the minister attends a two-day seminar organized by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in conjunction with Columbia University.
Also in the American city are the minister Gilmar Mendes (STF) and Joao Otavio de Noronha, president of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), among other names. “I am an optimist, I am not only optimistic, I am optimistic, but in the last four years, we have seen how many issues of the greatest gravity we face and arbitrate, and Brazilian society has remained democratic, respecting decisions.”
According the president of the STF, the population must be “very proud of the Brazilian Judiciary”. “We must defend this, which is the pillar of the democratic state of law.” There is no democracy without an independent judiciary, without an autonomous judiciary, and in Brazil there is an autonomous and independent judiciary.
In his speech, he did not mention the appointment of Judge Sergio Moro, chosen by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, to lead the “Super Minister” of Justice. On Bolsonaro, he stated that he must be respected and accepted as one who will lead the “fate of this great nation.”
He also defended that society assume its problems. In a complex society, he said, the number of human relations increases, as do conflicts. “If everything has to stop in the judiciary, we will not have legs and conditions to solve all the problems,” he said.
According to him, instead of looking only at an established leader or authority, society should know to organize itself to solve its problems. “People pass, institutions stay,” he summarized. After years in the limelight, Toffoli said that the judiciary should now play a leading role in politics.
“It is necessary, with the democratic renewal that took place in the general elections of October this year, that politics should once again lead national development. We have been in the last few years with the Judiciary being a protagonist,” he said.
“It is necessary to restore confidence in politics so that we can return to the classic distinction: the legislature takes care of the future, the executive takes care of the present, and the judiciary pacifies the conflicts that have occurred.”
Toffoli said that the judiciary will continue its mission as moderator. For him, the focus should be on pacification of conflicts, with a “Judiciary less judicial, and more humanizing.”