Choosing Judges in Brazil: Reassessing Legal Transplants from the U.S.
38 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2011
Date Written: January 12, 2011
This paper compares the Brazilian method with the United States general procedures of judicial selection at both state and federal levels. The most significant difference between judicial selections in both countries is that, at the lower level, the process is entirely administered by the judiciary in Brazil. Contrastingly, at the Supreme Court level, the Brazilian Constitution uses the same mechanism established by the United States, namely presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. This paper underlines that the constitutional transplant of the U.S. model of judicial selection at the Supreme Court level has produced a distinct balance of power between different branches of government in Brazil. We provide possible explanations for why apparently identical legal institutions have evolved in different ways, in particular focusing on the distinct role the Senate has developed in confirming presidential nominees.
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