The plenary of the Senate approved in a symbolic vote, this Wednesday (22), the bill that creates the Federal Regional Court of the 6th Region, headquartered in Belo Horizonte (MG). The text is going to be sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro, inform the Senate Agency and the Superior Court of Justice (STJ).
A strong lobby of Minas Gerais magistrates and parliamentarians contributed to the approval of the TRF-6. The project faced resistance from the Judiciary and the Federal Chamber, due to the fear of an increase in public expenditure.
The project intends to relieve the Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region, headquartered in Brasília, whose jurisdiction covers 13 States and the Federal District. Minas Gerais accounts for more than 30% of the processes that are processed in the TRF-1.
The project is an initiative of the STJ, for which João Otávio de Noronha, former president of the court, from Minas Gerais (2018-2020). The rapporteur is Senator Antonio Anastasia (PSD-MG). In May 2020, the Federal Court in Minas Gerais distributed commendations to 17 people. Among those honored, senator Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM) –current president of the Senate– and federal deputy Fábio Ramalho (MDB-MG).
Pacheco worked for the approval of the new TRF in Minas, having defended the creation project in plenary. Fábio Ramalho is the project’s rapporteur at the Federal Chamber.
The bill went to plenary vote after being approved on the same day by the Senate Committee on Constitution, Justice and Citizenship (CCJ).
In 2019, the Federal Justice Council, under Noronha’s administration, approved the creation of the sixth federal regional court. “We are creating the TRF-6 without changing the Federal Justice budget, taking advantage of and redistributing resources within the current budget. Therefore, there will be no additional increase to the treasury, nor to the Federal Government. That was our concern, as we know that this is a difficult time and one of cost containment”, he said.
In May 2020, Bill No. 5,919, which provides for the creation of the TRF-6, was discussed in the Federal Chamber. The newspaper Valor Econômico reported that “Palácio do Planalto stitched together the vote on the project with the new support base, the Centrão”.
Journalist Maria Cristina Fernandes recalled, at the time, that Noronha had suspended a TRF-3 injunction so that President Jair Bolsonaro could present his Covid-19 exams. Bolsonaro suggested that Noronha would occupy the vacancy of the then dean of the Federal Supreme Court, Minister Celso de Mello. The chair today belongs to Minister Kassio Nunes. The new Minas Gerais court would be a consolation prize for Noronha. In Minas, lawyers are betting that their biggest project is to see their son chosen for the new court by the OAB. The minister’s advisors have already denied this hypothesis.
The TRF-6 proposal was approved in the Chamber of Deputies in August 2020, on the eve of the change of command in the STJ, the last day of Noronha’s term. The then president of the Chamber, Rodrigo Maia, said: “We, who are against the creation of the court, respect the position of the majority, but it was clear that there will be an increase in public spending next year.”
According to Noronha said at the time, the court will have a new structure, sharing secretariats between the 1st degree units and moving servers.
The TRF-6 will have 18 judges — whose positions are to be created by transforming another 20 vacant TRF-1 substitute judge positions and about 200 commission positions. The forecast is that the TRF-6 will initially have the average percentage of the budget of the judicial section of Minas Gerais in the last five years, which can be supplemented up to the limit of the expenditure ceiling (Constitutional Amendment 95).
The new court is expected to create vacancies for members of the law, prosecutors and magistrates. These segments were also represented in the distribution of medals by the Federal Court in May last year. The project is supported by the Union of Federal Power Workers in the State of Minas Gerais (SITRAEMG).
Noise at source
Constitutional Amendment No. 73, of June 2013, providing for the creation of four new TRFs, was challenged in the Federal Supreme Court by the National Association of Federal Attorneys (Anpaf).
In July 2013, during a recess, the then president of the STF, Joaquim Barbosa, granted an injunction suspending the creation of new TRFs. “It is very likely that the Union is dealing with needs and demands as or more relevant than the creation of four new courts. In spite of its constitutional and legal obligations, the Union will not have the indispensable resources to fulfill its role with the administered ones”, argued Barbosa, in the injunction.
In March of that year, the position of the presidents of the five federal regional courts coincided with Barbosa’s opinion. The then president of the TRF-1, Judge Mário César Ribeiro, said: “We have identified that there are more viable solutions for the State, without creating an entire apparatus, an entire gigantic structure, and with a much smaller expense for the public coffers.”
The president of the STJ and the Federal Justice Council (CJF), Minister Humberto Martins, said on Wednesday that the initiative “is a concrete example of how to rationalize the functioning of Justice”.
“The TRF-6 is being created without new expenses for the taxpayer and it will relieve the most overloaded court in the country, which is the TRF-1, responsible for an inhuman demand of processes”, evaluated Martins.
The headline of the news released this Wednesday by the STJ reproduces the catchphrase repeated by Noronha in recent months about the project that fueled:
“Senate approves creation of the Federal Regional Court of the 6th Region, no increase in expenses” [grifo nosso].
To be checked.