Predictions on the Brazilian judicial system in 2042

The title leads to predictions launched with a high degree of possibility of hits and misses, but made on the basis of my experience of more than five decades in matters related to justice, lived with a keen eye for the visible and what who hides behind catchphrases, as well as permanent contacts with legal professionals from different fields, including the judiciary. Under such conditions, I dare to point out situations that I consider possible in 2042.

The first observation I make concerns the reason for choosing the year 2042. It was made because it will be in 20 years, that is to say the estimated time for the duration of a generation. Also, a forecast should not be so far away that it does not arouse interest and not so close that it causes insignificant changes.

Now let’s look at the imagined world panorama, moving in time to 2042 and, from there, making the story.

Russia’s war against Ukraine ended in 2023, after extensive negotiations, albeit with mutual distrust. The results, however, have been felt for decades, including increased poverty in several countries. Yet, paradoxically, they have become more united than ever. And for a very simple reason: the evils of global warming have affected everyone indiscriminately and this has imposed healthy common action to combat the difficulties.

In this scenario, the judicial system in Brazil has become more fragmented, very different from what was practiced in the 2020s. Among the innovations and changes, the following are worth noting:

  1. The courts of the judiciary began to be administered differently from the current one. The attributions of the presidents have become more representative, the administrative management being a judicial administrator trained in information technologies (computing)
  2. The search for innovation and improvement is permanent, based on the models of Innovation Laboratories and Intelligence Centers created about 25 years ago, occupying huge spaces and a large number of chosen magistrates and servants for their creative power, including, as Vânila Mores suggested in 2022, “for the implementation and management of the previous system in Brazil, based on the network connection of the different instances of the Judiciary”.[1]
  3. Courtroom spaces have been resized. The evolution of technology has made the Courts of Justice and the Registries of the Tribunals inactive, because from 2026, magistrates and civil servants have started to work from home, leaving only one person on duty per unit. Spaces began to be directed to the most needy organs of executive power.
  4. In 2038, the Federal Water Courts were created to give specialized treatment to water resources that had become scarce. The aforementioned Courts, administrative but created on the model of the Judicial Power, report directly to the National Water Agency (ANA) and judge in a single instance, appeals against their decisions being exercised before the Regional Federal Courts, with review exclusive respect for due process and a sufficient defence, the reconsideration of evidence being prohibited.
  5. Prosecutions dropped dramatically. Conflicts began to be settled, in the absolute majority of cases, by conciliation or mediation. In the criminal sphere, they began to be committed in all types of crimes, including homicides. In the civil field, the possibilities and the practice of mediation through specialized lawyers have increased, which now have the force of judicial title. Within the framework of the Judiciary, they have further developed, particularly in cases of lesser value or impact.
  6. The judiciary began to have a strong preventive action, in order to face the serious problems of repetitive requests which arose at the beginning of the century. Bearing in mind the possibility of repetition, any judge could notify the Presidency of the Court, which can determine the initiation of a process of preventive solutions, in a place prepared for this purpose, with sufficient dimensions and a structure adequate.
  7. The court relegated respect for the natural judge principle to proven cases of fraud. Prosecutions are now distributed according to the number of cases, regardless of the location of the judicial subdivision or judicial district. If in a court the distribution is lower, the judge receives cases from other districts.[2]
  8. Requests Structural and highly complex disputes have begun to deserve special treatment, with a relaxation of the rules of procedure and evidence carried out under the main axis focused on effectiveness and with “adjustments and adaptations of the rules of procedure existing ones”, as César Bochenek warned in 2022.[3]
  9. The Labor Court has been completely remodeled, adapting to new times and deciding in line in about 90% of cases, including more cases of informal and short-term relationships and Brazilians working on space platforms and in maritime exploration centers.
  10. Proof has become essentially technological. Stationary camcorders or in unmanned aerial vehicles constantly accompany people’s lives. Facial recognition and iris identification are present in all public and private buildings, forensics is carried out remotely using drones containing a body scanner, personal testimonies and the hearing of witnesses are not stored only in the classroom, but without use in the forensic routine.
  11. Criminal justice, given the constant existence of mass protests, sometimes with damage to public and private property, began to rely on specialized emergency care groups, linked to the security forces and the ministry audience.
  12. The persistence of environmental disasters has led to the creation of specialized groups in each Court, ready to intervene personally and in line events with urgent measures throughout the territory of the jurisdiction that depended on judicial authorization, such as the authorization to bury unidentified bodies and the return of children found without their parents.
  13. Decisions made by computers instructed with programs of high level of perfection began to decide in a reduced time questions of law, based on precedents, leaving to the magistrates the most complex questions.
  14. To facilitate the understanding of the distribution of judicial services, especially for people of lower cultural level, the pattern Justice buildings became colorful and featured characters and designs, an experiment that turned out to be a great success.[4]
  15. The other players in the justice system have also undergone significant changes. The Public Ministry began to act in specialized groups, for reasons of efficiency and security (non-recognition by criminal factions). The Office of the Public Defender began to serve collectively, through large groups in spaces formerly intended for sports fields. Prosecutors’ offices stopped offering tax executions, which began to be adjudicated administratively, only going to court in cases of embargoes. The police have become more technological, requiring knowledge in this area in public tenders, in addition to legal tenders.

Well, those are some guesses, regarding a mid-term future. It is up to us to fight so that these, and others that will inevitably arise, are applied with humanism and respect for people.

[2] This practice is already part of the reality of the Federal Court of the 4th district. Region since 2020.

[3] BOCHENEK, Antonio Cesar. STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS AND HIGH COMPLEXITY DISPUTES. Brasilia, Training School for Magistrates – ENFAM, p. 7, 2022.

[4] A suggestion inspired by the lato sensu postgraduate course program of the Magistrates Training School (Enfam), which had a strong collaboration with Federal Judge Marco Bruno Souza Miranda (SJRN)

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