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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Launches Central Database

(Apr. 19, 2012)

On April 13, 2012, the President of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court and of the National Council of Justice, Minister Cezar Peluso, took the initial step for the creation of the National Center for Procedural and Extra-Procedural Information (Central Nacional de Informações Processuais e Extraprocessuais, CNIPE). CNIPE will gather data from all tribunals and registrars (cartórios) in the country. (Mariana Braga & Jorge Vasconcellos, Judiciário Ganha Banco de Dados Integrado, AGÊNCIA CNJ DE NOTÍCIAS (Apr. 13, 2012).)

The purpose of CNIPE is to provide access at a single electronic address to information on legal proceedings, statistical data on the judiciary, real estate records, divorce, and much more CNIPE is being designed to provide citizens with the means to learn, for example, whether a person or company is being prosecuted or has any type of dispute pending in court, is responding to criminal prosecution, or has property that was made unavailable due to a dispute anywhere in the country. (Braga & Vasconcellos, supra.)

According to the project, the central database will enable judicial authorities to assess the procedural workflow of the courts in the districts (comarcas) and to evaluate the need to create new judicial trial courts, expand the existing tribunals, or hire more workers. (Id.)

Currently, to obtain procedural information online, a person needs to access the websites of the different courts in the country, which allow different levels and forms of consultation and data access. The expectation is that with the new database, a search for information about any of the 91 Brazilian courts can be done at a single website. It is expected that by the end of this year, 50% of all cases in the country will become available for consultation in the central database, and that by the end of 2014 all 91 Brazilian courts will be integrated into the system. (Id.)

In addition to facilitating the lives of Brazilian citizens through improved access to judicial and extra-judicial information the central database is expected to provide savings of time and personnel, to the courts that collect such information. With the search tool, it will also be possible “to create reports that provide analyses of judicial and extrajudicial activities to support corrections of and assist in the definition of strategic actions.” (Id.)