Recognition, Redistribution and Popular Participation: Towards an Integrative Judicial Policy

The black statement in the prosecution

Black question in MP

The black statement in the prosecution

By Flavio Siqueira Junior Conectas Human Rights Lawyer
By Sheila de Carvalho Conectas Human Rights Lawyer
By Rodnei Jericho Geledés Lawyer - Black Woman Institute
By Daniel Teixeira Lawyer of the Center for Studies of Labor Relations and Inequalities - CEERT
Do Jot

In justice system settings, in forums, in courtrooms, turn your neck and see how many black people are present. How many fulfill the role of judge? How many are promoters? How many are defenders? And how many are sitting in the dock? This critical movement of the eye, dubbed by the researchers of racism the “neck test,” tends to demonstrate what we are conditioned to ignore on a daily basis: the absence of representation and diversity in institutional spaces that underlie its existence on constitutional principles and norms.

It is worth remembering: In 1988, one hundred years after the end of slavery, the Constitution elevated equality and justice as supreme values ​​of the Brazilian Democratic Rule of Law. Still, in a black-majority country, photos of contemporary reality continue to record the severe inequality and shocking racism in every space of public life.

The Census of the Judiciary, published by the CNJ in 2014, opened up this wound of racial inequality in the justice system. The survey pointed to what is already clear: 82,8% of the judges are white. Only 1,4% self-described black and 14,2% brown. It is noteworthy that racial inequality still adds to the profound gender inequality - embodied in the CNJ itself, which did not even consider including the race and gender record in its analysis.

In the Public Prosecution Service, examples like the one from Bahia stand out. About 76% of the population is black, but blacks make up only 1,9% of prosecutors.

It is therefore unequivocal the existence of an institutional racism in Brazil. This situation causes the chances and opportunities for blacks to be systematically limited - which results in a caste society, as Sueli Carneiro argues in the article “The Antiracism Dilemma”.

In this scenario, debates about the implementation of policies that make access to justice system positions more equitable are urgent and necessary. In recent years, important policies have been implemented to reduce this lack of multi-racial representation.

Since September of 2014, the Public Prosecutor of Bahia has reserved to blacks 30% of vacancies for the career of prosecutor. The National Council of Justice, in June this year, approved the minimum reserve of 20% of vacancies in public tenders for the judiciary. The same path is followed by public defenders from around the country, such as São Paulo, who recently approved the implementation of racial ethnic quotas for blacks and indigenous people to the positions of defenders and servants.

Data abound to show the need to make room for new initiatives that break with racial inequality in the careers of the justice system. After ten years of affirmative action in the field of educational policy, people with diverse social and ethnic-racial profiles are completing higher education - which is essential for these changes to also reach the most representative social careers.

Brazil and other United Nations Member States, meeting in Santiago in 2000 and the III World Conference on Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Correlate Intolerance held in South Africa at 2001, within the Declaration and from the Plan of Action that emerged from those conferences, gradually committed themselves to adopting policies that could create a social, economic and developmental balance of historically vulnerable populations, invisible for centuries.

Carrying out policies to convert this unequal scenario is nothing more than the fulfillment of the democratic project of ensuring diversity and social plurality, already recognized by the STF in ADPF 186 and reflected in the constitutional text and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination. UN race, which expressly provides for quota policies as a key instrument in combating and eliminating racism.

Considering the essential role of the Public Prosecution Service for the Democratic Rule of Law, the institution must recognize its role in reducing social inequalities and promoting a change in the structural conditions of its own composition as a reflection of this reduction.

This Tuesday (18 / 08), the National Council of the Public Prosecution Service, will have the opportunity to follow the example of other entities of the justice system and implement affirmative action policies for career entry throughout Brazil. This would be a correct, if not obvious and late, adaptation of the institution's structure to the Brazilian reality and to the constitutional dictates that seek to correct any and especially the most shameful inequality in all of Brazilian history, the result of slavery.