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Judicial decision making and predictability at Brazilian Supreme Court: an empirical study of appeals

Grant number: 11/14351-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2012 - February 28, 2013
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Public Law
Principal Investigator:Luciana Gross Cunha
Grantee:Luciana Gross Cunha
Host Institution: Escola de Direito de São Paulo. Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims to study the judicial behavior of Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) as an appellate court, by analyzing the decision-making process on recursos extraordinários (RE). This proposal will focus on the analysis of the cases decided by the full Court from September 5th, 2007 to September 1st, 2009, during which the composition of the Brazilian Supreme Court remained stable. Considering that this subject is not widely explored in academic papers on constitutional jurisprudence, this study aims to start building a database that contains systematic information on the justices' construction of arguments that is going to serve as a starting point to other studies on the subject. The second intent of the research is to understand how the justices construct their arguments on these cases in order to analyze whether there is any consistency in the Court's decision-making process. When Brazilian Supreme Court decides RE, it generally defines a guiding conduct that would be followed by Brazilian society. Therefore, it is essential to understand the way the Court decides such cases. The relevance of this stage of the research also lies in the possibility to analyze whether the reasoning of justices follows certain decision-making parameters that contribute to reducing uncertainty, thereby promoting predictability of the judicial system, which is essential to the development of the rule of law. (AU)

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