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Brazil: State Tribunal and State Government Sign Agreement to Promote Conciliation

(Sept. 15, 2016) The Justice Tribunal of the State of Minas Gerais and the State Secretariat of Health of Minas Gerais, on August 18, 2016, signed a technical cooperation agreement (termo de cooperação técnica) to promote conciliation procedures involving complaints related to public health.  The agreement was in compliance with the National Judicial Policy on Proper Handling of Conflicts of Interest Within the Judiciary (Política Judiciária Nacional de Tratamento Adequado dos Conflitos de Interesses no Âmbito do Poder Judiciário), created on November 29, 2010, by Brazil’s National Council of Justice. (Tribunal e Governo Fazem Parceria para Reduzir Judicialização na Saúde, Conselho Nacional de Justiça [National Council of Justice] (CNJ) website(Aug. 24, 2016); Conselho Nacional de Justiça, CNJ website (last visited Aug. 25, 2016; Resolução CNJ No. 125, de 29 de Novembro de 2010, CNJ website.)

According to the agreement, the Minas Gerais State Secretariat of Health will provide the Tribunal with two government employees with medical and pharmaceutical technical knowledge to supply information on the policies of the country’s Unified Health System (Sistema Unico de Saúde). This will enable the Tribunal to have a better understanding of the health system so that judges can decide related legal issues more accurately and rapidly and avoid citizens’ having to take the regular judicial route to resolve a case.  As a consequence, it is expected that there will be an increase in the number of conciliations and a decrease in the number of lawsuits. (Tribunal e Governo Fazem Parceria para Reduzir Judicialização na Saúde, supra.)

The National Council of Justice was created in 2004 through Constitutional Amendment No. 45 of December 30, 2004. (Emenda Constitucional No. 45, de 30 de Dezembro de 2004, PLANALTO.)  It is a judicial agency responsible for the administrative and financial control of the judiciary and the supervision of judges. (Constituição Federal [Federal Constitution], art. 103-B(§ 4), PLANALTO.)