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Brazil’s highest court names first Jewish justice

JTA

February 10, 2011 | 10:08 am

Brazil’s highest court will have its first Jewish member.

Judge Luiz Fux, 57, was approved Wednesday by the South American country’s Senate to be seated on the Supreme Federal Court, an 11-member panel that decides constitutional and other matters, as well as final appeals.

Fux is now a judge of the Superior Court of Justice and presided recently over a commission that forged Brazil’s new Civil Process Code. He also is a writer and professor at prestigious universities.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral favored Fux for the Supreme Federal Court post.

In 2009, Fux received the Theodor Herzl Trophy, which is given by the Rio Jewish Federation and the Israeli Embassy to distinguished Jews.

Fux’s grandmother is a former president of the Israelite Children’s Home in Rio. His grandparents fled Romania for Brazil during World War II.

In May 2009, The Economist called Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court “the most overburdened court in the world, thanks to a plethora of rights and privileges entrenched in the country’s 1988 constitution.  ... The result was a court that is overstretched to the point of mutiny.”

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