Brazilian Court Hierarchy

The judiciary of Brazil comprises of several courts working in the country at different levels. The structure as well as jurisdiction of the Brazilian jurisdiction is collectively known as the Brazilian Constitution. The system of courts is divided into ordinary courts and specialized courts.

The specialized courts come under the Federal courts whereas the ordinary courts are divided between Federal and State jurisdiction. Overall, there is a hierarchical structure followed among the courts at each of the levels. To understand this hierarchy better, you can read the following given information.

Brazilian court hierarchy

Supreme Federal Court

The Supreme Federal court in Brazil is the highest court of the country and has the ultimate say on the cases that reach it.  This court holds the responsibility to serve as the ultimate guardian of Brazilian Constitution and also to analyze the Constitutionality of a federal or state law.

Superior Court of Justice

The superior court of justice is the highest court in the country in non-constitutional issues concerning both federal and state courts.  This court is capable of granting Special Appeal in the case when a judgement of a court of second instance goes against a federal stature.

Specialized Courts

Military Courts

These courts are the courts Martials of the Brazilian Armed Forces. These are headed by the Superior Military Court and are integrated by both military and civilian members.

Labor Courts

These courts have jurisdiction over labor law issues which also includes the Collective. These are the first instance courts in major cities and the second instance courts are the Regional labor courts.  The system of labor courts is headed by the Superior Labor Courts.

Electoral Courts

This system of courts is headed by the Supreme Electoral court and each state has its own regional electoral court.

Ordinary Courts

State Level Judiciary

Trial Courts

Each of the state or territory in Brazil is divided into judicial districts which are further made up of one or more municipalities. Every judicial district has atleast one trial court which functions mostly as a first instance court in maximum cases.

Courts of Justice

This court is the highest court of a state judicial system which is also the court of second instance. Each state has only on court of justice but there are courts of appeal where a person can review any decision made by a trial court.

Federal Courts

The federal courts handle the political crimes, crimes against the labor organization, crimes committed aboard ships or aircrafts etc.