Bolsonaro appoints Paulo Sérgio Domingues and Messod Azulay to STJ

Names still have to go through the Senate; President accelerated nominations for fear of defeat in elections

President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) appointed this Monday (Aug. vacancies in the STJ. Here is the full text (10 MB) of the publication of the indications in an extra edition of the Official Gazette.

Bolsonaro accelerated the nominations. He is worried about an eventual defeat in the dispute for the Planalto and, therefore, end up being without political conditions to get the names on the STJ.

For this reason, he intends to take advantage of the Senate’s concentrated work week, which runs from August 8 to 12, to formalize the nominations. The House needs to approve the names.

Read the profiles of Bolsonaro’s nominees:

  • Paulo Sergio Domingues – holds a master’s degree in law from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Germany, a law degree from the University of São Paulo and professor of civil procedural law at the Faculty of Law of Sorocaba (FADI). He has been a career federal judge at the TRF-3, based in SP, since 2014, president of the 7th Panel of the Court and member of the Special Body. Previously, he was a lawyer and attorney for the municipality of São Paulo;
  • Messod Azulay – Federal judge of the TRF-2, based in Rio de Janeiro. He graduated from the National Law School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and has extension courses at Fundação Getúlio Vargas. He joined the TRF-2 for the fifth constitutional through the Brazilian Bar Association. He was once director of the Cultural Center of the Federal Justice of Rio de Janeiro.


O Power 360 found that Azulay’s name was well defined about 1 month ago. It was recently consolidated with the removal of the veto on his name by Minister André Mendonça, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), and Luiz Fux, president of the Supreme Court.

About two weeks ago, President Jair Bolsonaro, when asked about the topic, always replied: “The problem with these nominations is the ‘not him’. Everyone calls to veto someone and not to defend.”

This was no longer the case with the name of Azulay, who became the favorite for one of the vacancies. The 2nd seat at the STJ was pending for Ney Bello, but he was vetoed by Minister Nunes Marques, who is a member of the STF by Bolsonaro’s appointment.

Ney Bello and Nunes Marques were TRF-1 colleagues and disputed in the past for a vacancy for the STJ. Because of this, the relationship between the two was never very good.

In recent days, Paulo Sérgio Domingues has obtained relevant support, according to the Power 360. In addition to Nunes Marques, André Mendonça and Dias Toffoli explicitly join the STF. He is also supported by Humberto Martins, president of the STJ, and Maria Thereza de Assis Moura, who will take over as head of the Court in place of Martins in August.


Both Paulo Sérgio and Ney Bello have friendship links with Flávio Dino, former governor of Maranhão, pre-candidate for the Senate for the PSB and strong opponent of Jair Bolsonaro.

In the case of Paulo, the connection is old, from when both participated in the board of Ajufe (Association of Federal Judges of Brazil), from 2000 to 2002. Dino was president of the entity, while Paulo was vice president of the 3rd Region. In the following board (2002-2004), Paulo became president of the association and had Ney Bello as vice president of the 1st Region.

Ney Bello also has close relationships with Dino. She was very influential in making suggestions to the politician while he was governor of Maranhão. In other words, Paulo and Ney’s proximity to the leftist politician ended up canceling out.

About Abhishek Pratap

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