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Joaquim Benedito Barbosa Gomes (Paracatu, October 7, 1954) is a Brazilian lawyer and judge, who also works as a professor and jurist. He is the current President of the Supreme Federal Court and, therefore, heads the Judicial Power of Brazil. In 2013, he was chosen by Times magazine as one of the hundred most influential people in the world.
Joaquim Barbosa’s Biography
Joaquim Barbosa was born in Paracatu, northwest of Minas Gerais. He is the first of eight brothers. The father was a bricklayer and the mother was a housewife, being the breadwinner when her parents separated. When he was 16 years old he moved to Brasília, getting a job in the Brazilian Post Office, finishing the second grade, always in public school. During this time he worked as a cleaning staff in a printing press, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Brasilia. Immediately afterwards he finishes his masters in State Law, in the same university.
Barbosa had a brief stint in the Foreign Ministry (1976-1979) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Brazil), and was featured in the Brazilian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland, and then worked as a lawyer in the Federal Data Processing Service ( 1979-84).
He competed to be Procurator of the Republic, approving. Then, he retired from his position to go to study in France, for four years, obtaining his masters and doctorate in Public Law, before the University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas) in 1990 and 1993. Later he again occupied his post of attorney from Rio de Janeiro at the same time that he was a professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He was “visiting scholar” of the Institute of Human Rights of the Faculty of Law of Columbia University in New York and the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. He also studied other languages, becoming proficient in French, English, German and Spanish. He also plays the piano, the violin since he was 16 years old. In 2003 he was nominated Minister of the STF by President Lula.
Joaquim Barbosa is also the recognized black prime minister of the STF, which, added to his humble origins, makes him a prominent figure in Brazilian politics. Barbosa also suffers from sacroiliitis, an inflammatory disease, which produces a very acute pain, preventing him from remaining seated. Therefore it is very common to see him exercising his functions standing up, or sitting in a special chair to relieve his pain.
On June 4, 2013 it was announced that he would not assume the interim Presidency of the Republic as it would have corresponded according to the Brazilian succession, being replaced by Henrique Alves, president of the Chamber of Deputies, in what some called a political maneuver.
More Facts about Joaquim Barbosa
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