Barbosa made Brazil’s first black Supreme Court leader

Barbosa made Brazil’s first black Supreme Court leader

BBC News

The judge overseeing a major corruption trial in Brazil has been appointed president of the Supreme Court, the first black person to hold the post.

Judge Joaquim Barbosa, who was born into a poor family, has been praised for his judicial independence.

He will take over the post once the “Mensalao” corruption trial ends.

Brazil has the largest black population after Nigeria, many of them descendants of African slaves, but black people rarely achieve high office.

Judge Barbosa, who is 58, has been appointed by other judges, following the Court’s tradition of nominating its most senior member…

…In 2003, he became a household name in Brazil when he was appointed by then President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to the Supreme Court.

Two mixed-race judges had previously been members of the court, but Mr Barbosa said he was the first one who could be “widely recognised as a black man”.

“This act has great significance, as it indicates to society the end of certain visible and invisible barriers,” he said at the time…

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