According to the Brazilian law, a judge cannot receive higher salaries than the ones received by judges the Supreme Court members, R$ 33,700 per month (or US$ 10,202) — which is already higher than the monthly income of 99% of Brazilians. However, it has long been known there are judges who have a monthly income above this value. This happens because there are many optional benefits that can be added to a judge’s salary.
Although there are transparency laws for the salaries of Brazilian civil servants, it was not until 2017 that the National Council of Justice forced all the courts in the country to make public the judges’ salaries. The first data was released in November 2017, but with two obstacles: there were separate tables for each of the country’s 87 courts, and the files were protected. So, despite the Council determination, it was still very difficult for a common citizen to handle the data made available. Nexo Jornal Data Team created a simple, didactic and attractive visualization for a data of great importance to understand the Brazilian judicial system.
What makes this project innovative?
The simple and didactic graphic is also innovative. In a flowchart, the piece explains to citizens who are not aware of the benefits system of the Brazilian Public Service how judges’ wages can reach such a high value.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Source and methodology
We also gathered information from the Constitution, in the internal Justice rules and in resolutions of National Justice Council to understand how their earnings surpass the salary cap. The final visualization presented was also reviewed by a law specialist.