Casa da Suplicação

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Casa da Suplicação

Casa da Suplicação, a Portuguese High Court of Appeal that served as a model for the Brazilian High Court. It was originally joined with the Casa do Cível, from which it was separated at the end of the fourteenth century. The main body of the Casa da Suplicação consisted of desembargadores (high court magistrates), including desembargadores extravagantes (unassigned judges) and desembargadores dos agravos (appellate judges). The desembargadores were divided into two chambers, or mesas, one for civil cases and one for criminal cases. Each was directed by a desembargador dos agravos, who bore the title of corregedor. A plenary session, called a mesa grande, could be convened for matters of great importance. A chancellor served as a kind of chief justice and assigned judges to hear litigation, issued sentences, and reviewed decisions to avoid conflict with existing statutes.

The Casa da Suplicação heard appeals in criminal cases, in civil cases involving sums of money above the amount established for the Casa de Cível, and in appeals of judicial decisions made in the colonies. Because it was the highest court of appeal, the Casa da Suplicação made some of the most important decisions affecting life in colonial Brazil.

See alsoJudiciary in Latin America, The .


Stuart B. Schwartz, Sovereignty and Society of Colonial Brazil (1973).

Additional Bibliography

Barrios, Feliciano, ed. El gobierno de un mundo: Virreinatos y audiencias en la América hispánica. Cuenca, Ecuador: Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha: Fundación Rafael del Pino, 2004.

Burkholder, Mark A., ed. Administrators of Empire. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, 1998.

                                      Ross Wilkinson