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High Courts of Appeal that served as the supreme tribunal in colonial Brazil. Relações were at the top of the colonial administrative structure and exercised broad administrative and political powers in the colonies. There were two Relações in colonial Brazil. The first was in Salvador, Bahia, while the second, created in Rio de Janeiro in 1751, served the southern captaincies. Each Relação consisted of about thirty officials, including agravistas (appeals judges), procuradores (procurators), and juizes da coroa (crown judges). The governor-general or viceroy presided over the Relação. The Crown considered Relações as reliable sources of information in the colonies. In Brazil the Relação often served as an advisory council on fiscal, economic, and common-welfare matters. Relações also reviewed performances of officials in captaincies following tours of duty.

See alsoJudicial Systems: Brazil .


Caio Prado, Jr., The Colonial Background of Modern Brazil (1967).

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

Additional Bibliography

Wehling, Arno, and Maria José C. de M. Wehling. Direito e justiça no Brasil Colonial: O Tribunal da Relação do Rio de Janeiro, 1751–1808. Rio de Janeiro: Renovar, 2004.

                                          Ross Wilkinson