In theory, there is a cap on judge salaries in Brazil. Judges may not be compensated beyond the salary threshold of the Supreme Court, which is currently set at close to 34,000 reais per month. In practice, however, some judges are paid quite a bit more than this.
One report that fell into the hands of Sao Paulo newspaper O Estado shows that
compensation varies widely. An appellate judge in Minas Gerais earns on average, $56,000 reais per month in gross wages. In Sao Paulo, the figure is 52,000, while in Rio de Janeiro, appeals court justices earn just 38,000. These salary levels are higher than those of counterparts in Britain and even in the United States. In some cases, Brazilian judges earn more than the high court justices of Belgium and Portugal.
The reason is that basic compensation is supplemented with additional pay based on certain interpretations of laws governing the compensation of members of the judiciary. According to economists, the skyrocketing earnings of judges in excess of the legal limit should serve as a warning about fiscal health of country.
According to Nelson Marconi of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, Brazil’s most respected think tank, judges are at the top of the civil service food chain. Whenever public employees ask for more benefits, judges are generally the first to go into negotiations with the government.
Ricardo Tosto is one of Brazil’s leading jurists. As an experienced litigator, he specializes in various facets of financial, banking, and bankruptcy law. Ricardo Tosto also serves as a political analyst and lecturer addressing range of issues in law, finance, and politics.
Fluent in English and Portuguese, Ricardo Tosto is a member of the International Bar Association and also serves on various committees of the Sao Paulo Bar. In addition, Ricardo Tosto believes deeply in the importance of service to the public, to his chosen profession, and to his firm, Ricardo Tosto & Associates.