Chief Justice Barbosa Held the Inauguration Speech at University of Brasília

The 5th of April the university year at the University of Brasília (UnB), where I am an exchange student this semester, began.
As Brasília is the capital of Brazil and the home city of the Supreme Federal Court, the President and the Congress UnB had the possibility to invite one of their former students, president of the Supreme Federal Court, Joaquim Barbosa, to make a speech at the inauguration of the university year. 
Before Barbosa’s speech, there were several speeches from the other deans of the university and there was also a short music session. However the biggest applause came when Chief Justice Barbosa arrived and people took pictures of him as if he was a celebrity.
Barbosa expressed himself calmly while he talked about his time at UnB and prised the university for the events and conferences that they arranged. Besides that he talked about how the university now is more democratic and fair and said that interdisciplinary is very important in university studies. Furthermore he reminded the students that the university opens a window of possibilities for them, but that it also gives them a big responsibility to take control of their life. He finished his speech by saying that the students should “study hard, study always and study the Brazilian way”.
Before he left he took time to answer some questions from the audience and the last question was about his view on the selection of Marco Feliciano (member of PSC) as minister for human rights and minorities. This was one of the hot topics in March/April because Feliciano earlier had been under investigation for homophobic accusations and his selection was seen as a sign of the “dirty” deals made in the congress.
Barbosa answered that the selection was a sign on the liberty in Brazil and that Feliciano was democratically approved through the congress.

Short about Chief Justice Barbosa:

1954: Born in Paracatu, Minas Gerais.
1975: Began to study law at the University of Brasilia.
1990: attended Pantheon-Assas university in Paris to take a master and a Doctor.
1999: Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School in New York.
2002: Visiting Professor at UCLA School of Law.
2003: Selected to the Supreme Federal Court by President Lula da Silva.
2012: Selected as Chief Justice of Brazil and president of the Supreme Federal Court.
  • Selected by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in 2013.
  • Known as a very humble man.
  • Speaks French, English, German and Spanish.
  • Worked as a cleaner and a printer before attending university.
  • Is the first black person to be selected as Chief Justice of Brazil.

For more information about the event and Chief justice Barbosa please look at:

Written by By Nicolai Kammersgaard


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