There is a famous saying in Brazil that justice may be slow, but it never fails. The maxim is certainly half right. An insufficient amount of judges and almost never-ending availability of appeals means that cases invariably take an unreasonably long time to process. The so-called “congestion rate” of Brazil’s trial courts—the percentage of cases yet to have been concluded—stands at 74 percent, according to data from the National Council of Justice. But sooner or later, these cases need a decision.
This week, with a view to finally getting around to that long-forgotten to-do list, the Superior Court of Justice has set a date for the trial of the oldest pending case in Brazil: a royal feud which was originally filed in 1895.