A pilot project designed to create a cooperation center to reduce the number of bankruptcy and judicial reorganization proceedings in Minas Gerais has been running since February. The initiative will enable greater specialization of judges and public servants and, with this, has the potential to increase productivity and speed up the review of cases in progress in the state, especially in the processing of business claims, which are admittedly complex.
The project was implemented by Judge Gilson Soares Lemes, chief judge of the Court of Appeals of Minas Gerais (TJMG), and shall be implemented, in a first moment, by the judges of the 1st and 2nd Business Courts in the Judicial District of Belo Horizonte, who will work together in the examination of bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings in progress in the judicial districts of the state. Other matters involving business law will be reviewed by auxiliary judges appointed by the court.
In the second stage, the bankruptcy and judicial reorganization proceedings filed in the state's judicial districts will be transferred to specialized judicial units in Minas Gerais. According to data gathered, there are currently about three thousand bankruptcy and court-supervised reorganization proceedings awaiting judgment in the 296 judicial districts of the state.
The Judiciary of Minas Gerais had already been implementing measures to make the provision of judicial services more efficient, effective, and accessible to society. Among them is Resolution 977/21, issued by the TJMG on November 16, 2021. The resolution approved the instatement of the 21st Civil Chamber which, together with the 16th Civil Chamber, will be responsible for processing and judging, on an exclusive basis, appeals and incidental proceedings related to:
- business law;
- public records;
- social security law in which the INSS is a party; and
- other matters described in Exhibit II of the aforementioned resolution.
The measures are in line with the assumptions established in the Justice 4.0 Program, launched by the National Council of Justice (CNJ) in January of 2021. The CNJ's goal is to promote the improvement of judicial policies, including implementation of technological innovations and increase of governance and transparency in the Judiciary.
The creation of courts and chambers specialized in business law has been a practice adopted for years by the Court of Appeals of the State of São Paulo (TJSP) and has helped to make the Judiciary more agile.
An important jurimetric study on the business courts of the judicial district of São Paulo done by the Brazilian Association of Jurimetrics (ABJ) analyzed more than 300,000 cases filed over three years (2013 to 2015) in the 44 civil courts and two bankruptcy courts of the Central Courts of São Paulo. In the study, the number of completed cases and the time spent by judges in reaching decisions were surveyed. It was found that bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings demand three times more time for review by the judges than ordinary civil proceedings. Other business claims, such as corporate litigation, demand more than twice as much work time. This data was used by the TJSP to justify the creation of regional courts specialized in business law in Greater São Paulo.
The changes promoted by the TJMG also show a willingness to foster the stability of business case law, which is positive and commendable. The increase in legal security and improvement in judicial decisions are intrinsically linked to increase in confidence of citizens, businessmen, and investors, determining factors to boost the local economy.
For all the proposed changes to be implemented, it will be necessary to carefully delimit the matters to be decided by the specialized courts and to determine as clearly as possible the jurisdiction of these bodies. This will avoid the annulment of decisions handed down by incompetent judges and the filing of conflicts of jurisdiction, which would unnecessarily overload the Judiciary.
The TJMG's initiative should be valued because, in the medium and long term, it will meet the constitutional guarantees related to the reasonable duration of the proceeding and the principle of efficiency, provided in article 5, LXXVIII, of the Federal Constitution (FC). We emphasize, however, that for the measure to be more effective, a review of the matters set out in article 3, subsection II, of TJMG Resolution 977/21 should be carried out in order to make some of its provisions clearer and, if necessary, further delimit the jurisdiction of the 16th and 21st Civil Chambers.
 According to the CNJ, 67.5% of Brazilian judicial districts have only one court with no specialization. Furthermore, approximately 65% of the judicial units are courts of general jurisdiction or have exclusive civil or criminal jurisdiction. Source: https://www.cnj.jus.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/relatorio-justica-em-numeros2021-221121.pdf – p. 222. Accessed on February 21, 2022.
 Source: https://www.tjmg.jus.br/portal-tjmg/noticias/tjmg-apresenta-projeto-para-dar-celeridade-a-tramitacao-processual.htm#; accessed on February 21, 2022
 As per article 3, subsection II, of the Resolution. Full content: http://www8.tjmg.jus.br/institucional/at/pdf/re09772021.pdf; accessed on February 21, 2022
 Although there is no news of a jurimetry study in the State of Minas Gerais similar to the one developed by ABJ in São Paulo, it can be noted that the productivity indicators of the judges and public servants in TJMG were lower than the national average in 2021. According to the CNJ, the TJMG had 1,471 cases cleared in 2021, while the national average was 1,672. Source: https://www.cnj.jus.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/relatorio-justica-em-numeros2021-221121.pdf - pp. 121 and 125. Accessed on February 22, 2022.
 Source: https://abj.org.br/pdf/ABJ_varas_empresariais_tjsp.pdf Accessed on February 21, 2022.
 Source: https://www.conjur.com.br/2019-dez-03/tj-sp-inaugura-varas-empresariais-regionais-grande-sao-paulo Accessed on February 23, 2022.