Collegiality and Integrity on the Rule of Law: a Dworkin´s view on Judicial Responsibility

In 2018, the Brazilian Supreme Court heard a historic Habeas petition related to a criminal proceeding in which former President Lula was sentenced to a term of incarceration. One vote in particular, and its main argument, was especially noteworthy. Judge Weber decided not to decide: although she believed the
Brazilian Constitution was clear that no one could begin serving a prison sentence until all appeals were exhausted, in the name of the principle of collegiality, she would override her personal understanding to follow a precedent allowing immediate imprisonment. This paper critically examines the content and the interpretative extent of the notion of judicial collegiality, as a
value used to establish adequate reasoning practices in a court’s deliberations.
From the perspective of horizontal stare decisis, interpreted under Dworkin’s theory of integrity, it attempts to answer the question: Is it legitimate, in light of the collegiality principle, to decide not to decide?