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Attorney-General of the Union (AGU)

by BrazilGovNews published Nov 23, 2017 12:00 AM, last modified Apr 18, 2018 03:04 PM

Grace Maria Fernandes Mendonça is the first woman to hold the office of Attorney-General of the Union. Born on 17 October 1968 in Januária (state of Minas Gerais), she is married and has three daughters. Mendonça holds a Law degree from the Unified Teaching Association of the Federal District, a specialist degree in Civil Procedural Law and a Master's Degree in Constitutional Law. She was a professor of Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure and Administrative Law at the Catholic University of Brasilia between 2002 and 2015.

Prior to joining the AGU in 2001, she served as an advisor to the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic (1995-2001) and as the attorney for the Brasília Development Company (TERRACAP, a public agency) between 1992 and 1995. Since 2003, Mendonça has been in charge of the General Secretariat for Litigation (SGCT), the body responsible for representing the Federal Government before the Federal Supreme Court (STF).

At the helm of the SGCT, she has obtained multiple important victories defending both the federal government and relevant public policies and presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court in more than 60 cases, including the defence of the constitutionality of the Maria da Penha Law, which strictly criminalised violence against women in Brazil. Recently, she acted in cases related to the debts of the states and the so-called "mini electoral reform". Mendonça also defended the constitutionality of the legislation that addressed electromagnetic fields, as well as the obligation of private schools to accept special-needs students.

At the AGU, she has also held the positions of Deputy General Attorney of the Union and General Coordinator of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Union, as well as the position of Attorney-General of the Union itself on an interim basis.

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