PSD wants to “put a halter on the Public Ministry”, says Union of Magistrates

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The president of the Public Ministry Magistrates Union (SMMP) does not believe that the State is committed to making the Administrative and Tax Courts decide in good time, where there are decisions that take more than a decade, and says that the PSD wants to put a ” halter” to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. One week before the legislative elections, the parties’ proposals for Justice were being analyzed in the Em Nome da Lei program, by the Renaissance.

Although it is an electoral promise of the two largest parties, PS and PSD, Adão Carvalho stresses that courts are at stake where citizens fight against the will of the State and hence “having many doubts” that a problem that has dragged on for years is now resolved. .

The magistrate speaks of another threat to the independence of these courts: the judges are supported by experts who are part of the state machine. “This dependence”, he says, “causes the processes not to proceed with the necessary celerity”.

But the slowness of decisions in the courts where citizens can litigate against the State does not result only from the lack of means, says the chairman of the Bar Association.

“The concern is to put a halter on the Public Ministry”

Menezes Leitão speaks of “a completely obsolete IT platform”. And he recalls that “a week ago, SITAF [Sistema de Informação dos Tribunais Administrativos e Fiscais] was blocked for three days”.

The chairman says that “all lawyers complain” and argues that “the malfunction of the computer platform is also a reason for the discredit of the Administrative and Tax Courts”.

Menezes Leitão states that most electoral proposals are not focused on what is decisive, namely those of the two main political parties.

“There will be no reduction in court costs”

The chairman considers that, in addition to the problem of slowness, the priority should be to lower the legal costs that, in practice, prevent the majority of Portuguese from benefiting from a right that the Constitution guarantees them.

“The main problem with justice at the moment, in addition to slowness and inefficiency, is the high costs it has. We have a justice whose overwhelming majority of citizens are withdrawn, either because they are not indigent and do not benefit from legal aid or do not have the money to pay the high court costs.”

The Bar Association considers the position of the PS “especially worrying”, “which comes to say that the reduction of court costs will only occur in cases where there is no alternative to litigation”.

The Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, had promised a reduction in court costs depending on the complexity of the process and the economic condition of the plaintiff. But the PS electoral program makes a clean slate of that promise and now only commits to lowering costs when they are excessive and when there is no alternative way of resolving disputes.

“This alternative always exists, at least, in relation to civil forums, in civil law, and that means that there will be no reduction in court costs and the answer that is given is to push individuals to alternative means, such as arbitration and judgments. of peace”, says Menezes Leitão.

“The main problem with Justice at the moment, in addition to slowness and inefficiency, is the high costs it has”

The president of the Judicial Employees Union is very concerned about this idea. António Marçal warns of the PS’s intention to want solve the problem of delays by taking disputes out of the courts, namely in labor matters and the regulation of parental responsibilities.

António Marçal considers that the solution “is not acceptable in a rule of law in the 21st century. These are very important areas for the construction of citizenship and the answers have to be different. We cannot create an idea that the system is good and there is speed, because there are no processes.”

The president of the Public Ministry Magistrates Union (SMMP) is also critical of the parties’ electoral proposals. Adão Carvalho believes that many of the solutions are dictated by media cases and others are those that are systematically included in all electoral programs, as they are consensual. He also understands that the programs reveal a great lack of information on the part of the political parties.

“Threat to the Public Prosecutor”

Adão Carvalho asks for more means and argues that the Public Prosecutor’s Office, although in charge of the investigation, does little. It has the formal power to direct the criminal investigation but it does not have the effective power because the means are in the police.

The SMMP president admits that the option of putting the means in the police, instead of being centralized in the Public Ministry is not naive, it happens because the “criminal police bodies are directly dependent on the executive power”.

Adão Carvalho repudiates the PSD’s project to change the composition of the Superior Councils of the Public Ministry and the Judiciary, so that they have a majority of non-magistrates.

“It seems that it’s more of a threat than anything else. The concern is to put a halter on the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Basically, it’s saying: ‘be careful, we’re going to have more people there appointed by the political power to punish you. it’s moving at the pace we think it should, but we’ll be there to punish you.’

This is a position supported by the chairman of the Bar Association, for whom the PSD’s proposal of wanting to change the composition of the governing bodies of Justice “does not make any sense”.

They are statements to the program “In the Name of the Law” of the Renaissance, where the electoral proposals of political parties for the area of ​​Justice were analyzed.

Source: Renascença – Noticias by

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