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Slow justice is holding back Portugal's growth

costeirajudgesunionMaria José Costeira has been appointed as the new president of the Trade Union Association of Judges, her priority is for better courts and more judges.

Costeria now represents all of the country’s judges and is the first woman to hold this position.

Elected on Saturday, Maria José Costeira, 47, said her first big challenge is to enhance the status of judges and then to see the completion of the new judicial map introduced last September by Justice Minister Paula Teixeira.

Despite teething troubles with the computerisation of the Justice system, Costeira said that what matters now is results, despite the many complaints the system has caused, "We want to increase the speed and response of the courts. For this we need better facilities and more judicial officials," noted Costeira.

Commenting on the new paedophile database proposed by the government, Costeira is critical of the draft legislation that is soon to be discussed in parliament, "We made comments against the proposed system. There then were some changes but, in essence, the database still does not solve anything. Why must a parent have access to a list of possible suspects to learn if they live in the area? If there is evidence of pedophilia involving suspects, this is for the investigating authorities."

As for the computerised court management system, ‘Citius,’ which crashed for six weeks from last September 1st, this remains of great concern to the judges, said Costeira, "We do not know the cause of the crash in the Citius programme which can happen again and we still are awaiting a technical report on what happened."

Costeira’s summary included the statement, "Citizens need a good justice system."

This was echoed by the Director General of Microsoft Portugal who said this weekend that that Portugal has to be "much faster" in penalising wrong doers and stressed that the constraints of Portugal’s national justice system are discussed by international companies to the detriment of the country’s credibility.

João Couto, said that 2015 will be a year of growth, adding that with political stability this would be more rapid and that the country must continue with its economic reforms regardless of the parliamentary elections.

Regarding the justice system, “with all of these scandals that have occurred, we must be much faster to establish the facts and to penalise those who are guilty, " said Couto.

"This is one of the major topics that always comes up in discussion with international companies,” adding that credibility can be enhanced if Portugal’s justice system acted swiftly and efficiently, which it does not.


+1 #3 Michael Busseri 2015-07-27 03:17
Wonderfully said.

With the new law that was placed in 2013 by the Minister of justice "vulture"Paula Teixeira.
Portugal is a place to stay away until that law has been changed.
Be aware that this new law allows the agente de execucao to seize any and all of your assets without a judges order.
PLEASE TAKE CARE AND STAY AWAY FROM THESE VULTURES,and the country that has allowed such measures!!
God help the citizens of Portugal.I'll end it here!!
-3 #2 Ed 2015-03-22 23:03
Ref Peter Booker's point below, the Brazialian rapporteur Gabriela Knaul will report in June, we all look forward to her findings.
+2 #1 Peter Booker 2015-03-22 22:25
As President of a trade union, all this new appointee can do is to advise the government. And what does she want? Hey, more judges! More members to vote for her.

There is a great deal wrong with justice in Portugal, corruption among the high and mighty being only one example.

This article is an instance of what is wrong. No-one knows. They talk and talk, but where is the analysis? How many more court officials? How many more courts? How much should we increase the length of the day in court? Holidays for judges? With that backlog?

The recent survey by a Brazilian working on behalf of the EU surfaced for a bit, and has then sunk without trace, but the real problem is the closed shop nature of judges and lawyers. We all know that you may be prosecuted for criticising a lawyer´s actions. The result is that no-one goes near them unless they have to. Lawyers as a body may not be corrupt, but they have immense vested interests to defend.

Until we have an independent analysis of the problems of justice in Portugal, we shall go on having no justice in Portugal. Because slow justice is no justice.