Three of the candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court (TC) believe that it is not necessary to cut guarantees in the defense of defendants to speed up justice, as defended by the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ).
Contrary to what the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ), Henrique Araújo, defended in an interview with the Observer, three of the candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court (TC) do not agree with the thesis that there is an excess of guarantees in the defense of the defendants. .
“I think that in criminal proceedings there is no excess of guarantees. It’s even a relatively equitable process and there must be a balance between the defendant and the Public Ministry. You cannot be harmed as an accused and have fewer rights or chances for your defense”, declared António José Ramos, presiding judge of the Judicial Court of the District of Leiria, which was proposed by the PS for the elections for the TC.
University professor Afonso Patrão – one of the three names proposed by the PSD for the TC – also said that he “does not conceive of a rule of law” without the guarantees of presumption of innocence, without defense guarantees and without the defendant’s right to be represented by a lawyer and with retroactivity of the criminal law, pointing to the defense guarantees provided for in article 32 of the Constitution, including the appeal.
“is manifestly wrong. the speed [da Justiça] it is achieved based on other ways and not at the expense of the guarantees that already exist”, said the counselor at the Supreme Administrative Court, Maria Benedita Urbano, also proposed by the PSD to the TC, who considers that “it is not up to a judge to decide if there is an excess of guarantees” in the defense.
The three judges, in a hearing at the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees, thus manifested themselves against the position of Henrique Araújo, who argued that in order to achieve a faster justice, it is “necessary cut with the excess of defense guarantees for the defendants“.
Caution regarding euthanasia
Regarding euthanasia, the three candidates for TC judges were cautious and, according to the newspaper Expresso, one of them even preferred not to respond to this matter when confronted about the ‘lead’ of medically assisted death.
“As a judge, I’m always limited to one concept of non-commitment and of not anticipating the decision. It’s nothing personal or evading questions, it has to do with the way I am a judge and have been until today. Later I may have to decide and it can put me in a delicate situation”, invoked candidate António José Ramos.
“If I deserve the vote of confidence from the deputies and if I have to pronounce myself on this matter, the position on the respective constitutionality can only be taken in light of these norms. I think that the concerns that the TC, like other courts in Europe, are precisely those that arise in this matter”, said the professor of law at the Faculty of Coimbra, Afonso Patrão, admitting that the answer to the question was “naturally difficult”.
Maria Benedita Urbano considered, in turn, that as the right to life is at stake, the TC pointed out some indeterminacy regarding concepts used in the medically assisted death law.
For the counselor at the Supreme Administrative Court, there was no major intervention” by the TC in terms of unconstitutionality”, and it is only important in this matter that the law be “as specific as possible”.
The election of the four judges for the TC is scheduled for this Thursday, but it could also be postponed for the rentrée, as the PSD insisted on the name of José Eduardo Figueiredo Dias as one of the candidates for that body, after having failed the election in March.