Thursday, April 15, 2021

Law of return of courts published hours before it comes into force

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António Cotrim / Lusa

The law, which was published in the National Press Casa da Moeda since last Thursday, was only published in Diário da República a few hours before it came into force.

According to the newspaper Público, the law that allows the courts to return to normality was published this Monday, at 6 pm, in the Diário da República Eletrônico (DRE), only six hours before it goes into effect (and when the court secretariats were already closed).

The diploma that ends the suspension of the judicial deadlines was in the National Press Casa da Moeda since Thursday for publication, after having been approved by the Parliament on the 25th, promulgated by the President of the Republic the next day and endorsed by the Prime Minister to 31.

As the daily recalls, already in the first deflation, in May last year, the law that allowed the normal activity of the courts to resume was only published the night before.

Now history repeats itself, even though the Portuguese Judges Union Association has warned of the need for a few days between the publication of the diploma and its entry into force.

Speaking to the morning man, the president’s attorneys, Menezes Leitão, said that this “is a very strange situation” and that the lawyers had also only warned “two hours ago” that they would have to make face-to-face calls this Tuesday. This “although we have been asking what it would be like for a long time”, he lamented.

However, in a statement, the Bar Association (OA) considered that “security conditions do not yet exist” so that unofficial lawyers move physically to the courts, where they wait to be called, instead of being contacted by phone as has been happening due to the pandemic.

OA’s position comes after the Directorate-General for the Administration of Justice (DGAJ) understands that the current situation of the pandemic does not justify the longer extension of the lawyers’ regime of scales that prevailed during the most intense period of propagation of the covid- 19.

The Order argues that the stopover regime for lawyers to deal with urgent should be extended for some time, otherwise the guardianship decision will turn out to be “unreasonable, and will lead the courts to hastily return to the previous stopover regime in the System for Access to Law and Courts (SADT), without safeguarding lawyers” .

According to OA, the various outbreaks of covid-19 that occurred in the courts demonstrated that they are “unsafe places” in relation to the spread of the new coronavirus.

On the other hand, the Order criticizes that the Ministry of Justice has only been concerned with vaccinating magistrates, not providing vaccines to lawyers and court officials, thus there is no “protection that was required for a safe reopening”From the courts.

OA requests that these professionals, – when going to a court – take “the utmost care” in relation to any risky situation, and that they report to OA any “anomalous situation”, through the email [email protected] .pt.

In a week in which the suspension of deadlines and procedural steps will be lifted, OA warns that it is unknown what impact this measure will have on the epidemiological situation in the justice sector.

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