Dear Editor,

I read your report on the much-anticipated reopening of the nation’s courthouses axed during the years of the last government, and I must say it sounds something of a mixed blessing.

What is the point of reopening a courthouse that has to close every time the court official needs to go to the lavatory? It doesn’t make the country look any better. It cannot conceivably be considered to be “bringing justice closer to the people” – as presumably the people are shuffled out on these occasions – and it sounds like it serves to increase State costs to very little real effect.

Perhaps the object of the exercise was to make people ‘think’ they have a local courthouse, when in fact they simply have a place where someone is employed to sit and tell them they will need to go somewhere else.

In Monchique, for example, the mayor has been saying how delighted people are to have their courthouse back but it is operating with reduced services, as are the majority of newly-opened premises throughout Portugal.

Rather than delighting people, the grand reopening of the nation’s courts looks like it may well end up frustrating them, which leads me to my real question: when are we going to have politicians that look at things ‘wholistically’ (if that can be made into a word)?

If we had a Ministry of Time and Motion, or Logistics we might see blatantly populist decisions stopped in their tracks before (even more) hard-earned taxpayers’ money was sent into the ether.

Gertrude Robinson
Salema


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