Extra €51 million to go towards beefing court staff and reinforcing PJ
It’s one of the promises of the State Budget and may bring hope to all those waiting years for cases that ‘could change lives’ to get their day in court: an extra €51 million has been assigned for the hiring of new court staff.
This cash will go towards the creation of ‘teams of magistrates’ to go into courts and start ‘recovering’ pending cases, writes Correio da Manhã.
It translates into around 66% of the Justice department’s ‘booster package’ of €165 million next year, says the paper.
There is no indication in CM’s story however of just how many ‘pending cases’ the country has. Oonly a few months ago Observador reported that for the first time almost two decades, the number had dropped to “slightly below the one million mark”.
In other words, these teams will have a massive backlog to work through.
The rest of the ‘extra cash’ – in a global Justice budget that this year comes to €972 million – will go towards ‘digital technology’ for the PJ and Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.
The main objective being even tougher controls on corruption and economic crime.
But how impressed workers within the sector are is debatable: today for example, police forces and prison guards are on strike in protest to ongoing measures of austerity within the service which have affected promotions and investment.
In November, December and January, court workers too have scheduled strikes under the banner: “Justice for those who work within it”.
As the government attempts to ‘sell’ its budget ahead of final voting next month, public sector workers too have called a strike for tomorrow (Friday October 25) which means schools may be closed and consultations cancelled in hospitals and health centres.