Luís Menezes Leitão (archive image from RTP)

Bar Association criticises PM for “political interference” in metadata ruling

The Portuguese Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados) has stepped into the ‘metadata muddle’ today, saying prime minister António Costa should not be interfering. Association president Luís Menezes Leitão told reporters:  “The Ordem considers the government cannot interfere in the activity of the courts, as inevitably is happening if the prime minister intervenes in the public space to defend a legal interpretation of the consequences of a judicial decision”.Mr Costa’s references to clauses in the Constitution yesterday seems to have irritated the Bar Association which contends that it should be left to “the initiatives of defence lawyers” to do what they have been trained to do. He stressed he “hopes courts will decide cases solely on the basis of the Constitution and the law, regardless of the public position taken by the prime minister”.