Judges’ union accuses government.jpg

Judges’ union accuses government

THE UNION Association of Portuguese Judges has slammed the government over its difficulties in accepting and living with an independent and powerful judiciary.

This difficulty, according to the ASJP, Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses, is not just a “reaction or feeling”, it has caused the government, through changes in the law, to integrate judges into the public administration.

This was the position argued by ASJP President António Martins at a round table international seminar last week entitled The Profile of the Judge in Western Tradition, the Independence and Stature of Judges, which took place at Lisbon University’s Law Department.

At the heart of the matter is a protocol approved on October 16 on the careers, salaries and prospects within the government civil service which will designate judges as civil servants.

“This protocol violates the independence of magistrate and court judges. Never in recent history, since Portugal became democratic following April 25, 1974, has the autonomous and independent action of judges been so under threat,” he said.

The protocol has been sent to the Palácio de Belém to be analysed by the President of the Republic, Cavaco Silva.

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