Lawyer takes to social media to highlight plight of Portugal’s rundown court houses

Lawyer takes to social media to highlight plight of Portugal’s rundown court houses

Varela de Matos blames his mother…

It’s not often that one sees a frocked lawyer, holding a pink umbrella and pale pink bucket. But yesterday in Barreiro it was a case of needs must: the courtroom was leaking like a sieve. 

Legal counsel Varela de Matos, in his courtroom finery, “was photographed with his umbrella open, visibly indignant by the lack of conditions”, writes Correio da Manhã. 

This is just the latest snapshot of a justice system appears to be on its knees (logistically speaking): CM has stressed how courts up and down the country have even ‘run out of paper’ (to write on)…

Varela de Matos may well have been ‘indignant’, but he has also seen the funny side of this latest challenge in his profession.

He has written on Facebook: “Today it is raining. Where? In the street, in the courtroom, in the corridors. To anyone coming here, please bring an umbrella, gabardine, galoshes and buckets to collect water, as the images show…

“My mother is to blame for all this. She said: “Boy! You must study to become someone in life… If you become qualified you’re rich and you won’t suffer the rigors of time… How she was wrong. Do not forget dear fellow litigators, prosecutors, court clerks, witnesses and experts called to give evidence… Barreiro? Bring an umbrella. It doesn’t have to be pink”.

Storm Armand battering the country is causing incidents of flooding, particularly in the central region. An infinite number of buildings – many of them public – are suffering from leaks. There have been endless calls to authorities for assistance, and even some landslides. But the benefit of rain, even if it does interfere with Justice, cannot be underestimated in a country that has been staring drought in the eyes for far too long.

Just keep an umbrella handy … You can’t tell when (or where) you’ll need it.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com