Monchique’s courthouse is set to reopen in 2017, Mayor Rui André announced on Wednesday (May 18) after a meeting in Lisbon with Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunen.
“I received a guarantee from the minister that the courthouse will reopen next year,” he told Lusa news agency.
The decision is part of the government’s larger adjustment plans for Portugal’s judicial map.
The Monchique courthouse will be located in the same building as before and will host “trials, videoconferences, hearings, questionings and other services related to the Ministry of Justice’s responsibilities”.
“As I had told our municipal assembly, as long as I was mayor the courthouse would not be used for anything other than what it was set for,” André said.
The mayor also said the courthouse’s reopening confirms a previous “injustice” which “affected the elderly population of Monchique”, who was forced to travel to other towns to deal with their judicial matters.
He added that the closure of the courthouse also affected Portimão court, which became overburdened with cases that could have otherwise been dealt with in Monchique.
As Lusa points out, Monchique’s court was one of 20 that closed down in 2014.