Portuguese judge takes legal action… against country’s Justice Ministry

A Portuguese judge ‘excluded’ from a selection process that has already sparked a major scandal has now confused the issue further by taking legal action against Ministry of Justice under Francisca Van Dunem.

José Rodrigues da Cunha has advanced with two actions in two different administrative courts, TAF (administrative and fiscal tribunal) in Porto, and TAC (administrative tribunal of the circle) in Lisbon.

What he is essentially gunning for is an annulment of the selection process that involved “lamentable negligence” (in the words of Portugal’s president) by promoting a man unqualified for the position (click here).

But according to judge da Cunha, none of the three candidates put forwards by the Portuguese government actually ticked the necessary boxes (legally).

The judge who only recently retired as the president of Porto’s country court has been on this ‘crusade’ for some time – having been excluded from the process in the early stages, with no reasoning from the Justice Ministry as to why.

The action lodged with TAC is a form of subpoena against the ministry – calling on it to provide information on all acts practised since March 22, 2019 until the time of the appointment of the (not sufficiently qualified) European National Prosecutor.

According to Lusa, Judge da Cunha denounced the situation to the president of the European Parliament “and other European bodies back in November, to say the process had involved “a violation of the principles of impartiality, equality, transparency, legality and good faith”.

This latest ‘blow’ comes as the Justice Minister is due to address parliament (tomorrow) after purportedly addressing the falsities sent to Europe in a new letter sent off this week.

UPDATE: Since judge da Cunha’s contribution to this controversy, the Bar Association has presented its own complaint to the Public Ministry, calling for the latter to investigate “eventual criminal responsibility”.

Said the association’s president Luís Menezes Leitão, the developing scandal has had “undeniable impact on the vision citizens have of those who rule over them”.

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