Lawyers’ Association suggests “joint specifications” for justice

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The president of the Portuguese Bar Association (OA), Fernanda de Almeida Pinheiro, suggested today that the government should be presented with “joint specifications” for the different players in the judicial sector, assuring that there are problems that are easy to solve.

Speaking at the conference “Jornada da Justiça e os seus recursos humanos”, organized by the Union of Judicial Employees (SFJ) in Lisbon, the president of the Portuguese Bar Association pointed out that the shortage of bailiffs and the lack of attractiveness of this career have very negative repercussions on the activity of the courts, and also lamented the salary of 843 euros paid to these professionals.

“The government should be presented with joint specifications. There are things that are obvious and simple to solve, it’s just a question of wanting to,” he said, summing up: “It’s simple and doesn’t cost much money.”

Fernanda de Almeida Pinheiro also called for a review of the pay scale for lawyers, arguing that it hasn’t been revised for around 20 years.

“The rules exist, lawyers are needed in the courts, as are court clerks and judges. And we need to bring justice to the people,” he said.

Also present at the conference organized by the SFJ was the new president of the Public Prosecutors’ Union (SMMP), who expressed his satisfaction with the idea put forward by the lawyers’ president: “I really liked her idea of joint specifications.”

For Paulo Lona, the shortage of judicial staff is “glaring” and in some places is even “paralyzing justice” in Portugal. “It’s important to increase staff numbers, which can only be achieved with an attractive career path. From the last competition, I think half have already given up,” he said.

The president of the SMMP also criticized the project to revise the statute of bailiffs that was presented by the previous government, but which ended up not materializing.

“The career of bailiffs needs a new statute that has nothing to do with the previous proposal. I hope that a draft statute will finally emerge that meets the expectations of the bailiffs and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but also of the population. There is an urgent need to approve a statute that does them justice,” he said.

The presiding judge of the Lisbon district, Artur Cordeiro, praised the importance of the knowledge and action of court clerks in the progress of cases, but argued that the lack of human resources at this level could already lead to the closure of courts.

“There’s such a precarious situation that we want to close the court because there are no people. We’re reaching a point… why talk any more? Everyone knows what’s needed. Let’s make the investment in justice that it needs,” he said, concluding: “Who wants to be a bailiff? You either opt for a definitive appreciation of the profession or you don’t… and this is a path that doesn’t have a good ending.”

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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