Public Prosecutors want to suspend electronic case distribution

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The Union of Public Prosecutors today urged the Minister of Justice to suspend the new rules on electronic distribution of court cases and to urgently start meetings to avoid serious consequences in the functioning of the system.

The magistrates criticize ordinance 86/2023, of March 27, which regulates the control of electronic distribution of cases, after last week the Portuguese Judges Union Association (ASJP) also defended the suspension of the ordinance’s entry into force, claiming that it needs to be corrected on several points.

The SMMP’s position was communicated in a statement, in which they reported on a letter sent to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and to the minister herself, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, as well as to parliamentary groups.

“Given the huge shortage of public prosecutors, the legal requirement to be present at distributions, every day and in all courts and nuclei (…) will often force them to interrupt trials, interrogations, proceedings, so that they can be present at the act,” said the union, warning of the time required for all the formalities, including travel of 40 to 50 kilometers.

The public prosecutors said that they risk leaving “service behind”, with repercussions on the speed of cases, only to see a court clerk “press a button”, without being able to supervise anything.

“The legislative solution is therefore absurd,” reads the document.

According to the ASJP, “common sense would advise postponing for some time the application of the new rules in the courts of first instance.

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