Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The new president of the bar association argues for reduction of court fees – Observer

The new president of the Ordem dos Advogados, Guilherme Figueiredo, defended this Wednesday, in Lisbon, "a sharp decrease of legal costs", considering that these hit values "unbearable".

"justice is an essential good, and not a good economic," warned Guilherme Figueiredo on Wednesday sworn in the office of the chairman, after overcoming Elina Fraga in the second round of the elections, held in December last year.

speaking at The ceremony of possession, Guilherme Figueiredo justified the need for reduction of court fees with the "values scandalous" that hit, alerted also to the fact that the middle class "to be depleted".

According to the new president of the bar association, this high-value "offends the Constitution" and the basic principles of Justice and access to the courts.

I could never forget to mention in this intervention the defence by a sharp decrease of legal fees, currently without any ceiling, and which reach values unacceptable to the citizens who do not have the right support and legal representation, or have an economic capacity that will allow them to use judicial means to settle disputes. These are the major part of the population, made up by a middle class depleted" said Guilherme Figueiredo.

In his opinion, this requires, on the one hand, a larger budget for the Ministry of Justice and, on the other hand, the sharp reduction of legal costs.

in Addition to the reduction of court fees, the new president chose as the central questions of his intervention in the importance of professional secrecy, the practice of searches of the offices of lawyers and the constitution of these as defendants, the Pact on Justice and the Institutional Forum for the Justice and the Welfare of the Lawyers and Solicitors.

Guilherme Figueiredo criticised the fact that if they search the offices of lawyers with the sole purpose of obtaining evidence, without that those are truly suspected of practising the facts possibly integrators crimes, recalling that the searches are simultaneously "means of obtaining evidence, and are the means compressors of rights, freedoms and guarantees".

When made to attorneys, are still, and the addition of compressors of the two essential pillars of the rule of law, namely: the privilege of the attorney-client relationship and the obligation of professional secrecy.

In his view, this poses at least two charges: one, that on the basis of the searches are true suspected of participation in the subject investigated, another, the weighting and the exercise agreement practice is, in these cases, especially cautos and founded, under the penalty of becoming the law in an auxiliary involuntary criminal investigation.

"I Believe that, in several cases, this has not been done, according to the searches the mere criteria of convenience and ease of obtaining evidence against the clients of the lawyers, and not against these, with the aggravating factor, nothing small, of the lawyers were to do this constituted the defendants, so getting to the end of the survey, and with advertising and charge the members," he said, warning: "This can’t be."

The new chairman also spoke about the need for construction of a Covenant of Justice and the constitution of an Institutional Forum on Justice, as a space with "the ability to provide the meeting and disagreement, consensus and dissent and, inevitably, the co-responsibility for the result".

Guilherme Figueiredo has promised to give teeth to the law and was concerned with the impact of the new regulation of the Welfare of the Lawyers and Solicitors, proposing the immediate convocation of a meeting of the Council-General of the Box to discuss and deepen the consequences and discuss alternative measures.

possession was granted by the bastonária outgoing, Elina Fraga, that, among other things, recalled the struggle waged together with the president of the Union of Judicial Officers, Fernando Jorge, against the last reform of the map the judiciary that led to the extinction of two dozen courts, and who were recently reinstated by the current minister of Justice.

During the ceremony, took possession Menezes Leitão as president of the Superior Council of the Order and Jorge Bacelar Gouveia as chairman of the Supervisory Board of the bar association.


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