Judges demand “urgent” solution for bailiffs | Justice

The president of the Union Association of Portuguese Judges (ASJP), Manuel Ramos Soares, demanded this Saturday from the Minister of Justice an “urgent” solution to the demands of the justice officials who have been carrying out strikes since the beginning of the year that have already led to the postponement thousands of court cases.

“They are right. What they ask for is fair and reasonable”, said Manuel Ramos Soares, drawing a strong applause from the hundreds of judicial magistrates sitting in the audience, during the closing session of the XII Congress of Portuguese Judges, which ends this Saturday in Madeira.

“We can no longer postpone the approval of a new statute that reaches a consensus that puts an end to the serious disturbance caused in the functioning of the courts by a climate of generalized tension, of discouragement and demotivation of the professional body that gives support to the administration of justice and of stoppages and strikes that postpone thousands of steps and introduce new factors of inefficiency”, maintained the president of ASJP. “Madam Minister of Justice, you need to resolve this quickly”, highlighted Ramos Soares in a gesture supported again by the audience through applause.

Since mid-February, the Union of Judicial Employees (SFJ) has been on strike, which has led to the postponement of thousands of procedures, including judgments. It’s a strike sui generis, since the workers remain in the workplace but refuse to perform certain acts, namely most of the errands. And, therefore, they want to continue to receive the full salary.

At the same time, another strike is taking place, enacted by the Union of Bailiffs, in more classic terms – workers stop every afternoon after 1 pm, this time being deducted from their salary – which started on 10 January and has an end date.

However, the Ministry of Justice requested, at the beginning of this month, an opinion on the legality of the strike to the SFJ’s diligences from the Advisory Council of the Attorney General’s Office, which has not yet concluded.

The speech given by the Minister of Justice, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, who was also present at the ceremony, was sparse in terms of court officials. “We are currently working on revising the Statute of Bailiffs, after the announcement, in January, of an anticipatory reinforcement in recruitment, having already produced the obligatory comparative study under the terms of the Budget Execution Law”, said the minister, who did not spoke about the strike, nor about its impacts on the normal activity of the courts.

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