The Attorney General of the Republic, Lucília Gago, issued a recommendation to “predict and program the strengthening of the Public Ministry’s response capacity to safeguard possible service requirements during the period in which the World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 takes place” .
In the recommendation, issued on the 14th of February, Lucília Gago points out that because of “WYD Lisbon 2023, as well as the agenda of His Holiness the Pope, which contemplates other initiatives not yet disclosed, among which, very predictably, a trip to the Sanctuary of Fátima, a very significant movement and influx to our country of national and foreign people is expected, in a number that the organization estimates to be over one million”.
In this context, says the person in charge of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), “it is possible and predictable the increase in occurrences that threaten the safety of people and goods, as a rule associated with the concentration of crowds”.
“The presence of His Holiness the Pope constitutes in itself a risk factor that must be considered in the various aspects of intervention by public entities, namely the judiciary”, underlines Lucília Gago, recommending that the Regional Attorneys General, in conjunction with the Magistrates of the Public Ministry Comarca Coordinators and with the Directors of the DIAP, especially those in whose area of territorial competence events are scheduled within the scope of WYD Lisbon 2023, or in the agenda of the Pope’s visit, “adopt appropriate and proportional measures to the possible increase of situations of conflict and criminality that allow for a swift, adequate, effective and articulated intervention by the Public Prosecutor’s Office”.
Thus, the Attorney General of the Republic recommends that these measures take into account the reinforcement of the response capacity of the Public Prosecutor’s Office during judicial vacation shifts, in particular in criminal and family and children’s jurisdictions, the guarantee and implementation of articulation mechanisms with judicial magistrates in order to speed up and schedule the procedures for presenting defendants to trial in summary proceedings, obtaining agreement in the case of application of the provisional suspension of proceedings, the eventual carrying out of inquiries for future memory and other diligences that require judicial intervention.
In addition, these measures must also take into account, according to Lucília Gago, “the articulation with the criminal police bodies and with the security authorities in order to allow an integrated and adequate intervention to the different types of situations that may occur, to the articulation with the competent local bodies of the Bar Association in order to guarantee the presence of defenders in a number that allows to ensure the execution of the diligences and the identification of the availability of interpreters that allow to guarantee the accomplishment of the diligences in which foreign citizens are intervening”.
Adão Carvalho, president of the Union of Public Prosecutors, says that “despite the lack of staff, which will require an increased effort to respond to this situation, the recommendation of the PGR is understandable, given the size of the event”.
According to the union leader, it is also understood that the recommendation is made now, “at a stage when both the magistrates’ holidays and the shifts for this time are being organized”.
“It is important that the reinforcement of the summer shift is done so that everything runs smoothly. It would be unthinkable otherwise, given that we are talking about the presence of more than a million young people ”, she maintained.
WYD Lisbon 2023 is a meeting of young people from all over the world. The journey lasts six days, from the 1st to the 6th of August 2023, and will take place mainly in the northern area of Parque das Nações, more specifically in the Tejo-Trancão Park, in the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures.
The event will take place in other areas of the city of Lisbon, such as Terreiro do Paço, Alameda D. Afonso Henriques, Parque Eduardo VII and Parque da Belavista and will extend to Oeiras, where the final meeting of Pope Francis will take place. with the volunteers.