Rule of law “Quo vadis”? | opinion

1. The “allegations” made by the President of the Socialist Party Group about the party’s “interference” in the election of the President of the Constitutional Court are extremely serious. The brief and encrypted public statements he made require a thorough public explanation. Does the responsible High PS understand that the political parties should give the judges of the Constitutional Court instructions on the election of the respective president? And that if they don’t meet the “expectation” that they “internalized” it should this be censored? Or even that it must be attributed to the party, which very clumsily did not do its “homework” with the judges? Can this strange and revealing outburst from Ana Catarina Mendes go away with almost no repair and scandal? Isn’t it a very worrying sign of a more general view – indeed with precedents in the history of the past twenty years of the PS – of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary?

2. This situation – in itself very objectionable – does not represent an isolated episode. On the contrary, it is inserted into a systematic orientation of the Costa government in the sense of “sweetening” or “taming” high positions or high responsibility functions. The most recent of these was, as is well known, the indication of the so-called European public prosecutor’s office, in which the Justice Minister by her decision (and not alien, contrary to what she proclaimed) did not correspond to the classification of an independent European jury. The case is far from over and the Minister has not yet fulfilled her promise to send all relevant documents to the European Parliament. Those you have sent so far are nothing more than “sand for the eyes” who are unable to enlighten and convince the many MEPs from all political groups who do not accept this unfortunate maneuver by our government. It is a very grave and grave case arising from the same attitude that underlies the statements I referred to above: the deliberate “interference” in the election of the highest dignitaries of the judiciary.

3. It is worth remembering what happened to the appointment of the President of the Court of Auditors, where we again wanted to remove a judge of unassailable prestige and independence. Vítor Caldeira was an exceptional President of the European Court of Auditors and was later recognized as President of the Portuguese Court of Auditors. But apparently it was a persona non grata for the PS government. The decision not to renew Attorney General Joana Marques Vidal is very similar to this one. Faced with a mandate that was impartial and efficient, and instilled great trust and expectation in the functioning of the judiciary, the PS did not rest until it replaced this high-profile judge. In these two cases, the President of the Republic had a say, let alone his reluctance to accept these substitutions, but unfortunately he subscribed to the doctrine of “individual mandates” which has no translation or expression in the constitution (and at least). in the 1997 revision version, in which he intervened directly).

Let us assume that, in the case of the European Public Prosecutor, the President did not hesitate to assert the Minister of Justice’s resignation. We shall see how he, as the highest judge in the nation, responsible for the powers of the judges of the Constitutional Court, defends the honor of this Supreme Court and how he watches over its autonomy and independence.

4. It is important to put things in perspective and see them as a whole. If we have heard of a state in the European Union where (1) a Prosecutor General and a President of the Court of Auditors, unanimously recognized as independent and competent, have not been reappointed; (2) in which the candidate selected by an independent European committee for the European public prosecutor’s office was vetoed by the Minister of Justice and (3) in which the parliamentary chairman of the ruling party wanted to intervene in the vote of the constitutional president, we would not agree with the values ​​of Deal with rule of law in this state? Aren’t we already exceeding the limits of what is acceptable and what is acceptable? Isn’t it more cases and episodes, all pointing in the same direction and in the same direction, to worry us? I believe it is time to sound the alarm and call someone who needs to be called to common sense and reason. Moreover, I really believe that it is time for the President of the Republic to ensure the regular functioning of democratic institutions, to devote some time and energy to these issues that he actually knows better than anyone. It is time to put the “is” and stop these dangerous temptations.

5. The question of the party’s interference in the election of the President of the Constitutional Court has nothing to do with the unfortunate deliberations that the current President once made. They are unhappy and inadequate and I have to say that they surprised me very much because they know the class, culture and profile of Professor João Caupers, who is clearly up to the new roles he holds. She does not even excuse the idea that they are dated, because in 2010 or 2011 it was more than anachronistic to propose a question of the fundamental rights of equality to the dialectic “majority-minority”. And to be honest, if a judge with a right vision or religious connotation had made the same statements, the public reaction would not have been so mild. Given that he thought they were negligent (or even “stupid”) themselves, and that they also had provocative intent, they honestly don’t deserve much time to be spent with them. And even less that someone, in his completely democratic judgment, proposes to hear a judge in parliament. In this way, and with so much temptation, we still end up with a “state law” instead of a “rule of law”.

YES President of the Republic. In reviewing the constitutionality of the diploma legalizing euthanasia, the President is expressing the excruciating doubts and objections that this inappropriate decision raises.

NO developed countries and vaccines. Guterres put his finger on the wound: it is neither humanly acceptable nor will it even be effective to leave the poorest without a vaccine. None of the rich countries can shirk global responsibility.

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