Lawyer Adão Carvalho was elected President of the Union of Judges of the Public Ministry (SMMP) this Saturday for the next three years and topped a list with 343 votes out of 368 voters, followed by António Ventinhas.
In a statement, the press office of the SMMP pointed out that in the elections for President of the Union with a single list, 12 empty votes and 13 zero votes were counted.
The chosen list – under the motto “Autonomy, Valorisation and Transparency” – also includes as the new Secretary General Paulo Figueiredo Lona, as Treasurer Paulo Castro and as members of the Board of Directors Manuel Ferreira and Maria Cargida, chaired by Amaro Neves over the meeting – in general.
The swearing-in of the new union leadership is expected to take place within a month on a date to be announced, it said.
The 48-year-old Adão Carvalho, who works for the Porto Region Public Prosecutor and was SMMP General Secretary during António Ventinha’s mandate, warned the Lusa Agency in statements on the eve of the elections that it is the Ministry of Public Affairs (MP) ” going through a serious crisis of shortage of judges because there were fewer vacancies in the CEJ for several years than those judges who have since left the service, “and recalled that there were two years with no vacancies.
“As shown in the last report by the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office (CSMP), judges serving on various service commissions or in a situation of prolonged absence will be removed. Only about 1470 judges are actually in office. That equates to less than 120 judges in terms of staff provided by law, and there are around 176 judges who will have to retire over the next two years, “warned the then-presidential candidate of the SMMP.
Adão Carvalho also warned of the fact that “there is a very high number of judges who accumulate functions and are overwhelmed with an obviously prohibitive volume of work”.
The SMMP’s sole presidential candidate is also concerned about the “lack of transparency and rigor in judges’ movements, access to service committees, selection of inspectors and district coordinators, and advancement to the assistant attorney general category and the use of mobility tools” .
Another concern of Adão Carvalho is the uncertainty of the judges in those places where an “excessive number of judges” are employed as auxiliaries and which already represent more than half of the incumbent judges.
In his words, the attacks on the autonomy of MP judges are another concern for the future direction of the SMMP, either with “external origins as initiatives at the time of the revision of the Statute of the Public Prosecutor in terms of changing the composition of the CSMP or internal rules such as of the Attorney General’s Directive on the exercise of hierarchical powers ”.
“Another aspect for which we will fight in the next three years is the existence of a staff of MP-owned employees who are properly prepared and qualified to fulfill the specific functions in this magistrate,” emphasized the candidate.
He also said the aim of the new SMMP management is to conduct a survey on the lack of resources and working conditions that exist in many departments and courts due to the lack of scanners, printers and computer equipment.
“We also prioritize the existence of a computer program for the MP’s work, linked to that of the police and other bodies working with the MP, in order to improve communication and increase efficiency,” he said.
The individual list for elections therefore requires a list of MP judges “which is appropriate to the scope of the service, the specialization and the functions assigned to it, the reduction in the number of auxiliary judges and the filling of the places provided in the legal framework, as well as more and better working conditions and a staff that has been prepared and adapted to the specific functions of the MP. “
After the election, the SMMP will also demand “respect for the dignity” of the MP’s judges and create the conditions so that work can be combined with the possibility of the personal, family and social life to which they are entitled to profess.
“We will fight for transparency and rigor in judges’ movements, in access to service commissions, in the selection of inspectors and district coordinators, in advancing to the category of deputy attorney general and in the use of mobility tools,” concluded Adão Carvalho of the main objectives of the new one SMMP board of directors.