Judges face disciplinary hearings over ‘Biblical justification’ for violence
The two judges who ruled in the so-called ‘domestic violence’ case, where a woman was attacked with a nail-spiked club by her husband and former lover, are to be subject to a disciplinary procedure.
The case triggered widespread national and international outrage when the judges’ summary partly excused the husband’s attack as he had been depressed and his honour and dignity had been besmirched by his wife’s behaviour – anyway ‘there’s far worse in the Bible.’
Joaquim Neto de Moura and Maria Luísa Arantes will be subject to disciplinary proceedings, according to a statement today by Judge Mario Morgado, vice president of the Superior Council of Magistrates.
The decision was taken on Tuesday by the body that supervises and regulates the magistrates but, shockingly, the decision was not unanimous with 12 votes in favour of disciplinary proceedings and five against.
Judge Neto de Moura, will answer charges of violation of a duty and not acting in the public interest while Maria Luísa Arantes, the judge who signed the judgement, will answer charges of violation of the duty of care as she admitted in October that she had not read the complete text of the judgment written by her colleague – but signed it anyway.
The controversial and positively archaic judgment handed down in October 2017, in which Neto de Moura censured the woman who had been savagely beaten with a spiked club for having been unfaithful, cited the Bible and Portugal’s Penal Code of 1886 to justify and excuse violence against women.
“The adultery of the woman is a very serious attack on the honour and dignity of man. Societies exist where the adulterous woman is stoned to death. In the Bible, we can read that the adulterous woman should be punished with death,” wrote Neto de Moura in the sentence summary.