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Algarve denied a Court of Appeal

Published on 07/03/2019

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that, in its opinion, the Algarve does not need an appeals court, a Tribunal da Relação. The news was announced in response to a request from the Communist parliamentary group that wanted the matter looked into once again.

“The Tribunal da Relação de Faro, created by Decree-Law no. 186-A / 99, of May 31, was never set up. The reduced volume of expected cases has removed the viability of setting one up,” said the office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Justice.

In 1999, appeals courts were authorised for Guimarães and Faro, but the process for Faro was sidelined and later shelved with appeals having to be heard in the court in Évora, in the Alentejo region, hardly convenient.

In response to the request of Algarve MPs Paulo Sá and António Filipe, the Ministry of Justice said a new law in 2013 repealed the earlier decree-law.

“At present, there is no enabling standard that allows for the establishment of a Court of Appeal in Faro. In the short term, we do not have any initiative in this regard, “the government concluded, despite the country’s court system suffering from terminal constipation with some cases taking between 5 and 10 years even to be scheduled.

Justice Minister, Francisca van Dunem, is well aware of the shit-fest she is presides over with an overloaded court system, demotivated staff, frequent strikes, outdated legislation, an appeals process that defies polite description and a slowness that makes the whole ugly carcass shuffle along, unable to serve the public that is paying for the whole mess.     

As for using the excuse of “the reduced volume of expected cases” to deny the region an appeals court, if the system was working, there would be plenty of cases to hear. This sort of idiotic thinking is noticed by businesses and individuals pondering investments in Portugal – the current advice is fine, unless you end up in court.