UN Rapporteur criticizes Portugal over worsening access to justice
Recent report (original only in Portugese) of the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers warns about worsening access to justice situation in the country. Three problem areas are noted:
– Increasing costs of access to justice
– Many people do not qualify for legal aid
– Fragmentation of responsibility for the delivery of legal aid.
The rapporteur does not point to any specific policy changes but stresses on the need for broader dialogue between the main stakeholders in the Portuguese justice system:
“There must be a continuous dialogue between the government, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and representatives of civil society to ensure that the reforms bring the desired changes and increase the effectiveness of the justice system.”