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14 January 2016

Solidarity with Indonesian people as bombs explode in Jakarta

ETLJB 14 January 2016 East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin expresses profound solidarity with the people of Indonesia where several terrorist attacks including suicide bombers at Starbarks, Sarinah and grenade and gun battles took place on the streets of the Indonesian capital today. 

At least seven people have died including five of the attackers. The bombs exploded near the United Nations Headquarters in Thamrin.

ETLJB strongly condemns these heinous crimes against innocent civilians and appeals for the swift administration of justice.

Editor 
ETLJB

24 December 2015

European Parliament approves Visa Arrangement with Timor-Leste

ETLJB 24/12/2015 Government of East Timor Media Release  DIli, 16 December, 2015 - In Brussels overnight the European Parliament approved the short-stay visa waiver agreement between the European Union and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. The agreement provides for visa-free travel for citizens of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the European Union when travelling to each other’s territories for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period. The visa waiver covers all categories of passport holders travelling for all kinds of purposes, except for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity and extends to all of the countries of the European Union except the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, as these two countries are not part of the “Schengen Area.”

On the 26th of May this year, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Roberto Sarmento de Oliveira Soares signed the agreement which had been operating up until now on a provisional basis pending last night’s approval of the Parliament.

The European Union Rapporteur’s Justification explained that the agreement “represents an opportunity to intensify economic relations and develop tourism” and highlighted Timor-Leste’s “very rapid and praiseworthy democratic stabilisation since gaining independence.” It also characterized the ongoing partnership between the European Union and Timor-Leste as being of “high quality” and said that the agreement represented “a culmination of the deepening of relations between the European Union and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.”

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State, Agio Pereira noted “Timor-Leste appreciates the resounding vote in favor of the agreement last night and looks forward to the EU citizens it will encourage to visit us, as well as the new ease with which Timorese citizens will be able to enter the countries of the EU. The approval of the agreement by the Parliament reflects well on our diplomatic and political maturity, our economic progress and the capacity of our Immigration service, and is a vote of confidence recognizing our national stability, security and democratic values.” ENDS

Extraordinary meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 14 December 2015

ETLJB 24/12/2015 Government of East Timor Media Release Dili - The Council of Ministers met extraordinarily this Monday, December 14th, 2015, in the meeting room of the Council of Ministers, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. The Government’s Resolution on the participation of TIMOR GAP, E.P. in oil operations in the exclusive area of Timor-Leste This diploma authorises TIMOR GAP, E.P. to participate in production sharing contracts for the onshore and offshore blocks of Timor-Leste’s Exclusive Area, with the objective of decreasing the geological risk and to improve knowledge on the potential of existing hydrocarbons.

Currently, Timor-Leste has only projects in the JPDA – Joint Petroleum Development Area. It becomes necessary, therefore, to deepen the knowledge of existing resources in the Exclusive Area, through the promotion of activities of prospecting and research, which includes the implementation of studies in the areas considered relevant. The results will have a relevant role in the attraction of the required investment by international oil companies in the area under the exclusive jurisdiction of Timor-Leste.

2. The Government Decree on the payment supplements to officials attached to the process
of the General State Budget for 2016 and closing of the State Accounts for 2015

The preparation of the General State Budget for 2016 and closing of the financial year of 2015 led to an increase in the volume of work which exceeded the hourly amount provided for by law, including 40 overtime hours per month. Therefore, and in accordance with the policy of recognition for the professional dedication and incentive to employees who, in the framework of these proceedings, distinguished themselves with exemplary fulfilment of their obligations with high degree of efficiency, innovation and professional merit, the Government approved the payment of a supplement to these officials.-ENDS-

Members of the East Timor Legislative Reform and Justice Sector Commission sworn in

ETLJB 24/12/2015 Government of East Timor Media Release Dili, 18 December, 2015 - On Wednesday the President and Members of the Legislative Reform and Justice Sector Commission were sworn in by Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araujo at a ceremony conducted in the Meeting Room of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The Commission is a new structure, established by the Sixth Constitutional Government, with a mission to recommend law reform, evaluate how laws are being implemented and to help harmonize legislation.

The President the Commission is Jorge Manuel Ferreira da Graça. The other permanent members are Henrique Côrte-Real de Araújo and Melisa Ibela Diliana e Silva Caldas. José Manuel Guterres was sworn in as a non-permanent member appointed by the President of the Court of Appeal.

Jorge da Graça, who has a Degree in Law and a Masters of Arts in development studies, has had a long and distinguished career as a legal practitioner, advisor and lecturer. Significantly, as a precursor to this new responsibility, he has had broad experience as a team leader reviewing and drafting legislation in Timor-Leste and Mozambique.

The Prime Minister congratulated the President and Commission members and noted that the Commission was “based on the 2011-2030 Strategic Development Plan” which “considers it essential to review and improve the legal instruments ensuring the protection of rights, liberties and guarantees, as well as access to the law, bringing the legislation closer to the democratic ideals and the citizens of Timor-Leste.”

The work of the Commission is part of a package of reform programs initiated by the Government this year to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery and promote good governance and institutional development.

In closing his remarks at the ceremony the Prime Minister emphasized “This is a key and strategic reform for enabling the growth and development of our country and for ensuring better service delivery to the people.”ENDS
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