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08 May 2016

Celebration of JSMP’s 15th Anniversary:

ETLJB 8/05/2016 - JUDICIAL SYSTEM MONITORING PROGRAMME PROGRAMA MONITORIZASAUN BA SISTEMA JUDISIƁRIU  Press Release 28 April 2016 - Launch of the 2015 Annual Review of the Justice Sector, the 2015 Parliamentary Monitoring Report and the 2015 JSMP Institutional Report

On 29 April 2016 JSMP will launch two important reports, namely an overview of the justice sector in 2015, and the 2015 Parliamentary Monitoring Report together with the annual JSMP Institution Report for 2015. At the same time JSMP will also celebrate its 15th anniversary which falls on 28 April.

These two reports cover JSMP analysis on progress and challenges faced by the justice sector, including the processing of cases at the courts and the legislative process at the National Parliament and important events monitored and noted by JSMP in 2015.

“Every year JSMP presents an observation report to its readers and the Timorese general public on progress achieved and challenges faced by our institutions. This report was compiled from regular monitoring and intensive scrutiny of trials and the National Parliament to ensure that these institutions perform their functions in a credible and trustworthy manner,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Executive Director of JSMP.

The Review of the Justice Sector Report discusses issues related to the justice sector in 2015, gender equality, children and the justice sector and corruption cases that were tried in 2015. The parliamentary monitoring report analyses developments in policy and legislation, the productivity of the parliament, long standing problems such as the attendance and punctuality of MPs, both in plenary sessions and in Committee A.

On the other hand, the JSMP Institutional Report only explains the activities implemented in 2015 as a form of justification and accountability for the public.

In 2015 JSMP observed 1,166 cases. These cases were as follows: 482 from the Dili District Court, 211 from Baucau District Court, 99 from Suai District Court and 136 from Oecusse District. In addition, JSMP observed 238 cases via the mobile court in Dili, Baucau and Suai.

In 2015 JSMP also noted cases involving gender based violence, with a total of 564 cases involving violence against women.

This report also discusses decision trends in cases of domestic violence whereby prison sentences were replaced with suspended prison sentences and fines, and cases involving violence against children.

JSMP observed 80 cases involving children and observed that the courts achieved significant progess in 2015 in relation to cases of violence against children. In particular, the courts imposed heavy penalties against defendants in accordance with the severity of the criminal offence committed, and ordered defendants to pay compensation to victims. Unfortunately, JSMP also found that the courts were insensitive towards the capacity of children. This includes asking questions to children in ways that are difficult for them to understand.

On the other hand, during 2015 the National Parliament approved 9 laws, in comparison with 4 laws in 2014, and approved 25 resolutions, in comparison with 16 resolutions that were validated in 2014.  A lot of draft legislation has been pending for several years, including the Law Against Corruption.

JSMP hopes that the facts discussed through these reports provide information that is beneficial to the general public and especially for the relevant State institutions and can contribute directly and indirectly towards improving the formal justice system and legislative system now and in the future.

These reports include important recommendation directed at the competent and relevant institutions for their consideration.

These reports can be accessed through the JSMP website: www.jsmp.tl; after the launch of the reports.

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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.


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-
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