ETLJ 15 March 2009 Violation of the Rule of Law And Criminal Justice in East Timor - There was a time – not long ago in the history of mankind - when the will of the king was the supreme authority. The king could do no wrong. He was the sole law giver as well as the forgiver. None of his subjects had even the authority to speak against his whims and fancies. There prevailed anarchy and lawlessness. With the passage of time - people understood the importance and need of a uniform code which would be prepared on the principle of rule of where kings as well as subjects would be treated as equals.
The rule of law is a concept propounded by A.V. Dicey but the concept prevailed since time immemorial. Laws and justice systems all over the world are based upon the stern pillars of the rule of law. It acts as a guideline for the government to enact legislations and establishes procedures and regulations which are based on the concept of equality and equal treatment before the eyes of law. The rule of law propounds equal treatment before the law irrespective of caste, creed, sex, colour, background, and religion, social, political and economic status.
It was reported in the East Timor newspaper Timor Post on 3 February 2009 that President Jose Ramos Horta had held a meeting with former rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha, and other followers of slain rebel leader Alfredo Reinado Alves, including Marcelo Caetano. The President called for the former rebels to reveal the identity of the man who shot him on 11th February 2008.
In the modern world democracy, such an act is disgraceful, more so because it comes from the man who is the President of the state. This act constitutes a grave violation of the doctrine of the separation of state powers and the independence of the judicial process from political interference. Such interventions erode the rule of law and strike at the very heart of democracy.Read the full article...
East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste!