16 March 2010

Leading justice NGO condemns use of Portuguese in the Courts

JSMP considers that legal documents issued in Portuguese has negative implications Radio Timor-Leste, March 13, 2010 language source: tetun - Timorese Judicial System Monitoring Programe (JSMP) Director, Luis Oliveira, considers that legal documents in the courts printed in the Portuguese language has had a negative impact on the accused and the prosecution .

Mr. Oliveira made the comment following the Timorece Defense Force (F-FDTL) Commander Major General Taur Matan Ruak's expression of concerns about the use of the Portuguese language in trial processes.

Mr. Oliveira said that the legal translators had made efforts to do their duty, but sometimes they had not properly translated some dificult terms in the legal process and that had impacted on the court and the accused.

“Using Portuguese in the trial process has no benefit as it only has a negative impact on the people who are searching for the truth during trial processes,” Mr. Oliveira said.

Mr. Oliveira added that Portuguese language has also an obstacle for defence lawyers.

He also called on the court to print legal documents in Tetun so that the lawyers could understand and analyse them before they defend their clients.

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