17 July 2014

Dili District Court conducts mobile court in Ermera and tries six cases of domestic violence from a total of eight cases

ETLJB 17/07/2014 - The East Timor Judicial System Monitoring Program has released the English translation of its report on monitoring of proceedings in the Dili District Court on 10 and 11 July 2014. The text of the translation follows.

Dili District Court conducts mobile court in Ermera and tries six cases of domestic violence from a total of eight cases

On 10 and 11 July 2014 the Dili District Court conducted a mobile court and tried a total of eight cases. 6 of these cases involved domestic violence, 1 case involved simple offences against physical integrity and the other case involved property damage.

This mobile court program occurred simultaneously with the launch of an expanded mobile court program at the national level that was supported by UNDP, and attended by the Vice Minister of Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Prosecutor-General and Coordinator of the Office of the Public Defender as well as other judicial actors.

JSMP values and welcomes this initiative to expand the mobile court program to provide national coverage, because it will provide the community with greater access, will reduce the financial burden on the people and will promote the formal justice system to the people.

However, JSMP continues to encourage the judicial actors to ensure that the mobile court can function in a safe and secure manner for the parties, especially in relation to cases involving minors. JSMP observed that on some occasions in a certain district the mobile court was not able to manage such situations.

“JSMP hopes that this initiative and program can help the community to access justice, reduce the structural difficulties and obstacles that they face, especially those that live a long distance away from the court,” said Luis de Oliveira Sampaio, Executive Director of JSMP.

From these 8 cases, the court decided 4 cases and the other 2 cases are ongoing.

JSMP has observed that most of the 8 cases tried by the mobile court involved ordinary maltreatment characterized as domestic violence. The same trend was observed at the other mobile courts, as well as at the static courts.

The judges who took part in the trials included Duarte Tilman, Jose Maria de Araujo, Antonino Goncalves and Jumiati Maria Freitas. The public prosecution service was represented by Jacinto Babo, Ambrozio Rangel and the defendants were represented by Jose da Silva, Sebastiao de Almeida, Manuel Exposto, and Sergio Quintas from the office of the public defender. Source: JSMP Press Release 14 July 2014

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