08 May 2016
Celebration of JSMP’s 15th Anniversary:
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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