1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

State of Affairs: Again the Justice Forgotten

Opinion Article by Judge Rui Rangel

What can the Portuguese expect from the electoral programs of political parties in the area of Justice, for the next term? More of the same or almost nothing.

I have written about the election program of the PS in the area of Justice. In it I did not find any novelty, other than the repetition of mistakes of the past, giving continuity to the the work of this legislature. Definitely, Justice is not fundamental to the PS, which explains why, on the program already announced, there isn't a single reference to this sector.

But the scenario is no different if we look at the intentions of the PSD. So far we can only speak of intentions, because their program is not yet public. In its substance, there is only a difference of style: the Justice was inserted in the electoral program, the same happened in the programs of CDS, CDU and BE, which is very little.

For the PSD, everything seems to be done in closed offices, for people who think that they think Justice well, that assume that one of the paths to follow is the continuous (un)judicialization [ex.decriminalization] of the Justice acts. The PSD, in its election program, should say, clearly, what did the PS do wrong, which reforms they support and which ones they will not follow, if they become the Government. Only in this way can the truth be spoken to the Portuguese and politics gain credibility. Only then one can realize the ideological differences, if any, between the PS and PSD.

From the other parties of the parliamentary arch (CDS, CDU and BE) come vague ideals, generalities, petitions of faith, defense of blind principles, no specific and objective idea to give another dimension to justice and efficiency. More guarantees, resources to exhaustion, to absorb the gains of the winning party or to take the effectiveness of the decision, cheaper costs and the increase of the free service of Justice.

One thing that all parties have in common: the public disclosure of intentions, only for the purpose of being right in photo. But of good intentions, as they say, the hell is paved.

In practice, all care very little to Justice. This is always overlooked or treated in a disorderly way, despite all the studies indicating that it is the reform that is missing to make Justice serious and effective. Without it, the country loses in seriousness, in image and in competitiveness. The discouragement will continue to take care of us and Justice will continue to be a promise postponed.The overall picture does not look good for citizens and businesses.

A new Justice, with effectiveness and that helps to dignify Portugal, is not compatible with old parties and exhausted ideologies. The Civil society must be more demanding with the parties.

in Correio da Manhã

Note: I post this opinion, which I totally agree with, because many believe that with the change of the Portuguese Socialist party the McCann Case will have a different outcome. I don't agree with that, unfortunately we cannot rely in a left or right wing government to do Justice, nor we should, Justice as in the sense of legal Justice, should be carried out by the proper institutions and persons who were delegated and entrusted to do that specific work without any kind of political interference. The Madeleine McCann Case is no longer a case at the hands of any Police or Ministry - Portuguese or British, it's a case that is now at the hands of the Civil Society, and that means all of us. Only from the actions of concerned and proactive Citizens, in Portugal and in Britain, can the case have a different outcome than the current archival.
Expect more on this issue.


  1. A new government under Manuela Ferreira Leite will not open up the process. She is part of a list of people associated with the Bilderberg meetings, where Blair and Brown are also a part of. Her denial to enlist Amaral as a candidate for the Algarve speaks volumes. Gerry McCann himself saw to it that he did not succeed.

  2. Exactly,that's how I feel too. I'm considering casting a blank ballot in the next elections, I do not identify myself with either parties ( PS / PSD ), well, to be honest I do not identify with any of the current portuguese parties, so, what is left for me? Stay at home? Go to the shopping center or to the beach, as many portuguese seem to choose to do judging by the increasing abstention? NO! At least blank votes are counted and show not indiference but disappointment and displeasure!
    As the portuguese saying goes :
    "mudam as moscas, mas a m... continua a mesma" ( the flies may change, but it's still the same sh...)

  3. Joana is very right. Ultimately it is the civil society who has been flouted in the McCann case. Torrents of compassion have flown, probably unduly, for days,weeks, months, years. This is unacceptable, a stab in our idea of justice, a terrible loss of time and energy. But as it is not foreseen nor punished by our institutions, it belongs to the civil society to let her European voice be heard.

  4. I've been disenfranchised here in the UK since Blair was imposed on the Labour Party and there's nowhere on the ballot paper for me to place my X.

    At the last two local elections, I've taken a jumbo red marker pen to the polling station and 'spoilt' my ballot paper with the words "Truth & Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann, 3."

    I know from past experience at Counts that candidates and their agents view all spoilt ballot papers, so I shall be doing the same at every future election until NuLabour is kicked out and I can vote for a Labour Candidate once again. This way my (non-)vote has to be counted.

  5. Absolutely, a new government under PSD will not open the process, we have seen for the last two years the main newspapers which are clearly PSD based, like the Expresso or the Público, attacking the PJ, Gonçalo Amaral, the Public Ministry.

    The Express director, Henrique Monteiro, defending the McCanns in several editorial biased articles was what really showed how he obliges his master voice, Pinto Balsemão, the Expresso owner, Bildberg member and one of the PSD founders.

    There is even a rumour that José Luis Arnault had a meeting with Rogério Alves and Gerry McCann, that is a very serious allegation if true.

    Indeed, it's up to us, Citizens to act together and demand the reopening of the process.

  6. Todos os partidos tem telhados de vidro que fazem da justica o seu calcanhar de Aquiles. Nenhum vai ter a coragem de re-abrir o processo Maddie, a nao ser que o corpo apareca ( o que eu duvido ) ou que a sociedade civil se insurja e diga BASTA, clamando justica. Porque nenhum vai incluir este tema na sua agenda eleitoral, mais do que a crise economica, a crise na justica vai fazer subir os numeros da ABSTENCAO. EU CLARAMENTE SO VOTAREI SE TIVER A CERTEZA QUE AS CRIANCAS QUE SAO VITIMAS TEM DIREITO A JUSTICA. UM PAIS QUE NAO DEFENDE O DIREITO A JUSTICA DOS MAIS INDEFESOS, NAO MERECE QUALQUER RESPEITO POR PARTE DOS SEUS CIDADAOS, POIS VIOLA UM DOS DIREITOS FUNDAMENTAIS DO HOMEM CONSAGRADOS NA CARTA DAS NACOES UNIDAS E NA CONSTITUICAO DE TODOS OS PAISES LIVRES E DEMOCRATICOS.
    Por isso, senhores(as) candidatos a PMs lembrem-se: Com tempo e perseveranca vencem-se as crises economicas mas a injustica so se vence combatendo-a no tempo exacto. Nunca havera justica se ela chegar tarde. E para Madeleine, se a justica viesse hoje, era bom mas chegava tarde pois alem dela ja outros inocentes sofreram por nao se ter dado tempo a investigacao para julgar e concluir no tempo certo: Quantos Murats e Hewletts nao foram ja trazidos a Praca Publica erroneamente? Mas desses e da propria Maddie enquanto vitima e enquanto ser humano com direitos, quem tem poder, nao fala... E tudo em nome dos Mccann e da sua imagem que o publico deitou na lama. E de quem foi a culpa, para tudo o que se escreve e comenta sobre eles? UNICA E EXCLUSIVAMENTE DELES! FOI CULPA DOS SEUS PARAMETROS ANORMAIS ENQUANTO PAIS E DEPOIS, DOS SEUS PARAMETROS ANORMAIS ENQUANTO PAIS DE UMA CRIANCA DESAPARECIDA! Nenhum cidadao livre e responsavel "engole" a historia que eles venderam a Imprensa, portanto TENHAM A CORAGEM DE CORRIGIR O ERRO- REABRAM O PROCESSO E DEIXEM A INVESTIGACAO CORRER SEM TRUQUES. A Justica portuguesa ja teve muitas nodoas e uma delas chamou-se CAMARATE!!!

  7. translation of anonymous comment at 01:47, obrigada mais uma vez, brilhante!

    All political parties have glass roofs that make of justice its Achilles' heel. None will have the courage to re-open the Maddie case, unless the body appears (which I doubt) or that civil society insurges and says ENOUGH, claiming for Justice. Because none will include this issue in their electoral agenda, more than the economic crisis, the crisis in the justice will raise the numbers of Abstention. SO I will only clearly vote if I’m sure that children who are victims are entitled to Justice. A country that does not defend the right to Justice of the most helpless, IS unworthy of respect from its citizens, because contravenes the fundamental human rights enshrined in the UN Charter and in the Constitutions of all free and democratic countries.

    Therefore, you (the) candidates for PM’s remember: With time and patience the economic crisis can be won but injustice only if is fought at the right time. There will never be Justice if it comes too late. And for Madeleine, if Justice came today it would be good, but already too late because besides her, other innocent have already suffered because the investigation was not given time to judge and to conclude at the proper time: How many Murat's and Hewlett's have not been brought to public eyes erroneously?

    But of these and of Maddie itself as a victim and as a human being with rights, those who have power, do not talk ... And all in the name of McCanns and their image that the public laid in the mud. And who is to blame, for everything that is written and commented on them? Solely and exclusively their own fault! It was the fault of their abnormal behaviours as parents and then, of their abnormal behaviours as the parents of a missing child!

    No free and responsible citizen "swallows up" the story they sold to the press, so have the courage to correct the error, reopen the process and let the investigation run without hindrance. The Portuguese Justice has had many stains and one of them was called CAMARATE!


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