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

Justice and report

by Gonçalo Amaral

It took two years monitoring the penal reform of 2007 and a complimentary report for its critics, judiciary operators, and the majority of the Portuguese people, to reacquire hope in a swift, efficient and effective justice. The report from the Permanent Justice Observatory concludes that the surgical review of penal laws is insufficient to overcome justice’s structural problems. Even less when said revisions result from two or three media-exposed cases, I would add.

Two years and money were wasted; more than looking for guilty parties, it is time for a deep debate that involves politicians, judiciary operators and all of those who, one way or another, are in touch with the justice system.

It is time to level, by the bottom, the access to justice, ending the imbalance between the powerful, and the defenceless and poor citizens who cannot pay for inflated justice taxes or luxury lawyers. It is time to stop allowing violent criminals or high-profile corrupted people to go free; the rule for preventive imprisonment will have to be the peril of continuation of the activity, and not the peril of flight.

in: Correio da Manhã, 17.10.2009


  1. Gonçalo,the trouble with the laws these days is that criminals know their rights better than their wrongs.And they get away with it because justice stays in the halls

  2. The Powerful and the Defenceless states Mr. Amaral.

    Something very like what has happened to Madeleine is happening right now in the States. A young Bristish girl named Meredith Kercher was murdered and in the dock stands Amanda Knox known as Bambi to her friends. This murder took place in Italy and the trial is almost over.
    However the American Press have no thought for the victim 'Meredith' they only care about 'Amanda' and slamming the italian justice system. Reporting that Amanda is innocent , even though there is damning evidence against her. The American people are livid and having to look outside of their own country to find some news on this tragic case.
    The Knox family have a PR ,,his name Marriott..not one question can be asked unless it first goes through him.... just like Mitchel.
    The family are being protected by the press and likes of Larry king who calls himself a journalist. He interviewed the Knox family thursday evening, all questions pre -arranged. Just like the Mccanns...here is one comment from an American.
    xxxxxI see. Another stooge journalist. You know, it really saddens me that barely one journalist in the United States seems to be willing to speak up for Meredith and ask some really tough journalistic questions of this ridiculous couple. I know Andrea has posted some good articles, but she's a lone voice. It just makes me sad. It's disappointing...and I think it actually underestimates the intelligence of the American people. I think justice should be justice, whatever nationality the defendant. Of course it's a shame when it's a young woman from your own shores in the dock. But even so. Meredith was a young woman too. And she died a horrible death. And not one lousy journalist in the whole of the US is prepared to stand up and challenge this family? Treat them like grown ups, call them on their lies? It would be great TV.

    Justice should be colour and nationality blind and the Italian justice system are proving this admidst all the flak they are getting.

    I don't think I will watch Larry King if it is just another propaganda opportunity for the Knoxes. They sicken me. Out of respect for Meredith I will not watch.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Larry King actually spent a few minutes talking about Meredith, the victim. Will someone let me know if he does? Thank you.


    Just like Madeleine the victim is forgotten...Mr.Amaral has his work cut out for him...

  3. "It is time to level, by the bottom, the access to justice, ending the imbalance between the powerful, and the defenceless and poor citizens"

    He's writing about Portugal. This could have been written about the UK.


  4. http://bastardoldholborn.blogspot.com/2009/10/carter-ruck-v-twitter.html

  5. Dear Mr Amaral

    I wish you were our Prime Minister in the UK.

    You are indeed a man of integrity.

    Justice for Madeleine.

    Best regards


  6. How true about the Kercher case! For the same superficial reasons of photogenicity, Knox has been given a very free ride by the American media and the victim of the appalling crime has been completely ignored. Same with the man Knox falsely incriminated - the African who ran the bar.

    Poor Meredith. Poor Madeleine.

  7. Ironside, I believe you are exaggerating quite a bit when you claim that the American media is behaving like the British media did and is continuing to do in the Madeleine Case. First of all Larry King never asks poignant questions of his guests, he basically lets them talk and lets them express their point of view. I'm not sure you are familiar with the Caley Anthony case, the mother is accused of murdering Caley her child. The grandparents showed up on Larry King they defended their daughter Casey with the most illogical of arguments and Larry King never really pressed them. In September 7 of 2007 he stood by while his guests ridiculed the Portuguese police, insulted Portugal and at the same time defended the English lab and dogs. Larry King just lets people express their point of view, thats why he gets a lot of guests. I can also say that I haven't seen anyone ridicule the Italian justice system, there may have been some criticism of their procedures but nowhere near the extent to how the Portuguese police were attacked. The American media has also not resorted to creating far fetched stories, they are reporting what is taking place in the Italian courts they aren't covering it up or sugar coating it. There is also no derogatory remarks directed at the Italian people. I'm also sure that you can freely post your point of view on most USA newspapers, I have read some commentary sections on the Meredith Kercher case in American papers and there are conflicting points of view. Let me say that I am not American.

  8. I would just like to add one more point. Larry King has never referred to himself as a journalist. He is a talk show host who started out in radio.


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