Macau’s chief prosecutor said Wednesday that judicial reform was an “inevitable matter”, pointing out that certain legal gaps are causing “constant unbearable pain” to the judicial system and civil society alike.
Public Prosecutor-General Ho Chio Meng made the remarks while addressing yesterday’s ceremony marking the opening of the city’s judicial year. The solemn ceremony was held at the Macau Cultural Centre.
Ho said that judicial reform was indispensable for Macau’s long-term prosperity and stability. He pointed that he called for a revision of the Penal Code in the previous judicial year. He singled out the need to streamline legal norms concerning certain crimes such as insult, indecent assault, domestic violence, traffic accidents, drug trafficking and bribery, as well as economic crimes and the crime of instigating a minor to commit a crime.
The Penal Code was promulgated in 1995.
Ho also called for a revision of the Election Law, including the possible setting-up of a system of rewards for denouncing electoral corruption. He also said that the Electoral Affairs Commission should be given penal powers.
Macau Lawyers Association (AAM) President Jorge Neto Valente said in his speech that a “deep” reform of the city’s Judicial Organisation Framework Law had been “necessary” for quite a while but was now “indispensable and urgent.”
Valente also said that of the city’s 304 registered lawyers, about 40 percent have Chinese as their mother tongue. The remainder are native Portuguese speakers. He also said that 81 lawyers and trainee lawyers work in 81 law firms. He also said that of the 113 trainee lawyers registered with his association, 80 percent are native Chinese speakers.
Court of Final Appeal (TUI) President Sam Hou Fai pledged to promote “judicial transparency”, although he admitted that this was an “arduous and long-term task.”
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On told the ceremony that his government would continue to support the Judiciary to upgrade its facilities, equipment and human resources. (macaunews/macaupost)