Court of Final Appeal (TUI) President Sam Hou Fai said Thursday that there has been a growing trend by some people attempting to resolve political matters by getting the judiciary involved when it should stay out of such affairs.
Sam was one of the speakers at a ceremony marking the official start of the new judicial year at the Macau Cultural Centre.
Macau’s top judge told the audience he had noticed that as the courts issued rulings in some “sociallysensitive” cases or those involving major economic interests, some individuals had tried publicly to influence and pressure the judges for their own benefits.
Sam also said that some people in Macau had tried to pressure the government over its policies or decisions by filing lawsuits or appealing to the courts. “Such behaviour, typical in some nearby regions and other jurisdictions, is now becoming prevalent in Macau,”Sam was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying. “Itherefore need to bring up the issue in the hope that the public will address it.”
He also urged his fellow judges to remember why they are doing their job, serving the public and not to bow down to pressure and temptations and to remain true to the law.
Sam also reaffirmed the judiciary’s principle of not handling political questions, a principle that, he said, was recognised by almost all countries and regions in the world. He also pointed that the principle is recognised by Article 19 of the Macau Judicial Organisation Law.
“There are people who intend to solve purely political questions through the courts, and there are others at any time threaten to appeal to the courts or take other legal means to put pressure on the government,” Sam said.
Meanwhile, Public Prosecutor-General Ho Chio Meng, another speaker at the ceremony, called for amendments to the Penal Code as soon as possible, hinting that some of its articles had become outdated and therefore needed to be changed.
Ho said that it was the right time to discuss a review of the Penal Code, which dates back to 1995, in order to update it and bring it in line with other penal legislation.
He also called for tougher penalties for fatal traffic accidents.
Ho also said the results of the fight against drug-related crimes were “not as expected.”
Ho also called for the establishment of a system to reward citizens who report illegal electoral activities such as election bribery, suggesting it could deter electoral groups from giving out gifts and benefits as part of their campaign activities.
Chief Executive (CE) Fernando Chui Sai On pledged in his speech that judicial independence would be maintained while the government would support the development of the legal sector.(macaunews)