26 February 2013

Mozambique: Minister Attacks Ignorant Magistrates

Maputo — Mozambican Justice Minister Benvinda Levi has attacked those judges and prosecutors who cannot be bothered to keep themselves informed about new Mozambican legislation.

Speaking at a Maputo ceremony launching a new training scheme, Levi stressed that all those who work with laws have a duty to keep themselves up-to-date.

Cited in Tuesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, she said “New legislation appears every day. If we don’t organise ourselves to accompany the development of legislation, in a few years we may have diplomas, but we won’t know anything. We will have difficulties in dealing with our own work”.

New laws passed by the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, decrees from the Council of Ministers, ministerial dispatches, new sets of regulations and the like are all published in the official gazette, the “Boletim da Republica” (BR) – yet many courts do not bother to subscribe to the gazette.

The government printing house, the Imprensa Nacional, which publishes the BR “is an institution of the Ministry of Justice”, said Levy. “But one of the things we notice is that most courts don’t subscribe to the BR. This is serious”.

She was sure that if a survey was undertaken to see how many judges and prosecutors have individual subscriptions to the BR, the number would be very small.

At the same ceremony, Attorney-General Augusto Paulino declared “training is fundamental to overcome the gaps, defects, and difficulties we have been feeling when we monitor our colleagues on the ground”.

The training scheme involves 21 judges and prosecutors, and covers areas including human rights, environmental protection, and the protection of public assets.

An earlier training action which has just closed focused on the fight against organised crime, corruption, money-laundering, and the trafficking in drugs, arms and people.

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