Almost 265,000 served by 43 new 'proximity courts' in three years

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 26-01-2020 18:00:00 · 0 Comments

Almost 265,000 people in Portugal have been served by 43 small claims courts - dubbed 'proximity courts' - in the three years since these institutions were created, according to data released by the country’s directorate-general of administration of justice (DGAJ).

The same data show that, since 2017, more than 25,000 people have taken part in more than 4,000 sessions at these courts without having to leave their area.

As part of policies to bring justice closer to citizens, the creation of the new courts was aimed at restoring the symbolic presence of the state in the country's less-populated interior, on the grounds that one of the purposes of sovereignty is as an important factor of social cohesion, according to a note from the Ministry of justice.

The data show a total of 264,781 face-to-face and telephone consultations by the new courts in three years, although the number fell last year to 86,165 from 89,743 in 2018.

A total of 3,836 criminal trial sessions and 412 civil trial sessions were held in the three years.

According to the DGAJ figures, 617,358 acts and 9,982 other proceedings were carried out in these three years in the proximity courts.

The ministry statement recalls that in the Azores localities of Nordeste and Povoação and in 40 others in mainland Portugal, the courts' jurisdiction last year was extended also to civil matters.


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