Government to launch national consultations on conciliation and traditional justice

Thu. 11 of April of 2019, 15:04h

Dili, April 11, 2019 - The Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, announced two national public consultation processes soon to launch to strengthen access to justice and recognize traditional community based conflict resolution processes according to our culture.

The announcement was made at the seminar themed, “Culture, Custom and Rights in Timor-Leste” organized by the Ministry for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday morning.

In addition to Minister Fidelis Magalhães, the seminar was attended by a United Nations visitor, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Korpus, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionisio Babo Soares, the Minister for Justice, Manuel Cárceres, and the Former State Secretary for the Council of Ministers, lawyer and scholar Mr. Avelino Coelho.

Regarding the national consultations, to be held jointly with the Ministry of Justice, Minister Fidelis Magalhães said that one will be a comprehensive survey of existing mediation, conciliation and arbitration mechanisms. After consultation with all stakeholders, legislation will be prepared until the end of the year to improve and increase the recourse to these mechanisms by citizens.

A second national consultation, on traditional justice, will listen to communities across the country and study conflict resolution processes according to the rules of our communities' culture. The consultation on traditional justice will develop until December and its findings will be the base of legislation, to be published in 2020, enacting rules to allow outcomes of community based justice processes to be recognized and accepted by the formal justice system.

"We look for the best ways to recognize the decisions of our justice systems, traditional systems and the state system, so that justice systems can interact and their outcomes be mutually recognized, and justice seekers have easier access to it." said Minister Fidelis Magalhães.

"It is not the government's goal to tell communities how their conflict resolution processes are or should be. To the contrary, the national consultation is going to listen to what the communities tell us about their traditional justice processes and what are their members’ visions about such processes, "added the Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs.