APSN Banner

SQR: Traditional justice should be used alongside formal methods

Dili Weekly - March 26, 2014

Venidora Oliveira – Quesadhip Ruak Center (SQR), in partnership with civil society groups and judicial institutions, has discussed how traditional justice can be incorporated into modern justice systems.

Quesadhip Ruak Center founder Isabel Ferreira said the objective of the discussion was to put together the ideas of Timorese and connect to the culture and traditional justice systems of the people of Timor-Leste.

"We sat together and discussed the justice model that we want, similar to some other places where people combine both the traditional justice and formal justice," she.

She said the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), through the directorate of the Communitarian Reconciliation Process, had applied traditional justice to cases of minor crimes committed in the community.

"These are crimes but can be resolved through the Communitarian Reconciliation Process if the suspect and victim agree to resolve it without taking it to court," Ferreira said.

The national NGOs involved in the discussion were the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP), Hak Association and CAVR as well as public prosecution and court judges.

JSMP executive director Luis Oliveira Sampaio, who participated in the discussion, said traditional justice had been functioning but some people still had not received justice.

"The president wants to revive our practice of the existing traditional justice," said JSMP Director. He said traditional justice can be applied but its criteria and limitations should be clear.

Judge Duarte Tilman said the constitution permitted the revival of traditional justice. "We should implement it," Judge Tilman said.

Source: http://thediliweekly.com/en/news/news/12220-sqr-traditional-justice-should-be-used-alongside-formal-methods