Macau | Barring foreign judges from national security cases is “non-sense” – Lawyers Association President

Macau (MNA) – The President of the Macau Lawyers Association (AAM), Jorge Neto Valente, said this Thursday that barring foreign judges from dealing with cases involving national security matters due to confidentiality issues was “non-sense.”

Valente’s comments were a reply to statements by the Macau SAR Legislative Assembly President, Ho Iat Seng, who defended the proposals in the recently proposed Judicial Organisational Law due to the “confidentiality” of information involved in national security cases while he was attending the National People’s Congress ‘Two Sessions’ in Beijing.

“I really don’t agree with this. So other cases on the courts are not confidential? I don’t hear them being discussed outside. Everything related to justice matters is confidential,” argued Mr. Valente. “If a judge can’t be in charge of a case that involves confidentiality, he is not fit to be a judge in any court case.”

The AAM President also questioned what cases judged in the MSAR, where the Basic Law should apply, might be considered national security cases.

“The Basic Law has no distinctions between Chinese or foreign judges […]. This is a twist to the system. I think people will realise this is non-sense,” he added.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]