Brazil to send more public defenders under extended agreement
Public defenders, law lecturers, a judge, a prosecutor and support staff are among nine Brazilian justice sector professionals headed for Timor-Leste, under a joint UNDP-Government of Brazil agreement.
In a signing ceremony held 2 December, the Government of Brazil extended an agreement with UNDP under which it will send the nine Brazilian justice sector staff to Timor-Leste over the next year.
The staff include three public defenders and two administration staff for the Public Defender’s Office (PDO), a judge, two lecturers for the Legal Training Centre and one prosecutor.
Speaking after signing the agreement at UNDP country office in Dili, the Brazilian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Edson Marinho Duarte Monteiro said: “The justice sector for us is certainly strategic.”
As a fellow Lusaphone country, Brazil can provide “a very special sort of support” to Timor-Leste’s justice sector, Ambassador Monteiro said.
Brazil is also in a unique position to support Timor-Leste’s PDO, as Brazil and Timor-Leste are the only two countries from the Community of Portuguese Speaking Nations (CPLP) which have PDOs, he said.
UNDP Country Director, Mikiko Tanaka said: “We really appreciate this cooperation with Brazil, which dates back to 2006.
“We’ve counted nine public defenders who have come to work in Timor’s PDO since 2006, and a further 14 Brazilians who have worked in different justice sector institutions with UNDP’s Justice System Programme.
“Some of these public defenders have stayed in Timor-Leste for several years and have also built up the PDO – for example, helping to establishing PDO’s Superior Council, which has strengthened the independence of the institution,” she said.