Libel trial McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 11
The hearing as
informs that she has received a request this morning from Gonçalo
Amaral to consider the dismissal of his lawyer, Dr Victor Santos de
are asked to state their respective position on this issue.
– Dr Santos de
Oliveira (ex-GA lawyer)
that the notification sent to him by Gonçalo Amaral implies that his
participation as a lawyer is inhibited: he can't function as the
authorised representative of Gonçalo Amaral.
however that, given the nature of this process, the instruction of a
new lawyer is required. Therefore SO asks for the suspension of the
Fatima Esteves (Guerra&Paz lawyer)
firstly the oddness of notifying the Court of the dismissal at 9am.
the Court of the CPP rules with regard to the conditions of
dismissal, the effects of which start directly after the
them also that the contradictory principle is at the core of a civil
trial. If the instruction of a new lawyer is required, it can happen
only after the notification. Therefore there has to be a delay in
order for GA to instruct a new lawyer.
that the hearing must be suspended. Last but not least she mentions
that deontology implies a general consensus for the interruption of
– Dr Miguel
Coroadinha (TVI lawyer)
He has nothing
to add except to express his solidarity with Dr Santos de Oliveira.
– Dr Henrique
Costa Pinto (VdeC multimedia lawyer)
He seconds Dr
MC’s words about solidarity and says that the solution to the
current issue belongs with the Court: suspend or interrupt the
hearing? (The difference is minimum and more a technicality with
an effect on expiring terms).
that now the dismissal of SO's mandate has taken effect, it would
not be right to go ahead with the hearing, but is a solid reason
(force majeure) for interrupting it.
that the legal delay to constitute a new lawyer is 10 days, subject
to the Tribunal eventually naming a representative.
– Dra Isabel
that the Court was notified of the dismissal only this morning, when
her clients had already left the UK.
the effect on the process of the plaintiffs' reactions to a
postponement and claims there is no right impediment to the hearing
going ahead although she observes that there would be one if the
lawyer was incapable of exercising his function.
distinguishes between a case of renouncement and one of dismissal
and finally states she considers that the hearing must not be
suspended but go on with Gonçalo Amaral being asked to constitute a
– The Judge
de Melo e Castro
states that the defendant Gonçalo Amaral had come to notify the
Court this morning that he had (on the 13th evening) informed Dr
Santos de Oliveira that his mandate would be revoked on the 15th.
She states further that the effects of this dismissal start with the
notification of his representative and the opposite parties.
Therefore the mandate can be considered to be at an end.
observes that the act that led to the mandate's cessation is
As to the
consequences on the process, there are two possibilities, both
supported by the law (one was put forward by Dra Isabel Duarte and
the other was suggested by the defence lawyers). The judge describes
those two possibilities referring to jurisprudence and cites the
arguments in favour of both.
that the second better adjusts to the contradictory principle of the
defence and to the equality between the parties. Therefore she
considers fairer to allow the defendant a delay to instruct a new
lawyer, with the condition that if he fails the process will go on
with the juridical acts previously accomplished. Gonçalo Amaral is
therefore given 10 days to appoint a lawyer. This is why the current
hearing cannot proceed.
account those 10 days she proposes the date of 8 of July.
Duarte asks to go and consult with her clients (who are not in the
courtroom) and finally agrees with this date but objects that her
allegation will be long and doubts that everything can be done in
only one day.
The judge asks
the lawyers which kind of allegations they'll do: allegations of law
or allegations of facts? The defence lawyers say they will claim the
first and Dra Duarte the second.
The judge then
decides that the plaintiffs will be heard on the morning of the 8th
of July and the Duarte allegation in the afternoon.
10th of July, is fixed to hear the four defence speeches.
then asks the court clerk to call the plaintiffs. The interpreter
(the same who worked at the first hearings) is there. The judge
explains what happened and apologises but adds that they were
circumstances beyond her control.
And so it
[With thanks to
Faithlilly for checking the English]