Subject: KESTA: Parliament Passed Law on Applicable Law
KESTA-Dili. The Parliament of East Timor passed a Law on the Applicable Law on East Timor yesterday (30/09/03) eveninig. After a series of debate on proposals presented by a number of "deputados" including a proposal supporting Portuguese Law as subsidiary Law for ET, by Dr Manuel Tilman, the Parliament decided that the law in force in East Timor should be the law applicable before 25 October 1999.
The promulgation brings an end to the long-standing saga on Indonesian versus Portuguese law in the country.
On 15 August, The Appeal Court ruled out Indonesian law and argued that Portuguese law should be the subsidiary law in the country, drawing criticism from both inside and outside the country.
East Timorese lawyers, most of whom graduated from Indonesian Universities and studied Indonesian law, have threathened to resign from their position as judges, public prosecutors and public defenders, unless the Parliament voted in favour of Indonesian law.
The promulgation was passed with 7 votes rejected and 16 abstained.
[This message was distributed via the east-timor news list.]