Rule of law Portugal

Country report: The rule of law in Portugal

João Paulo Dias and Conceição Gomes provide an overview of the rule of law in Portugal. This report is the second in a series that will cover all 27 EU member states.

Portugal’s judiciary was comprehensively reformed after the transition to democracy in 1974, ending 48 years of dictatorship. Today, it is generally considered to be independent and providing relevant checks and balances. Portugal routinely receives positive marks for its rule of law in international indices. Yet public perception of the judiciary in the country is relatively weak, mainly due to unresolved high-level corruption cases as well as slow proceedings. While the speed of proceedings has been improved by the structural reforms in the context of the euro crisis, the approach to the high-profile cases will be an important indicator of the current state of the rule of law in the country.

This report provides an overview of recent developments on the rule of law in the country, highlights key cases and explains the national and international perception of these issues.

Democracy Reporting International (DRI) works to improve public understanding of the rule of law in the EU as part of the re:constitution programme funded by Stiftung Mercator. Sign-up to DRI’s newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the rule of law in Europe.


Portugal - Rule of law overview Download