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Report on Portugal

  • Vânia Costa RamosEmail author
  • Bárbara Churro
Chapter
Part of the Legal Studies in International, European and Comparative Criminal Law book series (LSCL, volume 2)

Abstract

Following an introduction to the system of criminal proceedings established in Portugal, this chapter describes the participatory rights of private parties (accused, defence lawyer and victims) in Portuguese criminal proceedings. It covers pre-trial, trial and appellate stages and cross-border cases. It is shown that victims have a broad intervention in Portuguese criminal proceedings. The accused is also vested with a broad range of participatory rights and enjoys a robust right to legal assistance. However, such rights remain quite limited in pre-trial stages. The chapter also considers the law in force concerning in absentia trials, which makes them into a commonplace occurrence rather than a measure of last resort. This essentially derives from a combination of the obligation to make a Statement of Identity and Residence, combined with expedited means of serving procedural documents based on a legal fiction of knowledge by the accused, as well as a narrowly designed obligation for the judge to postpone the trial only where he/she believes that the presence of the accused is absolutely indispensable from the outset of the trial hearing. This system is not balanced by the establishment of a right to a re-trial or to lodge an appeal allowing for a fresh determination of the merits of the case, including the right to present new evidence, which makes it hardly compatible with European Law, in particular the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the newly approved Directive 2016/343/EU. European Law may therefore require that domestic law is reformed in this regard.

Keywords

Criminal proceedings Participatory rights In absentia trials Inaudito reo procedures Portugal 

Abbreviations

CCP

Portuguese Code of Criminal Procedure

CJEU

Court of Justice of the European Union

CPLP

Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters among the Member States of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries

ECHR

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

ECtHR

European Court of Human Rights

PC

Penal Code

PConst

Portuguese Constitution

SCJ

Supreme Court of Justice

SIR

Statement of Identity and Residence

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences, University of Lisbon, Faculty of LawLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Alameda da Universidade, Cidade UniversitáriaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Portuguese Constitutional CourtLisbonPortugal

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