“Constitutionalism in the 21st Century”
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Constitutional Court held an international conference with world-renowned experts on constitutional law on 2 and 3 March 2023. The opening session was presided by the President of the Republic and the President of the Constitutional Court.
The conference on “Constitutionalism in the 21st Century” was open to the public and included panels on the future of constitutionalism, and on fundamental rights and duties, separation of powers, constitutional justice and constitutional pluralism in this century.
Programme and Participants:
Guided Tours to the Constitutional Court
Guided tours for schools are in Portuguese only.
Every Monday at 10 a.m.
The Constitutional Court organizes visits for school children aged between 8 and 12, where they have the opportunity to learn more about their rights.
These tours are organized for schools and explain the role of the Constitutional Court in defending the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution. Children discover what changed with the revolution of 25 April 1974 and have the opportunity of participating in a mini plenary session, where they have to decide a case as if they were actual justices of the Court.
Tours have an approximate duration of 1h30m.
Prior registration is necessary to book a tour, and the tour is dependent on confirmation by the Constitutional Court.
For teenagers, the Court has an informational video (available in Portuguese only). Share it!
Get to know the guardian of the fundamental rights protected in the Constitution, such as the right to education, to health and to freedom of expression.
As part of the celebrations of its 40th anniversary, the Constitutional Court is organizing various events, as this is a symbolic occasion to learn more about the fundamental rights protected by the Portuguese Constitution and the role of the Constitutional Court, and also to celebrate democracy.
Forty years on
As part of the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Constitutional Court, the book “Olhar os 40 anos” (Forty years on”) focuses on a selection of decisions which were particularly relevant for Portuguese people. The book was presented by former Justice João Cura Mariano and by the author João Caupers, the President of the Constitutional Court.
Collegiality and Deliberation in the Constitutional Court
The Court hosted the launch of the book Decidir em Conjunto: Colegialidade e Deliberação no Tribunal Constitucional, written by Raquel Barradas de Freitas, Jorge M. Fernandes, and Miguel Won. The event started with Raquel Barradas de Freitas introducing the book, followed by comments from former Legal Advisor to the President of the Court, António de Araújo, and some concluding words by Miguel Won.
The book analyses the deliberative practices of the Constitutional Court of Portugal and the place of collegiality in constitutional scrutiny. It explores the central role of collegial decision-making in the institutional design of the Court, and the views on collegiality held by past and current justices of the Court. The book combines theoretical, conceptual, and empirical analysis with natural language processing (text mining) of the judgments produced by the Court in the last 40 years. It proposes a shift of attention, in the domain of judicial behaviour, from the individual attitudes or preferences of justices to the collective and collegial character of the Court’s decisions.
The launch took place on Wednesday, 12 April, in the garden of Palácio Ratton.
and the aristocrats of rua Formoza
This book looks at the architectural history of Palácio Ratton - the 19th-century building which houses the Portuguese Constitutional Court. It seeks to integrate the building into the history of the Cardais area and the old rua Formoza, focusing on the urban development of the area. It also looks at the historical and architectural background of a salient set of surrounding buildings and their proprietors, the most eminent of whom were the Melo Castro and Carvalho families of Rua Formoza.
Check back soon for the date of the book launch.
“A guardian, as everyone knows, is someone who guards something.
If you want to guard something, that usually means it is important and valuable.
In stories, there are often guardians who guard incredible treasures, hidden behind heavy doors that move only when magical words are uttered.
The guardian in this book does not need any magical words.
It is a very real guardian: a Court.
And it guards a very real thing: the Constitution.”
In this book, written for 6 to 12-year-olds, children get to know more about the Constitutional Court, the guardian of the Portuguese Constitution. What exactly does this guardian exactly guard? How does it work? What problems does it solve?
At the end, after many questions that will not be left unanswered, the readers will feel they too are the guardians of their own rights and of their (our) Constitution.
Please check back soon for the date of the book launch.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Constitutional Court released a documentary series. One of the episodes is entitled “Historical Landmarks” and focuses on important moments in the democratic life of the Portuguese people. The enactment of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic in April 1976, the creation of the Constitutional Court and its installation in 1983, and many rulings with an impact on our society are featured in this episode.
You can learn more about the history of the Constitutional Court on our webpage. >>
The Constitutional Court’s brochure is meant to be a source of information for the public on the nature, powers and day-to-day operation of the Court. It also provides statistical data on its annual activity.
Every Friday | 10h and 15h
In 2023, as part of the celebrations of its 40th anniversary, the Constitutional Court opens its doors so that everyone can learn more about the role and powers of this constitutional body.
Tours are open to the general public and to groups with a specific interest in law. The tour, which takes approximately 40 minutes, includes an explanation on the history of the palace, its magnificient rooms and the role of the Constitutional Court. Visitors will not only learn more about how and on which issues the justices of the Constitutional Court decide, but also discover unexpected places, such as the garden and the library, hidden gems in the heart of Lisbon.
To book a guided tour, prior registration is needed, which will be later confirmed by the Court.
Do you know what the Constitutional Court is for and how it works? The guided tour to the Constitutional Court invites visitors to learn how this constitutional body works and its powers, leading them through the most important rooms of the Ratton Palace: the room where plenary sessions are held, the room where rulings are publicly announced and the gallery with the paintings of former presidents. It is also an opportunity to know more about the history of the building and discover places which are normally closed to the public such as the garden of the Ratton Palace.
Aimed at groups with a special interest in law (students, for example), the guided tour to the Constitutional Court invites visitors to learn more about how this constitutional body works and its powers, leading them through the most important rooms of the Ratton Palace: the room where plenary sessions are held, the room where rulings are publicly announced and the gallery with the paintings of former presidents. At the end, participants will have the opportunity to raise questions and learn more about constitutional law and the case law of t2.ºhe Court. It will also be an opportunity to know more about the history of the building and discover places which are normally closed to the public such as the garden of the Ratton Palace.
To book a visit, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for a confirmation of the date.