Constitutional Law


The general objective is to understand the importance of the Constitution as the centrality of the Legal Order, which traces the fundamental features of the legal system in its social, economic and political dimensions. The student will acquire essential tools for understanding the juridical-constitutional discourse, but also for criticising it, relating the constitutional phenomenon in space and time and in its extra-juridical implications, from those that are imposed by a criterion of Justice.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Filipe Brito Bastos, Luís Heleno Terrinha


Weekly - 6

Total - 72

Teaching language

The course is offered in Portuguese


There is no.


- Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, Manual de Direito Constitucional, I e II volumes, 5ª ed., Almedina, Coimbra, 2013; Ensinar Direito Constitucional, Almedina, Coimbra, 2003; Legislação de Direito Constitucional, 3ª ed., Quid Juris, Lisboa, 2013


- AAVV, Enciclopédia da Constituição Portuguesa (coord. de Jorge Bacelar Gouveia e Francisco Pereira Coutinho), Quid Juris, Lisboa, 2013

- Cristina Queiroz, Direito Constitucional, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 2009

- Jorge Miranda, Manual de Direito Constitucional, I a VII volumes, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 2000-2008

- José Joaquim Gomes Canotilho, Direito Constitucional e Teoria da Constituição, 7ª ed., Almedina, Coimbra, 2003

- Marcello Caetano, Manual de Ciência Política e Direito Constitucional, 6ª ed., Almedina, Coimbra, 1989

- Maria Lúcia Amaral  - A forma da República -  uma introdução ao Direito Constitucional, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 2005

- Paulo Otero, Direito Constitucional Português, I e II, Almedina, Coimbra, 2010


- Hans Kelsen, Teoria Geral do Direito e do Estado, 3ª ed., Martins Fontes, São Paulo, 2000


Teaching method

Classrooms, lectures and occasionally seminars, in order to effectively contribute to the role of building a dialogic and critical knowledge of the action and concrete applicability of the Constitutional Law and the respective Institutes. Possible the preparation of Works in small groups, to seek the development of legal argumentation skills and teamwork or even case studies, all in order to develop the cognitive ability to analyse and synthesis curricular topics.

Evaluation method

 - Final written exam compulsory: 100% if only element of evaluation;
- Final written exam: 85% if complemented by the delivery of work (individual or group up to 4 people) until the last day of classes, this work worth 15% of the final grade, since higher than the semester exam.

Subject matter

1. Constitutional law: concept and characteristics, constitutional system, principles and norms


2. State: concept and elements, state structures, historical evolution


3. Contemporary Constitutionalism: Liberal, Social and Post-contemporary, the (non) Constitutionalism Socialist and Fascist


4. Comparative Constitutionalism: the British, North American, French experiences; other European experiences


5. Portuguese Constitutionalism: general sense and the six Portuguese Constitutions


6. Constitutionalism of Portuguese Language: the four waves of Lusophone Constitutionalism


7. Constitution: concept and modalities, constitutional sources; constitutional power and constitutional vicissitudes, and constitutional revision; sources, application in time and space of constitutional norms


8. Basis of Constitutional Law: the Justice of Constitutional Law and the constitutional norms unconstitutional



Programs where the course is taught: