Portuguese Constitutional Law



The curricular unit of Portuguese Constitutional Law aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the legal-constitutional system that governs the Portuguese Republic. Its content is delimited upstream by the course unit of Constitutional Law. 

The focus and method will be based essentially on the dogmatic study of the 1976 Constitution (CRP76). Special attention will be paid to this normative document: its fundamental principles and values;  the organization and discipline of political power (either in the static dimension of the rules pertaining to each State organ, or in the dynamic dimension of their inter-organic relationship); to public legal acts, namely legislative acts; the forms of evolution and amendment of constitutional normativity; and constitutional review. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Luís Heleno Terrinha, Jorge Bacelar Gouveia


Weekly - 6

Total - 72

Teaching language



Available soon


Essential bibliography


- Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, Manual de Direito Constitucional, Vols I e II, 7. Edição, Coimbra: Almedina, 2021

- Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, *Constituição da República Portuguesa e Legislação Complementar, 2ª ed., Petrony, Lisboa, 2021



Complementary books (specific bibliography will be indicated in each chapter of the programme):


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

- Cristina Queiroz, Direito Constitucional ¿ as instituições do Estado democrático e constitucional, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 2008

- José de Melo Alexandrino, Lições de Direito Constitucional: I vol, 2ª ed., AAFDL, Lisboa, 2015; II vol., 3ª ed., AAFDL, Lisboa, 2018

- Jorge Miranda, Curso de Direito Constitucional, UCP, Lisboa, 2016: 1 e 2 volumes

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

- José Joaquim Gomes Canotilho e Vital Moreira, Fundamentos da Constituição, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 1991

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

- Manuel Afonso Vaz, Raquel Carvalho, Catarina Santos Botelho, Inês Folhadela e Ana Teresa Ribeiro, Direito Constitucional - o Sistema Constitucional Português, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, 2012 

- Manuel Proença de Carvalho, Manual de Ciência Política e Sistemas Políticos e Constitucionais, 3ª ed., Quid Juris, Lisboa, 2010

- Paulo Ferreira da Cunha: Direito Constitucional Aplicado, Quid Juris, Lisboa, 2007; Direito Constitucional Anotado, Quid Juris, Lisboa, 2008

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



Teaching method

Theoretical teaching with doctrinal exposition of the topics in dialogue with students.

Practical teaching: cases; decisons of Constitutional Court of Portugal, invited teachers and politicians; debates. 


Evaluation method

Option A: Final exam (100%).

Option B: Mid-term written test (40%) + Final exam (60%)


Subject matter


Portuguese Constitutional Law


  1. Contemporary Constitutionalism: Rule of Law, Liberal and Social State; Comunist and Fascist States
  2. Constitutionalism in a comparative perspective: United Kingdom, United Sates of America and France
  3. Portuguese Constitutionalism: an historical approach from 1822 untill 1976
  4. Structure and Evolution of Portuguese Constitution of 1976 (CRP)
  5. Fundamental Principles (Introduction to CRP): Rule of Law, Republican State, Secular State, Democratic State; Unitary, Decentralized and European State
  6. The State Organs and their legal-constitutional status. Other constitutional bodies.
  7. The legislative function in particular.
  8. Guarantee and control of the Constitution. Models of constitutional review; The review of constitutionality in the CRR76.
  9. Constitutional amendments: procedure and limitations.


Programs where the course is taught: