Public Finances Law


1. Analyze the microeconomic foundations of public sector intervention, taking into account the objectives of efficiency and fairness.

2. Know the institutional and financial reality of public administrations in Portugal, as well as the process of preparation, approval, execution and control of the State budget.

3. Analyze the evolution of State revenues and expenditures and on the intertemporal sustainability of the public debt.

4. Understand the macroeconomic foundations of Portuguese fiscal policy, as well as its limitations, in the context of Economic and Monetary Union.

General characterization





Responsible teacher



Weekly - 4.5

Total - 54

Teaching language




Not applicable



Law PerspectivePerspectiva de juristas

  • Maria D'Oliveira Martins, Lições de Financas Publicas e Direito Financeiro. Coimbra: Almedina, 2018

  • Joao Ricardo Catarino, Financas Publicas e Direito Financeiro. Coimbra: Almedina, 2019, 5a ed. revista e aumentada

  • Domingos Pereira de Sousa, Financas Publicas e Direito Financeiro. Volume I e Volume II, Lisboa: Quid Juris, 2017

Economic Perspective

  • Paulo Trigo Pereira, Antoónio Afonso, Manuela Arcanjo e Jose Carlos dos Santos, Economia e Finanças Publicas. Escolar Editora, 2016, 5a ed.
  • J. Albano Santos, Finanças Publicas. Oeiras: INA Editora, 2017, 2a ed.

Portuguese Classics

  • Antonio de Sousa Franco, Financas Publicas e Direito Financeiro. Vols. I e II. Coimbra: Almedina, 4a ed. 15.a reimpressao, 2015
  • Jose Joaquim Teixeira Ribeiro, Licoes de Financas Publicas. Coimbra: Coimbra Editora, 2010, 5aed. reimpressao

International Textbooks

  • Jonathan Gruber, Public Finance and Public Policy, Macmillan, 5th Ed. Harvey Rosen and Ted Gayer, Public Finance, McGraw Hill, 2014, 10th Ed. 

Other Elements

Legislacao de Financas Publicas. Coimbra: Almedina, 2019, 5a ed. 

Guilherme d Oliveira Martins, Guilherme Waldemar d Oliveira Martins e Maria d Oliveira Martins, A Lei de Enquadramento Orcamental. Anotada e Comentada. Coimbra: Almedina, 2009, 2a ed. (atencao  necessidade de actualizacao legislative comenta¿rios sobre LEO anterior a em vigor)

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical classes with stimulation by participation and interaction

Evaluation method

Option 1: Final Exam (100%)

Option 2 : Final Exam (50%) + Midterm Exam  (50%)

Subject matter

Module 1 - The Context and Need of Public Financial Law - Collective Needs and Public Intervention: A Brief Review

Module 2 - The Public Financial Duo: Public Expenditure and Revenue
General Theory of Public Expenditure: Concept and classifications; Fundamental rules;

General Theory of Public Revenue: Concept and classifications; In particular, credit revenues and the public debt issue; In particular, tax revenues, specifically Tax and its differentiation from other taxes; Main types of taxes; Fundamental principles of taxation and current problems; Portuguese tax system: brief incursion; Contemporary problems

Module 3 - General Theory of State Budget: Basic concepts; The fundamental rules of the structure and content of the State Budget; Preparation and approval; Execution Control and accountability

Module 4 - Public Financial Law and the Different Levels of Governance


Programs where the course is taught: