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A Short Guide on Portuguese Courts

A Short Guide on Portuguese Courts

Updated on Tuesday 07th March 2017

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legal-services-in-portugal.jpgThere are different types of courts in Portugal where you can enforce your rights and resolve legal issues. Each court has its own jurisdiction which means that it can only handle cases which the law has given authority to do so. Article 209 of the Portuguese Constitution mandates the establishment of Portuguese courts. Litigants must observe the hierarchy of courts. This means that cases must first be brought to the Court of First Instance, then to the Court of Appeal and, lastly, to the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the country. Our Portuguese lawyers can guide you accordingly to the proper court and inform you about its jurisdiction.

Court of first instance 

This is the court where cases are filed for the first time. The courts of first instance are categorized into those with general, specialized and specific jurisdictions. Those with general jurisdiction handle cases that are not assigned to other courts. The difference between a court with specialized jurisdiction and one with specific jurisdiction is the procedure they follow.
The former is not bound by any formal procedures, while the latter has to follow certain procedures prescribed by law. Courts of first instance are spread throughout the country. Let our attorneys in Portugal assist you in filing your case in the proper court.

Courts of appeal

These courts are also known as courts of second instance. If you don’t get a favorable judgment from the courts of first instance, you can bring your case up to the courts of appeal. Its jurisdiction is categorized into civil, criminal, and social matters. They are capable of recognizing and reviewing the decisions of foreign courts. Currently, there are five courts of appeal in Portugal to be found in Lisbon, Guimaraes, Coimbra, Evora and Porto. Our lawyers in Portugal have handled numerous cases brought to the courts of appeal.

Supreme Court

This court is regarded as the highest court of law in Portugal. You can bring your adverse decision from the courts of appeal to the Supreme Court, which handles only matters relating to questions of law and not on factual matters. The kinds of proceedings it conducts are those that deal with civil, criminal, and social matters. Currently, the Supreme Court of Portugal is located at Lisbon and its judges can either try a case with all members participating or they can seat in groups of three, depending on the type of case handled.
If you plan on bringing a case to court, just contact our law firm in Portugal. We are more than competent to represent you or give you a short guide on Portuguese courts.


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