On 25 April 1974 the Armed Forces Movement, setting the seal
on the long resistance of the Portuguese people and interpreting
their deep-seated feelings, overthrew the fascist regime.
The liberation of Portugal from dictatorship, oppression and
colonialism represented a revolutionary change and an historic
new beginning in Portuguese society.
The Revolution restored fundamental rights and freedoms to
the people of Portugal. In exercise of those rights and freedoms,
the legitimate representatives of the people have assembled to
draw up a Constitution that meets the aspirations of the country.
The Constituent Assembly affirms the decision of the Portuguese
people to defend their national independence, to guarantee the
fundamental rights of citizens, to establish the basic principles
of democracy, to safeguard the primacy of the rule of law in a
democratic state and to open the way to a socialist society, with
respect for the will of the Portuguese people and the goal of
building a freer, more just and more fraternal country.
The Constituent Assembly, meeting in plenary session on 2 April
1976, approves and decrees the following Constitution of the Portuguese
Portugal is a sovereign Republic, that is based upon the dignity
of the human person and the will of the people and is committed
to building a free and just society united in its common purposes.
Democratic State based on the rule of law
The Portuguese Republic is a democratic State that is based upon
the rule of law, the sovereignty of the people, the pluralism
of democratic expression and democratic political organisation,
and respect and effective guarantees for fundamental rights and
freedoms, and that has as its aims the achievement of economic,
social and cultural democracy and the deepening of participatory
Sovereignty and legality
1. Sovereignty, single and indivisible, rests with the people,
who shall exercise it in the manner and form laid down in this
2. The State shall be subject to this Constitution and shall be
based upon democratic legality.
3. The validity of the laws and other actions of the State, the
autonomous regions and local government depends upon their compliance
with this Constitution.
All persons are Portuguese citizens who are regarded as such by
law or under international convention.
1. Portugal comprises the territory on the Continent of Europe
as is historically defined and the archipelagoes of the Azores
2. The extent and limits of territorial waters and the exclusive
economic zone, and the rights of Portugal to the adjacent sea
bed, shall be laid down by law.
3. The State shall not transfer ownership of any part of the territory
of Portugal, or any of the sovereign rights that it exercises
over that territory, unless for the purpose of rectifying frontiers.
1. The State is a unitary State that is structured on the principles
of the autonomy of local authorities and the democratic decentralisation
of the public service.
2. The archipelagoes of the Azores and Madeira shall constitute
autonomous regions with their own political and administrative
statutes and their own institutions of self-government.
1. In international relations, Portugal shall be governed by the
principles of national independence, respect for human rights,
the right of peoples to self-determination and independence, equality
between States, the peaceful settlement of international disputes,
non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and cooperation
with all other peoples for the emancipation and progress of mankind.
2. Portugal shall advocate the abolition of all forms of imperialism,
colonialism and aggression, simultaneous and controlled general
disarmament, the dissolution of political-military blocs and the
setting up of a collective security system, with a view to the
creation of an international order capable of safeguarding peace
and justice in relations between peoples.
3. Portugal recognises the right of peoples to rebel against all
forms of oppression, in particular colonialism and imperialism.
4. Portugal shall maintain special bonds of friendship and co-operation
with those countries that are Portuguese-speaking.
5. Portugal is pledged to the reinforcement of the European identity
and to the strengthening of the commitment of the States of Europe
to democracy, peace, economic progress and justice in the relations
between their peoples.
6. Provided that there is reciprocity, Portugal may enter into
agreements for the joint exercise of the powers necessary to establish
the European Union, in ways that have due regard for the principle
of subsidiarity and the objective of economic and social cohesion.
1. The rules and principles of general or customary international
law are an integral part of Portuguese law.
2. Rules provided for in international conventions that have been
duly ratified or approved, shall apply in national law, following
their official publication, so long as they remain internationally
binding with respect to the Portuguese State.
3. Rules made by the competent organs of international organisations
to which Portugal belongs apply directly in national law to the
extent that the constitutive treaty provides.
Basic responsibilities of the State
The basic responsibilities of the State are:
a. To guarantee national independence, and to create the political,
economic and cultural conditions that are conducive to it;
b. To guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms and respect for
the principles of the democratic State based on law;
c. To defend political democracy, and to safeguard and promote
the democratic participation of citizens in the resolution of
d. To promote the welfare and quality of life of the people, and
actual equality between Portuguese in their enjoyment of economic,
social and cultural rights, through the transformation and modernisation
of the economic and social structures;
e. To protect and enhance the cultural heritage of the Portuguese
people, to protect nature and the environment, to conserve natural
resources and to ensure the proper planning of the national territory;
f. To safeguard instruction in, and a constant increase in respect
for, the Portuguese language, to defend its use and to promote
its international currency.
Universal suffrage and political parties
1. The people shall exercise political power through universal,
equal, direct, secret and periodic suffrage, and through other
forms laid down in this Constitution.
2. The political parties shall assist in bringing about the organisation
and expression of the will of the people and shall respect the
principles of national independence and political democracy.
1. The National Flag, the symbol of the sovereignty of the Republic
and of the independence, unity and unitary nature of Portugal,
shall be the flag adopted by the Republic established by the Revolution
of 5 October 1910.
2. The National Anthem shall be A Portuguesa.
Fundamental rights and duties
Principle of universality
1. All citizens shall enjoy the rights and be subject to the duties
laid down in this Constitution.
2. Corporate bodies shall enjoy such rights and be subject to
such duties as are compatible with their nature.
Principle of equality
1. All citizens have the same social rank and are equal before
2. No one shall be privileged or favoured, or discriminated against,
or deprived of any right or exempted from any duty, by reason
of his or her ancestry, sex, race, language, territory of origin,
religion, political or ideological convictions, education, economic
situation or social circumstances.
Portuguese citizens abroad
Portuguese citizens temporarily or habitually resident abroad
shall enjoy the protection of the State in the exercise of their
rights, and shall be subject to such duties as are not incompatible
with their absence from the country.
Aliens, stateless persons, European citizens
1. Aliens and stateless persons temporarily or habitually resident
in Portugal shall enjoy the same rights and be subject to the
same duties as Portuguese citizens.
2. Paragraph 1 does not apply to political rights, to the performance
of public functions that are not predominantly technical or to
rights and duties that, under this Constitution or the law, are
restricted to Portuguese citizens.
3. Citizens of Portuguese-speaking countries may, by international
convention and provided that there is reciprocity, be granted
rights not otherwise conferred on aliens, except the right to
become members of the organs with supreme authority or of self-government
of the autonomous regions, to service in the armed forces or to
appointment to the diplomatic service.
4. Provided that there is reciprocity, the law may confer upon
aliens who reside in the national territory the right to vote
for, and to stand for election as, members of the organs of local
5. Provided that there is reciprocity, the law may also confer
upon citizens of the Member States of the European Union, who
reside in Portugal, the right to vote for, and to stand for election
as, Members of the European Parliament.
Fundamental rights: scope and interpretation
1. The fundamental rights contained in this Constitution shall
not exclude any other fundamental rights provided for in the laws
or resulting from applicable rules of international law.
2. The provisions of this Constitution and of laws relating to
fundamental rights shall be construed and interpreted in harmony
with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
System of rights, freedoms and guarantees
The general system of rights, freedoms and guarantees comprises
those set out in Section II and fundamental rights of a similar
1. The constitutional provisions relating to rights, freedoms
and guarantees shall be directly applicable to, and binding on,
both public and private bodies.
2. Rights, freedoms and guarantees may be restricted by law in
only those cases expressly provided for in this Constitution;
restrictions shall be limited to the extent necessary to safeguard
other rights or interests protected by this Constitution.
3. Laws restricting rights, freedoms and guarantees shall be general
and abstract in character, shall not have retroactive effect and
shall not limit, in extent or scope, the essential content of
the constitutional provisions.
Suspension of the exercise of rights
1. The organs with supreme authority shall not, jointly or separately,
suspend the exercise of rights, freedoms and guarantees, except
where a state of siege or a state of emergency has been declared
in the manner laid down by this Constitution.
2. A state of siege or a state of emergency may be declared in
all or any part of the national territory, but only in the event
of actual or imminent aggression by foreign forces, of serious
threat to, or disturbance of, the democratic constitutional order
or of a public disaster.
3. A state of emergency may be declared where the circumstances
mentioned in paragraph 2 are of a less serious nature; it shall
at the most give rise to the suspension of some of the rights,
freedoms and guarantees that are capable of suspension.
4. When the choice is made between a state of siege and a state
of emergency, the principle of proportionality shall be respected
in making the decision in favour of one or other state and in
giving effect to that decision; in particular, the extent of application,
the duration and the measures provided for shall be limited to
those strictly necessary for the prompt restoration of the constitutional
5. A declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency shall
be based on properly substantiated grounds, and shall specify
those rights, freedoms and guarantees, the exercise of which is
to be suspended; it shall be in force for a period of not more
than 15 days or, where the declaration results from a declaration
of war, for the period laid down by law, but it may from time
to time be renewed subject to the same time limits.
6. A declaration of a state of emergency or a state of siege shall
in no case affect the rights to life, personal integrity and identity,
civil capacity, and citizenship, of the person, the non-retroactivity
of criminal law, the defence rights of accused persons and the
freedom of conscience and religion.
7. A declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency may
affect constitutional normality only within the limits set out
in this Constitution and in law; in particular, it may not affect
the enforcement of the constitutional provisions with respect
to the powers and operation of the organs with supreme authority
and the organs of self-government of the autonomous regions, nor
the rights and immunities of their members.
8. A declaration of a state of siege or a state of emergency shall
vest the authorities with the powers to take the action necessary
and appropriate for the prompt restoration of the constitutional
Access to law and the courts
1. Everyone is guaranteed access to law and to the courts in order
to defend his or her legitimate rights and interests; justice
shall not be denied to a person for lack of financial resources.
2. Everyone has the right, in accordance with the law, to legal
advice and information and to legal aid.
Right to resist
Everyone has the right to refuse to comply with an order that
infringes his or her rights, freedoms or guarantees and to resist
by force any form of aggression when recourse to a public authority
Liability of public bodies
The State and other public bodies shall be jointly and severally
liable under the civil law, with the members of their organs,
their officials and their personnel, for acts or omissions in
the performance of their functions, or caused by the performance
of their functions, which result in contravention of rights, freedoms
or guarantees or in damage to another person.
1. Citizens may present complaints concerning acts or omissions
on the part of public bodies to the Ombudsman, who shall undertake
a review, without power of decision, and shall make such recommendations
to the competent organs as are necessary to prevent or make good
2. The actions of the Ombudsman shall be independent of any acts
of grace or legal remedies provided for in this Constitution or
3. The office of the Ombudsman shall be an independent organ;
the Warden of Justice shall be appointed by the Assembly of the
4. The organs and personnel of the Public Service shall co-operate
with the Ombudsman in the discharge of the Ombudsman's responsibilities.
Rights, freedoms and guarantees
Personal rights, freedoms and guarantees
Right to life
1. Human life is inviolable.
2. In no case shall the death penalty be applied.
Right to personal integrity
1. The moral and physical integrity of the person is inviolable.
2. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, degrading
or inhuman treatment or punishment.
Other personal rights
1. Everyone is recognised as having the right to his or her personal
identity, civil capacity, citizenship, good name and reputation,
and likeness, the right to speak out and the right to the protection
of the privacy of his or her personal and family life.
2. The law shall establish effective guarantees against the misuse,
or use that is contrary to human dignity, of information concerning
individuals or families.
3. A person may be deprived of citizenship or subjected to restrictions
on his or her civil capacity only in the cases and under the conditions
laid down by law, and never on political grounds.
Right to liberty and security
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security.
2. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty, in whole or
in part, unless as the consequence of a sentence of imprisonment
imposed by a court convicting him or her of an offence punishable
by law, or as the consequence of a security measure judicially
3. This guarantee does not apply to the following cases where
a person is deprived of his or her liberty, for a period and under
conditions laid down by law:
a. Remand in custody of a person arrested in flagrante delicto
or where there is strong evidence that the person has committed
a serious crime punishable by imprisonment for more than 3 years;
b. The arrest or detention of a person who has unlawfully entered
or remained in the national territory or against whom extradition
or deportation proceedings have been instituted;
c. Imprisonment for reasons of discipline of military personnel,
to whom a right to appeal to the competent court is guaranteed;
d. Detention of a minor in an appropriate institution for the
purposes of protection, support or education, on the order of
a competent court of law;
e. Detention under a court order for non-compliance with a court
order or to ensure appearance before the competent judicial authority.
4. Everyone who is deprived of liberty shall be informed, promptly
and in a manner that he or she understands, of the reasons for
the arrest or detention, and of his or her rights.
5. Any deprivation of liberty in violation of the provisions of
this Constitution or the law shall place the State under the duty
to compensate the person aggrieved as laid down by law.
Remand in custody
1. Remand in custody without judicial charge is subject to the
scrutiny of a court within 48 hours, in order to determine the
validity of, or to continue, the detention; the court shall hear
the reasons for the detention and shall inform the detainee of
them, and shall conduct an examination of that person and provide
him or her with the opportunity to present a defence.
2. Remand in custody shall not be continued if it can be replaced
by bail or by some other more favourable measure that is available
under the law.
3. A court order that involves deprivation of liberty or the continuation
of detention shall be communicated promptly to the person specified
by the detainee, who may be a relative or another person in whom
the detainee has confidence.
4. Remand in custody, both before and after a judicial charge
is made, shall be subject to the time limitations prescribed by
Application of the criminal law
1. No one shall be convicted under the criminal law except for
an act or omission made punishable under existing law; and no
one shall be subjected to a security measure, except for reasons
authorised under existing law.
2. Paragraph 1 does not prevent the punishment, within the limits
of municipal law, of an act or omission which at the time it was
committed was regarded as a crime under general principles of
international law that are customarily recognised.
3. No sentences or security measures shall be ordered that are
not expressly provided for in existing laws.
4. No one shall be subjected to a sentence or security measure
that is more severe than those applicable at the time the act
was committed or the preparations for its commission were made.
Criminal laws that are favourable to the offender shall apply
5. No one shall be tried more than once for the same offence.
6. Citizens who have been unjustly convicted have the right, under
the conditions laid down by law, to a reconsideration of their
sentences and to compensation for loss suffered.
Limits on sentences and security measures
1. No one shall be subjected to a sentence or security measure
that involves deprivation or restriction of liberty for life or
for an unlimited or indefinite term.
2. Where there is danger arising from a serious mental disorder
that cannot be treated in an open environment, security measures
that involve deprivation or restriction of liberty may be extended,
on successive occasions, by judicial decision in each case, for
as long as that condition lasts.
3. Sentences shall not be transferable.
4. No sentence shall involve, as an automatic consequence, the
loss of any civil, occupational or political rights.
5. Persons who are subjected, on conviction, to a sentence or
a security measure involving the deprivation of liberty remain
entitled to their fundamental rights, subject to the limitations
that necessarily derive from that conviction and from the requirements
for its enforcement.
1. The remedy of habeas corpus shall be available before
a court of law or a court martial, as the case may be, against
the abuse of power in the form of unlawful arrest or detention.
2. An application for habeas corpus may be made by the
detainee or by any citizen in the exercise of his or her political
3. The court shall rule on the application for habeas corpus
within 8 days at a hearing in the presence of both parties.
Guarantees in criminal proceedings
1. Criminal proceedings shall safeguard all the guarantees for
2. Everyone charged with an offence is presumed innocent until
convicted, shall be tried within the shortest period of time that
is compatible with the defence guarantees.
3. An accused person has the right to select, and be represented
by, counsel at all stages of the proceedings. The matters and
stages of proceedings for which representation shall be compulsory
shall be prescribed by law.
4. A judge shall have jurisdiction throughout the preliminary
investigation, who, in accordance with the law, may delegate to
other persons those aspects of the investigation that are not
directly connected with fundamental rights.
5. Criminal proceedings shall be accusatory in structure, and
the trial and such parts of the preliminary investigation as are
determined by law shall be subject to the principle that both
parties should be heard.
6. Evidence is of no effect if it is obtained by torture, force,
infringement of the physical or moral integrity of the individual,
or wrongful interference with private life, the home, correspondence
7. No case shall be withheld from the court which has jurisdiction
under existing law.
8. In proceedings for breaches of regulatory ordinances, the accused
person is guaranteed the right to be heard in addition to the
right to make a defence.
Extradition, deportation and right to asylum
1. Portuguese citizens shall not be extradited or deported from
the national territory.
2. No one shall be extradited for political reasons.
3. No one shall be extradited for crimes that carry the death
penalty under the law of the requesting State.
4. Extradition shall be determined by a judicial authority only.
5. Deportation of persons who have entered, or are permanently
resident in, the national territory, who have obtained a residence
permit, or who have lodged an application for asylum that has
not been refused, shall be determined by a judicial authority
only; the law shall provide for the expeditious decision of these
6. The right of asylum is guaranteed to aliens and stateless persons
who are persecuted, or under a serious threat of persecution,
in consequence of their activities on behalf of democracy, social
or national liberation, peace between peoples or liberty or human
rights of individuals.
7. The status of political refugees shall be established by law.
Inviolability of home and correspondence
1. An individual's home and the privacy of his or her correspondence
and other means of private communication are inviolable.
2. A citizen's home shall not be entered against his or her will,
except under the order of the competent judicial authority and
in the cases and in the manner prescribed by law.
3. No one shall enter the home of any person at night without
that person's consent.
4. Interference by a public authority with correspondence or telecommunications
is prohibited, except in the cases laid down by the law relating
to criminal procedure.
Use of computerised data
1. Subject to the law on State secrecy and legal confidentiality,
all citizens have both the right of access to any data relating
to them that is contained in computerised records and files and
the right to be informed of the use for which the data is intended;
they are entitled to require that the contents of the files and
records be corrected and brought up to date.
2. Access to personal computerised records or files for the purpose
of obtaining information concerning third parties or for interconnecting
files is prohibited, except in exceptional cases as prescribed
3. Computerised storage shall not be used for information concerning
a person's ideological or political convictions, party or trade
union affiliations, religious beliefs or private life, except
in the case of data, for statistical purposes, that does not identify
4. The law shall determine what is personal data for the purposes
of computerised storage, the conditions under which public or
private bodies may establish data banks and data bases, and the
conditions under which they may be utilised and accessed.
5. Citizens shall not be given all-purpose national identity numbers.
6. The law shall make determine, in relation to the transnational
communication of data, the appropriate standards of protection
for personal data and for data that should be safeguarded in the
Family, marriage and filiation
1. Everyone has the right to found a family and to marry on terms
of full equality.
2. The requirements for, and the consequences of, marriage and
its termination by death or divorce shall be regulated by law,
without distinctions arising from the manner in which the marriage
3. Spouses have equal rights in relation both to their civil and
political capacity and to the education and maintenance of their
4. Children born outside marriage shall not be discriminated against
on that ground; terms describing filiation that are discriminatory
shall not be used by the law or by government departments.
5. Parents have the right and the duty to educate and maintain
6. Children shall not be separated from their parents unless the
parents fail to perform their fundamental duties towards the children,
and in that case only by judicial decision.
7. Adoption shall be regulated and protected by the law.
Freedom of expression and information
1. Everyone has the right to express and publicise his or her
thoughts freely, by words, images or other means, and the right
to impart, obtain and receive information without hindrance or
2. The exercise of these rights shall not be prevented or restricted
by any kind or form of censorship.
3. Offences committed in the exercise of these rights are punishable
under the general principles of criminal law, which the courts
of law have jurisdiction to try.
4. The rights to reply and to make corrections, and the right
to compensation for loss suffered, shall be equally and effectively
all individuals and corporate persons.
Freedom of the press and mass media
1. Freedom of the press is guaranteed.
2. Freedom of the press comprises:
a. The freedom of expression and creativity for journalists and
authors and, as a function of the journalist, the giving of editorial
direction to the relevant mass media, except where the media belong
to the State or are doctrinal or denominational in character;
b. The right of journalists to have access to information sources,
to protection of their professional independence and confidentiality,
and to elect editorial councils, in accordance with the law;
c. The right to found newspapers and other publications, without
prior administrative authorisation, deposit or qualifications.
3. The law shall require, in general terms, the disclosure of
the ownership, and the means of financing, of the mass media.
4. The State shall guarantee the freedom and independence of the
mass media from political and economic powers; it shall impose
the principle of speciality upon companies that own general information
media; it shall treat and support those companies in a non-discriminatory
manner and shall prevent their concentration, in particular through
multiple or inter-locking financial interests.
5. The state shall guarantee the existence and operation of a
public radio and television service.
6. The mass media in the public sector shall be so structured
and operated as to be independent of the Government, the Public
Service and other public bodies, and to guarantee opportunities
for the expression of, and challenge to, different lines of opinion.
7. Radio and television stations shall operate only under a licence
granted for the purpose after a public competition, in accordance
with the law.
High Authority for the Mass Media
1. The High Authority for the Mass Media shall guarantee the right
to information, the freedom of the press, the independence of
the mass media from political and economic powers, opportunities
for expression of, and challenges to, different lines of opinion,
and the exercise of the right to broadcasting time, the right
of reply and the right of political argument.
2. The High Authority for the Mass Media shall be an independent
body, composed, in accordance with the law, of 13 members, as
a. One judge appointed by the Superior Council for the Judiciary,
who shall preside;
b. 5 members elected by the Assembly of the Republic by a system
of proportional representation and the Hondt highest average method;
c. 3 members appointed by the Government;
d. 4 members representing, in particular, public opinion, the
mass media and the arts.
3. The High Authority for the Mass Media shall give its opinion
before any government decision is reached concerning the licensing
of private television channels; such a decision shall only be
made in favour of an application that has been the subject of
a favourable opinion.
4. Within the period prescribed by law, the High Authority shall
give its public and reasoned opinion before the directors of mass
media that belong to the State or to other public bodies or to
bodies directly or indirectly under the economic control of the
State are appointed or dismissed.
5. The law shall regulate the operation of the High Authority
for the Mass Media.
Right to broadcasting time, to reply and to political argument
1. Political parties, trade unions, professional organisations
and organisations representing economic interests have the right
to broadcasting time on publicly owned radio and television, to
the extent to which they are representative and meet the objective
criteria that shall be prescribed by the law.
2. Political parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic,
but not in the Government, have the right to broadcasting time
on publicly owned radio and television, in proportion to their
representation, and have the right to reply and to political argument
with respect to the political statements of the Government, as
provided by law. The grant of the exercise of those rights shall
be equivalent, in length and relevance, to that granted to the
3. During elections, candidates have the right to regular and
equitable broadcasting time on radio and television stations of
national and regional importance as provided by law.
Freedom of conscience, religion and worship
1. Freedom of conscience, religion and worship is inviolable.
2. No one shall be persecuted or deprived of rights or exempted
from civil responsibilities or duties by reason of his or her
convictions or religious observance.
3. No one shall be questioned by any authority about his or her
convictions or religious observance, except for the purpose of
gathering statistical information that does not identify individuals,
nor shall anyone be prejudiced by his or her refusal to reply.
4. Churches and religious communities shall be independent of
the State and are free to determine their own organisation and
to perform their own ceremonies and worship.
5. Freedom within a denomination to teach its religion and to
use its own media for providing public information about its activities
6. The right to be a conscientious objector shall be guaranteed
by the law.
Freedom of cultural originality
1. Intellectual, artistic and scientific originality shall not
2. This freedom includes the right to originate, produce and disseminate
scientific, literary or artistic works, and includes legal protection
Freedom to learn and teach
1. Freedom to learn and teach is guaranteed.
2. The State shall not arrogate to itself the right to plan education
and cultural development in accordance with any philosophical,
aesthetic, political, ideological or religious precepts.
3. Public education shall be non-denominational.
4. The right to establish private and co-operative schools is
Right to travel and emigrate
1. The right of all citizens to travel and settle freely anywhere
in the national territory is guaranteed.
2. The right to emigrate or leave the national territory and the
right to return to it is guaranteed to everyone.
Right to assemble and demonstrate
1. Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed,
even in public places, without prior authorisation.
2. The right of all citizens to demonstrate shall be recognised.
Freedom of association
1. Citizens have the right to form associations freely and without
prior authorisation, provided that the associations are not intended
to promote violence and that their objectives are not contrary
to the criminal law.
2. Associations may pursue their objectives freely and without
interference form any public authority, and they may not be dissolved
by the State, nor their activities suspended, unless by judicial
decision in the circumstances prescribed by law.
3. No one shall be put under a duty to join an association or
compelled to remain in it.
4. Armed, quasi-military, militarised or para-military associations,
other than those of the State or the Armed Forces, and organisations
that adopt fascist ideology are not permitted.
Freedom to choose an occupation and enter the civil service
1. Everyone has the right to choose freely his or her occupation
or type of work, subject to restrictions laid down by law in the
public interest or inherent in his or her capacity.
2. All citizens have the right, equally and without restriction,
to become a public official, by means of general public competition.
Rights, freedoms and guarantees of political participation
Participation in public life
1. All citizens have the right to take part in political life
and in the direction of the public affairs of the country, either
directly or through freely elected representatives.
2. Every citizen has the right to objective information about
the activities of the State and other public bodies and to be
informed by the Government and other authorities about the management
of public affairs.
Right to vote
1. All citizens over the age of 18 years have the right to vote,
unless subject to an incapacity under the general law.
2. The exercise of the right to vote is personal and constitutes
a civic duty.
Right to hold public office
1. All citizens have the right, equally and without restriction,
to hold public office.
2. No one shall be discriminated against in his or her placement
in a specific post, employment, or professional career or in the
social benefits to which he or she has a right, by reason of the
exercise of political rights or the holding of public office.
3. The law shall establish only such limitations with respect
to the holding of an elective office as are necessary to guarantee
the freedom of choice by electors and to ensure absence of bias,
and independence, in the performance of the respons-ibilities
of the office.
Political associations and parties
1. Freedom of association includes the right to establish and
join political associations and parties, and, through them, to
work jointly and democratically to give expression to the will
of the people and to organise political power.
2. No one shall be a member of more than one political party at
the same time, or be prevented from exercising any right by reason
of membership, or the termination of membership, of a lawfully
3. Without prejudice to the philosophy or ideology underlying
their programmes, political parties shall not use names that contain
expressions directly connected with any religion or church, or
use emblems that may be mistaken for national or religious symbols.
4. No party shall be established with a name or stated aims that
indicate a regional connection or field of action.
Right to petition and right of actio popularis
1. All citizens have the right to submit, individually or jointly
with others, petitions, representations, claims or complaints
to the organs with supreme authority or any authority, for the
purpose of defending their rights, this Constitution, the law
or the general interest.
2. The law shall determine the conditions under which joint petitions
submitted to the Assembly of the Republic may be examined in plenary
3. Everyone, personally or through associations that purport to
defend the interests in issue, enjoys the right of actio popularis
in the cases and under the conditions provided by law, and in
particular, the right to advocate the prevention, suppression
and prosecution of offences against public health, the environment,
the quality of life and the cultural heritage, and to claim appropriate
compensation on behalf of the aggrieved party or parties.
Rights, freedoms and guarantees of workers
Security of employment
The right of workers to security of employment is guaranteed.
Dismissals without just cause or for political or ideological
reasons are prohibited.
1. Workers have the right to establish workers' committees for
the defence of their interests and to secure a democratic share
in the management of their enterprise.
2. The establishment of committees shall be determined by general
meetings of the workers, who shall also approve their constitutions
and elect their members by direct and secret ballot.
3. Coordinating committees may be established, for the purpose
of intervening more effectively in economic reorganisation and
as a safeguard for the guarantees for the interests of the workers.
4. Committee members shall enjoy the protection afforded by the
law to trade union delegates.
5. Workers' committees have the right:
a. To receive all information necessary for the carrying out of
b. To monitor the management of enterprises;
c. To involve themselves in the re-organisation of units of production;
d. To participate in the preparation of labour legislation, and
social and economic plans, that concern their sector;
e. To manage, or participate in the management of, social activities
f. To sponsor the election of workers' representatives to the
management organs of enterprises that belong to the State or other
public bodies, in accordance with the law.
Trade union freedoms
1. Workers are free to form trade unions as a prerequisite and
guarantee for the building of their solidarity in defence of their
rights and interests.
2. Trade union freedoms are guaranteed to workers without discrimination,
in particular the following:
a. Freedom to establish trade unions at every level;
b. Freedom of membership, no worker being required to pay dues
to a trade union of which he or she is not a member;
c. Freedom in the organisation and internal regulation of trade
d. The right to engage in trade union activity within businesses;
e. The right of trade unions to different aims, as determined
by their constitutions.
3. Trade unions shall be governed in accordance with the principles
of democratic organisation and management, based on regular elections
to their governing bodies by secret ballot, and they shall not
be dependent on any prior authorisation or recognition, as they
are founded upon the full participation by the workers in all
aspects of trade union activity.
4. Trade unions shall be independent of employers, the State and
religious denominations and political parties and other political
associations. Adequate guarantees for that independence shall
be laid down by law as the foundation for the solidarity of the
5. Trade unions have the right to establish relations with or
to join international trade union organisations.
6. The law shall provide adequate protection for the workers'
elected representatives from any form of constraint, coercion
or limitation in the legitimate performance of their functions.
Rights of trade unions and collective agreements
1. Trade unions have the right to defend and promote the defence
of the rights and interests of the workers they represent.
2. Trade unions have the right:
a. To participate in the preparation of labour legislation;
b. To participate in the management of social security institutions
and other bodies whose aim is to satisfy the interests of the
c. To participate in monitoring the implementation of economic
and social plans;
d. To be represented on bodies engaged in the harmonisation of
social matters, as provided by the law.
3. Trade unions have the powers necessary for exercising the right
to conclude collective agreements, which shall be guaranteed by
4. The rules governing the powers to conclude collective labour
agreements, and the validity of their provisions, shall be prescribed
Right to strike and prohibition of lock-outs
1. The right to strike is guaranteed.
2. Workers are entitled to determine which interests are to be
protected by means of strikes; the range of those interests shall
not be restricted by law.
3. Lock-outs are prohibited.
Economic, social and cultural rights and duties
Economic rights and duties
Right to work
1. Everyone has the right to work.
2. The duty to work is inseparable from the right to work, except
in the case of those persons whose capacities have been impaired
by age, sickness or disability.
3. It is the duty of the State, in implementing plans to give
effect to economic and social policy, to guarantee the right to
work, by ensuring:
a. The implementation of policies of full employment;
b. Equality of opportunity in the choice of occupation or type
of work, and conditions that prevent the prohibition of, or restrictions
on, access to any post, work or profession by reason of a person's
c. Cultural, technical and vocational training for workers.
Rights of workers
1. All workers, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, place
of origin, religion or political or ideological convictions, are
entitled to :
a. Remuneration for their work, according to its quantity, nature
and quality, on the principle of equal pay for equal work, so
as to guarantee to them an appropriate livelihood;
b. The organisation of work in conditions of human dignity that
make for personal self-fulfilment;
c. Safe and healthy working conditions;
d. Rest and recreation, a limit on the length of the working day,
weekly rest day and regular holidays with pay;
e. Material assistance when they are involuntarily unemployed.
2. It is the duty of the State to guarantee the conditions of
work, remuneration and rest to which workers are entitled, in
a. Fixing, and keeping up to date, a national minimum wage, taking
into account, among other factors, the needs of workers, increases
in the cost of living, the extent to which the sectors of production
have developed, economic and financial stability, and capital
growth for purposes of development;
b. Setting national maximum working hours;
c. Special protection at work for women during pregnancy and after
childbirth, for minors and disabled person and for those engaged
in especially strenuous activity or working in unhealthy, toxic
or dangerous conditions;
d. Systematic development, in co-operation with welfare services,
of a network of rest and holiday centres;
e. Protecting the working conditions and guaranteeing social benefits
of workers working abroad.
1. Consumers have the right to goods and services of good quality,
to guidance and information, to the protection of their health,
safety and economic interests and to compensation for injury.
2. Advertising shall be regulated by law; all forms of concealed,
indirect or fraudulent advertising are prohibited.
3. Consumer associations and consumer co-operatives are entitled,
in accordance with the law, to State support and to be consulted
on questions concerning consumer protection.
Private enterprise, co-operatives and worker-management
1. Private economic enterprise shall be freely exercised, within
the framework provided by this Constitution and the law, and with
due account to the general interest.
2. Everyone is recognised as having the right, without restrictions,
to establish co-operatives, provided that co-operative principles
3. Co-operatives shall carry on their activities without restrictions
and may join unions, federations and confederations.
4. The right to worker-management as provided by law shall be
Right to private property
1. Everyone is guaranteed, under this Constitution, the right
to private property and to transfer it during his or her lifetime
and on death.
2. Requisitioning or compulsory acquisition of property for public
purposes shall be carried out only under the authority of law
and on the payment of fair compensation.
Social rights and duties
1. Everyone is entitled to social security.
2. It is the duty of the State to organise, co-ordinate and subsidise
a unified and decentralised social security system, with the participation
of the trade unions and other associations representing workers
and associations representing other beneficiaries.
3. The right to establish private and non-profit institutions
of social solidarity that pursue the objectives of social security
contained in this Article, Article 67(2)(b), Article 69, Article
70(1)(d) and Articles 71 and 72, shall be recognised; such institutions
shall be regulated by law and be subject to supervision by the
4. The social security system shall provide protection for citizens
in sickness or old age or when disabled, widowed, orphaned or
unemployed, and in all other situations in which the means of
subsistence or the capacity to work have been lost or impaired.
5. All periods in work, no matter in which sectors of activity
that work was performed, shall be taken into account in calculating
the amount of old age and disability pensions, as determined by
1. Everyone has the right to have his or her health safeguarded
and the duty to defend and foster it.
2. The right to the safeguarding of health shall be met by:
a. A national health service available to all and free of charge
to the extent that the economic and social conditions of citizens
b. The creation of economic, social and cultural conditions that
guarantee the protection of children, the young and the old; the
systematic improvement of living and working conditions; the promotion
of physical fitness and sports in schools and among the people;
the development of health education for the people.
3. In order to ensure the right to the safeguarding of health,
the State has a primary duty:
a. To guarantee the access of all citizens, regardless of their
economic circumstances, to both preventive and remedial medical
care and rehabilitation;
b. To guarantee a rational and efficient medical and hospital
service covering the whole country;
c. To direct its programme towards the provision of the costs
of medical care and medicines from public funds;
d. To regulate and supervise privately funded medical practice,
coordinating it with the national health service;
e. To regulate and supervise the production, marketing and use
of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical products and other
methods of treatment and diagnosis.
4. The national health service shall have a decentralised management
in which the beneficiaries participate.
1. Everyone has the right, both personally and for his or her
family, to a dwelling of adequate size, that meets satisfactory
standards of hygiene and preserves personal and family privacy.
2. In order to ensure the right to housing, it is the duty of
the State to:
a. Draw up and implement a policy for housing as a part of general
national planning and to support plans for urban areas that guarantee
an adequate network of transport and social facilities;
b. Encourage and support the initiatives of local communities
for the resolution of their housing problems and for promoting
the establishment of housing co-operatives and their own building
c. Promote private building, when in the public interest, and
the individual ownership of housing.
3. The State shall adopt a policy for the institution of a system
of rents that are compatible with family incomes and for individual
ownership of housing.
4. The State and the local authorities shall exercise effective
supervision over the use of immovable property, compulsorily acquire
urban land, where necessary, and lay down the legal requirements
with respect to its use.
Environment and quality of life
1. Everyone has the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced
human environment and the duty to defend it.
2. It is the duty of the State, acting through appropriate bodies
and by recourse to, or through support from, popular initiatives:
a. To prevent and control pollution, and its effects, and harmful
forms of erosion;
b. To organise and promote national planning with the objectives
of establishing proper locations for activities and a balance
between economic and social development, and a countryside that
is ecologically balanced;
c. To establish and develop nature reserves and parks and recreation
areas, and classify and protect the countryside in order to guarantee
nature conservation and the preservation of cultural assets of
historic or artistic interest;
d. To promote the rational use of natural resources, while safeguarding
their capacity for renewal and ecological stability.
1. The family, as a basic component of society, has the right
to protection by community and the State and to the creation of
all the conditions that permit the personal fulfilment of its
2. The State has the duty of protecting the family, in particular
a. Promoting the social and economic independence of family units;
b. Promoting the establishment of a national network of assistance
for mothers and children, a national network of day-care centres
and facilities for family support, and a policy for the aged;
c. Working together with parents in the education of their children;
d. Promoting, by all necessary means, wider knowledge of the methods
of family planning and making the legal and technical arrangements
that enable parenthood to be planned;
e. Adjusting taxes and security benefits to reflect family responsibilities;
f. Determining, after consultation with associations representing
families, and implementing an overall and integrated policy for
Fatherhood and motherhood
1. In performing their unique role with respect to their children,
in particular as regards their education, parents are entitled
to be protected by the community and the State, with guarantees
for self-fulfilment in their occupations and for their participation
in the civic life of the country.
2. Motherhood and fatherhood are pre-eminent social values.
3. During pregnancy and after giving birth, women in employment
are entitled to special protection, including the entitlement
to an adequate period of leave from work without loss of remuneration
or other privileges.
1. Children have the right to be protected by the community and
the State for their full development.
2. Children, and in particular those orphaned or abandoned, are
entitled to the special protection of the community and the State
against any form of discrimination or oppression and against abuse
of authority in the family or other institutions.
1. Young people, and in particular those at work, shall receive
special protection so that they may enjoy their economic, social
and cultural rights, in particular with respect to:
a. Education, vocational training and culture;
b. Access to a first job, work and social security;
c. Physical education and sport:
d. The use of leisure time.
2. The primary objectives of a policy for youth shall be the development
in young people of their personality, the creation of the conditions
that enable them to lead a full and active life, and a delight
for originality and a sense of service to the community.
3. In conjunction with families, schools, businesses, organisations
of residents, cultural associations and foundations and cultural
and recreational groups, the State shall promote and assist youth
organisations in the pursuit of those objectives, and international
exchanges of young people.
1. Citizens who are physically or mentally disabled shall enjoy
all the rights and be subject to all the duties contained in this
Constitution, except to the extent that their disability renders
them unfit to exercise or perform them.
2. The State shall implement a national policy for the prevention
of disability, and for the treatment, rehabilitation and integration
of disabled persons, shall educate the community to be aware of
its duties of respect for them and solidarity with them, and shall
ensure that they enjoy their rights to the full extent subject
to the rights and duties of their parents or guardians.
3. The State shall provide assistance to associations of disabled
1. Old people have the right to economic security and to conditions
of housing and of family and community life that prevent or surmount
their isolation and marginal position in society.
2. The policy for the old shall also include economic, social
and cultural measures that aimed at providing old people with
opportunities for self-fulfilment through active participation
in the life of the community.
Cultural rights and duties
Education, culture and science
1. Everyone has the right to education and culture.
2. The State shall promote the democratisation of education and
the other conditions that enable education, both at school and
elsewhere, to contribute to the development of the personality,
to social progress and to democratic participation in public life.
3. In conjunction with the mass media, cultural associations and
foundations, cultural and recreational groups, associations for
the protection of the cultural heritage, organisations of residents
and other cultural agencies, the State shall promote the democratisation
of culture by encouraging and guaranteeing access by all citizens
to the fruits of culture and culture creativity.
4. Scientific creativity and research, and technological innovation,
shall be encouraged and supported by the State.
1. Everyone has the right to education with the guarantee of the
right to equal opportunities for access and success in schooling.
2. Education shall contribute to the overcoming of economic, social
and cultural differences, to equipping citizens for democratic
participation in a free society and to the promotion of mutual
understanding, tolerance and a spirit of community.
3. In the implementation of its policy for education, it is the
duty of the State:
a. To ensure compulsory and free basic education for all;
b. To institute a public system of pre-school education;
c. To guarantee continuing education, and to eliminate illiteracy;
d. To guarantee to all citizens, in accordance with their ability,
access to the highest levels of education, scientific research
and artistic creativity;
e. To institute, by stages, free education at all levels;
f. To provide for schools within the communities they serve and
coordinate education with economic, social and cultural activities;
g. To promote and support special education for the disabled;
h. To ensure instruction in the Portuguese language and access
to Portuguese culture the children of emigrants.
4. Employment of minors of school age in work shall be prohibited,
as provided by law.
Public, private and co-operative education
1. The State shall establish a network of public educational institutions
to meet the needs of the whole population.
2. The State shall recognise and supervise private and co-operative
education, in accordance with the law.
University and access to higher level education
1. The rules governing access to universities and other institutions
of higher education shall guarantee equal opportunities for all
and the democratisation of the system of education; they shall
take into account the need for qualified graduates and the enhancement
of the educational, cultural and scientific standards of the country.
2. Universities shall be autonomous in the making of their regulations
and shall enjoy scientific, educational, administrative and financial
autonomy, in accordance with the law.
Democratic participation in education
1. Teachers and students have the right to participate in the
democratic management of their schools in accordance with the
2. The law shall regulate the manner of participation of associations
of teachers, students and parents and of the scientific community
and institutions in the determination of the policy for education.
Cultural enjoyment and creativity
1. Everyone has the right to cultural enjoyment and creativity,
and the duty to preserve, protect and extend the cultural heritage.
2. It is the duty of the State, in co-operation with all cultural
a. To encourage and ensure the access of all citizens, and in
particular the workers, to the means and mechanisms of cultural
activity, and to correct present imbalances in the country in
b. To support initiatives to stimulate the broad variety and expression
of individual and collective creativity, and a wider availability
of cultural works and assets of quality;
c. To promote the protection and increased respect for the cultural
heritage, making it a vital element of the common cultural identity;
d. To develop cultural relations with all peoples, particularly
those that are Portuguese-speaking, and ensure the protection
and promotion of Portuguese culture abroad;
e. To coordinate the policy for culture with other policies.
Physical education and sport
1. Everyone has the right to physical education and sport.
2. It is the duty of the State, in conjunction with schools and
sporting associations and groups, to promote, stimulate, guide
and support the practice and spread of physical education and
sport, and to prevent violence in sport.
Social and economic organisation shall be based on the following
a. Subordination of economic power to democratic political power;
b. Co-existence of public, private and co-operative and social
sectors in the ownership of the means of production;
c. Collective ownership of the means of production and of land,
where required in the public interest; and collective ownership
of natural resources;
d. Democratic planning of the economy;
e. Safeguarding of the co-operative and social sector in the ownership
of the means of production;
f. Democratic participation of workers.
Primary duties of the State
In economic and social matters the primary duties of the State
a. To promote an increase in the social and economic well-being
and quality of life of the people, in particular of those most
b. To make the necessary corrections with respect to imbalances
in the distribution of wealth and income;
c. To ensure that productive forces are put to full use, in particular
by monitoring the efficiency of the public sector;
d. To guide economic and social development to achieve balanced
growth of all sectors and regions, and to eliminate progressively
economic and social differences between town and country;
e. To abolish private monopolies and to prevent their creation,
and to prevent abuse of economic power and all practices that
are harmful to the general interest;
f. To ensure fair competition in business;
g. To develop economic relations with all peoples, while always
protecting national independence and the interests of the Portuguese
and the economy of the country;
h. To put an end to very large estates and to restructure very
i. To ensure that organisations that represent workers and organisations
that represent economic activities participate in determining,
implementing and regulating the principal economic and social
j. To protect consumers;
l. To make the legal and technical arrangements necessary for
introducing a system of democratic economic planning;
m. To draw up a policy for science and technology that furthers
the development of the country;
n. To adopt a national policy for energy that is in keeping with
conservation of natural resources and a balanced ecology, while
promoting international co-operation in this field.
Sectors of ownership of the means of production
1. The co-existence of 3 sectors in relation to the ownership
of the means of production is guaranteed.
2. The public sector comprises the means of production that belong
to and are managed by the State or other public bodies.
3. The private sector comprises the means of production that belong
to or are managed by private persons or private corporate bodies,
subject to the provisions of paragraph 4.
4. The co-operative and social sector comprises the following:
a. The means of production that belong to and are managed by co-operatives
in accordance with co-operative principles;
b. Community means of production that belong to and are managed
by local communities;
c. The means of production that are utilised by workers' collectives.
Requirements for collective ownership
The law shall define the manner and form of the collective acquisition
and collective ownership of means of production and land, and
the criteria for determining consequential compensation.
1. The following are part of the public domain:
a. Territorial waters with the beds beneath them and contiguous
seabeds, and lakes, lagoons and navigable waterways, with the
beds beneath them;
b. Airspace over the territory that is above the recognised limits
for ownership or leasing;
c. Mineral deposits, medical mineral-water sources, natural underground
cavities in the subsoil, other than rock, ordinary soil and other
materials habitually used for building construction;
e. National railways;
f. Other property classified by the law as part of the public
2. The law shall determine what is part of the public domain of
the State, of the autonomous regions and of local authorities;
it shall also determine the applicable rules, the conditions for
utilising the public domain and its limits.
Nationalisation measures carried out after 25 April 1974
1. Re-privatisation of the ownership of, or the right to utilise,
the means of production and other property nationalised after
25 April 1974 shall be effected only if it complies with a framework
law adopted by an absolute majority of the Deputies entitled to
sit in the Assembly of the Republic.
2. Small and medium-sized businesses outside the basic sectors
of the economy that have been indirectly nationalised may be re-privatised
in accordance with the law.
Co-operatives and enterprises with worker-management
1. The State shall encourage and support the establishment and
operation of co-operatives.
2. Fiscal and financial concessions to co-operatives and preferential
conditions for loans and technical assistance shall be determined
by the law.
3. The State shall support viable enterprises that have worker-management.
1. The State shall monitor compliance by private businesses with
this Constit-ution and the law, and shall protect small and medium-sized
businesses that are economically viable.
2. The State may involve itself with the management of private
businesses only temporarily where the law expressly authorises
and, as a general rule, following a judicial decision.
3. The law shall determine the basic sectors in which activity
by private businesses and other entities of a similar nature is
Economic activity and foreign investment
Economic activity and investment by foreign persons, individual
or corporate, shall be regulated by law to guarantee that they
contribute to the development of the country and to defend national
independence and the interests of workers.
Abandoned means of production
1. Means of production that have been abandoned may be compulsorily
acquired on conditions that shall be laid down by the law, which
shall take due account of the special position of property of
workers who have emigrated.
2. Means of production that have been abandoned without good reason
may also be compulsorily made available on lease or to a concessionary,
under conditions that shall be laid down by the law.
Worker participation in management
Units of production in the public sector shall ensure effective
participation by workers in their management.
The objectives of the plans for economic and social development
shall be the promotion of economic growth, balanced development
of the sectors and the regions, a fair division of the national
product among individuals and among the regions, co-ordination
of economic policy with social, educational and cultural policies,
conservation of ecological balance, and protection of the environment
and the quality of life of Portuguese people.
Nature of plans
Medium-term economic and social development plans, and the annual
plan in which the financial statement for the State Budget appears
and that contains the principal guidelines for sectoral and regional
plans shall be prepared by the Government in conformity with its
Preparation of plans
1. The Assembly of the Republic has the power to approve the major
options relating to each plan and to review reports on their progress.
2. The bill that contains the major options relating to each plan
shall be accompanied by a report on the principal options, overall
and for the sectors, that includes the supporting case based on
Implementation of plans
The implementation of the plans shall be decentralised, with respect
to both regions and sectors, subject to their co-ordination by
The Economic and Social Council
1. The Economic and Social Council is the body responsible for
consultation and co-ordination in relation to economic and social
policies; it shall participate in the preparation of plans for
economic and social development and shall perform such other functions
as are given to it by the law.
2. The composition of the Economic and Social Council shall be
determined by law; in particular, it shall include representatives
of the Government, of organisat-ions representing workers, of
organisations representing economic interests, of the autonomous
regions and of local authorities.
3. The law shall also provide for the organisation and operation
of the Economic and Social Council, and for the status of its
Agricultural, commercial and industrial policies
Objectives of the agricultural policy
1. The objectives of the policy for agriculture shall be as follows:
a. To increase agricultural production and productivity, by providing
agriculture with an infrastructure, and the human, technical and
financial means, that will ensure improved supply to the country
and growth in exports;
b. To promote improvement in the economic, social and cultural
circumstances of rural workers and farmers, rationalisation of
the structures of land-owning, and access to the ownership or
holding of land, and other means of production directly concerned
with its utilisation, by those who work on it;
c. To provide the conditions that will bring about true equality
between those who work in agriculture and other workers and will
prevent disadvantages to the agricultural sector in transactions
with other sectors;
d. To ensure that the land and other natural resources are used
and managed in a rational way and to protect their capacity for
e. To encourage farmers to join together, and the direct utilisation
of the land.
2. The State shall promote a policy for rural planning and for
diversification in the use of agricultural land, that takes full
account of the ecological and social circumstances of the country.
Abolition of very large estates
1. The law shall provide for the alteration of the size of farming
units the dimensions of which are excessive from the standpoint
of the policy for agriculture; the law shall entitle the owner
of estates that are compulsorily acquired to appropriate compensation
and to retain an area that is sufficiently large to enable the
land to be utilised in a rational and viable way.
2. Land that is compulsorily acquired shall be handed over, in
accordance with the law, either for ownership or holding by small
farmers, preferably family farming units or by co-operatives of
rural workers or small farmers, or for other forms of land utilisation
by workers; these provisions do not prevent the provision of a
period of probation, prior to the transfer of full property rights,
for the purpose of assessing whether land is being effectively
and rationally utilised.
Alteration of the size of very small farms
Without affecting property rights and in accordance with the law,
the State shall promote alteration of the size of units of land
utilisation the dimensions of which are smaller than is appropriate
from the standpoint of the policy for agriculture; it shall promote
this in particular through legal, tax and credit incentives for
integration of the structure of units or, short of that, for their
economic integration, especially through co-operative arrangements,
or by means of joint share-holdings.
Forms for utilising land belonging to third parties
1. The law shall provide rules to regulate the leasing or other
means of utilising land belonging to third parties so as to guarantee
the security and legitimate interests of the farmer.
2. Renting and colonisation systems are prohibited, and conditions
shall be created for farmers whereby the practice of agricultural
share-cropping may be effectively abolished.
1. In implementing the objectives of the policy for agriculture,
the State may provide preferential aid to small and medium-sized
farmers, in particular where they are a part of a family farming
unit, whether as individuals or associated in co-operatives, and
co-operatives of farm workers and other forms of land utilisation
2. State aid shall, in particular, include the following:
a. Provision of technical assistance;
b. Support from state-owned businesses and co-operatives engaged
in marketing both before and after production;
c. Support from public funds in relation to risks resulting from
unpredictable or uncontrollable climatic or phytopathological
d. Encouragement to rural workers and farmers to join together,
and in particular the establishment of co-operatives for production,
purchase, sale and processing or the provision of services and
other facilities for workers.
Participation in drawing the policy for agriculture
Participation in drawing up the policy for agriculture is guaranteed
to rural workers and farmers through their representative organisations.
Objectives of the policy for commerce
The objectives of the policy for commerce are as follows:
a. Healthy competition among those in trade;
b. Rationalisation of the lines of distribution;
c. Opposition to speculative activities and restrictive trade
d. Development and diversification of external economic relations;
e. Protection of the consumer.
Objectives for the policy for industry
The objectives of the policy for industry are as follows:
a. Increasing industrial production within a framework of modernisation,
regulation of social and economic interests and the integration
of the Portuguese economy with the world economy;
b. Strengthening of industrial and technological innovation;
c. Increasing the competitiveness and productivity of industries;
d. Assistance to small and medium-sized businesses and, more generally,
to initiatives and businesses that create employment, increase
imports or are concerned with import substitution;
e. Assistance for the purpose of giving international prominence
to Portuguese companies.
Financial and fiscal system
The structure of the financial system shall be determined by the
law in such a way as to guarantee that savings are encouraged
and built up with security and that the financial resources necessary
for economic and social development are provided.
Bank of Portugal
The Bank of Portugal, in its capacity as a central bank, shall
participate in the formulation and implementation of monetary
and financial policies, and shall issue money in accordance with
1. The fiscal system shall be directed towards meeting the financial
requirements of the State and other public bodies, and the fair
distribution of incomes and wealth.
2. Taxes shall be imposed under law, which shall determine the
incidence, rates, concessions and guarantees for taxpayers.
3. No one shall be compelled to pay any tax that has not be imposed
as provided by this Constitution or the payment or collection
of which is not carried out in the manner prescribed by law.
1. Personal income tax shall seek to reduce inequality and shall
be a single, progressive tax that takes account of family needs
2. Businesses shall be taxed essentially on their actual income.
3. Inheritance and gift taxes shall be progressive and in a form
that contributes to equality between citizens.
4. Consumption taxes shall seek to adjust consumption to the changing
requirements for economic development and social justice, and
those taxes shall be weighted against luxury items.
1. The State Budget shall include:
a. A breakdown of the revenue and expenditure of the State, including
the revenue and expenditure of autonomous funds and services;
b. The social security budget.
2. The Budget shall be drawn up in accordance with the main options
in the annual plan and shall take into account statutory and contractual
3. The Budget shall be in unitary form and shall specify expenditure
by reference to the relevant organic or functional classification,
so as to preclude the existence of secret appropriations and funds;
it may also be structured by reference to programmes.
4. The Budget shall make provision for the supply of funds necessary
to meet expenditure; the law shall lay down the rules for giving
effect to the Budget, the conditions for raising public loans,
and the criteria under which adjustments may be introduced by
the Government, while giving effect to the Budget, to the heads
of the organic classification, within the general ambit of each
budgetary programme approved by the Assembly of the Republic,
in order to secure its full implementation.
Preparation of the Budget
1. The Budget law shall be prepared, structured, enacted and implemented
as prescribed by the frame-work law, which shall also make provision
for the rules with respect to the preparation and implementation
of the budgets of autonomous funds and services.
2. The Budget shall be tabled in draft and submitted to a vote
within the time limits prescribed by law, which shall provide
with respect to the procedure to be followed if those limits cannot
3. The draft Budget shall be accompanied by reports on:
a. The predicted trends in the principal macro-economic indicators
that have a bearing on the Budget, and in the money supply and
b. The reasons for differences in anticipated revenue and expenditure
in comparison with the previous Budget;
c. The public debt, treasury transactions and the Treasury accounts;
d. The position with respect to autonomous funds and services;
e. Budgetary allocations in favour of the autonomous regions;
f. Transfers of funds between Portugal and the outside world that
have a bearing on the Budget;
g. Fiscal privileges and the consequential loss in revenue that
Implementation of the Budget shall be the subject of review by
the Court of Audit and the Assembly of the Republic; having received
the opinion of that Court, the Assembly shall scrutinise and approve
the General Accounts of the State, including the social security
Organisation of political power
Source and exercise of power
Political power lies with the people and shall be exercised in
accordance with this Constitution.
Participation by citizens in political life
Direct and active participation by citizens in political life
is a requirement of, and a basic instrument for consolidating,
the democratic system.
Organs with supreme authority
1. The organs with supreme authority are the President of the
Republic, the Assembly of the Republic, the Government and the
2. The formation, composition, powers and operation of the organs
with supreme authority are governed by this Constitution.
Separation and interdependence
1. The organs with supreme authority shall be separate and interdependent
as this Constitution provides.
2. No organ with supreme authority, or of an autonomous region
or of local government shall delegate its powers to another organ
except in the circumstances and under the conditions expressly
prescribed by this Constitution and by law.
1. Legislation shall comprise laws, decree-laws and regional legislative
2. Laws and decree-laws have equal force, subject to the superior
authority of organic laws and to the subordination of decree-laws
to the laws containing the delegated power under which they are
made or to the laws containing the basic principles of the legal
system that they amplify.
3. Regional legislative decrees shall deal with matters of specific
concern to the region that are not within the exclusive powers
of the Assembly of the Republic or the Government; they shall
not be inconsistent with the general laws of the Republic except
when made under Article 229(1)(b).
4. The general laws of the Republic comprise laws and decree-laws
the purposes of which require their application without qualification
to the whole of the national territory.
5. No law shall create other categories of legislation or grant
to acts of any other nature the power effectively to interpret,
replace, modify, suspend or repeal any of their provisions.
6. Government regulations shall be made in the form of regulative
decrees when this is required by the law for which they provide
the regulation and in the case of independent regulations.
7. Regulations shall specify the laws for which they provide regulation
or that lay down the authority under which, and the circumstances
in which, they are made.
General principles of electoral law
1. Direct, secret and regular elections are required for the selection
of members of the elective organs with supreme authority, of the
autonomous regions and of local government.
2. Registration of electors is compulsory and permanent and shall
be officialy initiated. There shall be a single registration system
for all elections that take place by direct universal suffrage.
3. Election campaigns shall be conducted in accordance with the
a. Freedom to canvass;
b. Equality of opportunity and treatment for all candidates;
c. Impartiality towards candidates on the part of public bodies;
d. Control of electoral expenses.
4. Citizens have the duty to co-operate with the election administration
as laid down by the law.
5. Votes cast shall be converted into effective elections in accordance
with the principle of proportional representation.
6. Action dissolving collegiate organs that are elected by direct
suffrage shall set the date for new elections, which shall be
held within the following 90 days under the election law in force
at the time of the dissolution; otherwise the action has no legal
7. The courts have the power to rule as to the proper conduct
of, and the validity of action taken during, the election process.
Political parties and the right of opposition
1. Political parties shall participate in organs that are elected
by direct universal suffrage to the extent of their electorally
2. The right of democratic opposition of minorities shall be recognised
on the conditions set out in this Constitution.
3. Political parties that are represented in the Assembly of the
Republic but not in the Government have the right in particular
to be informed regularly and directly by the Government on the
progress of the principal matters of public interest; political
parties that are represented in other assemblies formed through
direct elections but not in the associated executive organ enjoy
the same right with respect to that organ.
1. Citizens having the right to vote who are registered in the
national territory may be called upon to express their opinions
directly, and in a binding form, through a referendum, on the
decision of the President of the Republic following a proposal
by the Assembly of the Republic or by the Gouvernment, in the
circumstances, and subject to the provisions, prescribed by this
Constitution and the law.
2. The only subjects for a referendum shall be those matters of
national interest in respect of which the power of decision rests
with the Assembly of the Republic or the Government through the
approval of an international convention or the enactment of legislation.
3. Amendments to this Constitution, the matters provided for in
Articles 164 and 167 of this Constitution, and budgetary, fiscal
and financial matters and actions shall not be the subject of
4. Each referendum shall deal with a single subject; the questions
shall be formulated in objective terms, and clearly and precisely
and so as to permit an answer of yes or no; the law shall determine
the maximum number of questions that may be asked and the other
requirements with respect to the formulation and carrying out
5. Referenda shall not be called or carried out between the dates
for calling and carrying out a general election for the organs
with supreme authority or the organs of self-government of the
autonomous regions or of local government or for the European
6. The President of the Republic shall submit proposals for a
referendum that have been forwarded to the President by the Assembly
of the Republic or the Government, for a compulsory anticipatory
review of their compliance with this Constitution and the law.
7. The rules in Article 116(1), (2), (3), (4) and (7) apply to
referenda with necessary modifications.
8. Proposals for a referendum that are refused by the President
of the Republic or by the negative vote of the electorate may
not be renewed in the same legislative session, unless there is
a new election for the Assembly of the Republic or the Government
1. Meetings of the assemblies that act as organs with supreme
authority, of the autonomous regions or of local government shall
be held in public except in the circumstances prescribed by law.
2. Decisions of collegiate organs shall be taken when a majority
of the prescribed membership is present.
3. Decisions of collegiate organs shall be taken by a simple majority,
without counting abstentions, except in the circumstances prescribed
by this Constitution, the law and their own regulations.
Status of holders of political office
1. Holders of political office are politically, civilly and criminally
responsible for their acts and omissions in the performance of
2. The law shall prescribe the duties, responsibilities and disqualifications
of holders of political office, and their rights, privileges and
3. The law shall specify the offences for which holders of political
office shall be liable, and the sanctions and their consequences;
these may include removal from office or forfeiture of their responsibilities.
Principle of renewal
No one shall hold any national, regional or local political office
Publication of legislation and decisions
1. The following shall be published in the official journal, the
Diário da República:
a. Constitutional laws;
b. International conventions, notifications of ratification and
other notifications relating to them;
c. Laws, decree-laws and regional legislative decrees;
d. Decrees of the President of the Republic;
e. Resolutions of the Assembly of the Republic and of the Regional
Assemblies of the Azores and Madeira;
f. Standing Orders of the Assembly of the Republic, the Council
of State and of the Regional Assemblies of the Azores and Madeira;
g. Rulings of the Constitutional Court and rulings of other courts
which are made binding by law;
h. Regulative decrees and other decrees and regulations of the
Government, decrees of Ministers for the Republic for the autonomous
regions and regional regulative decrees;
i. The results of national elections and referenda.
2. Failure to publish any of the legislation or decisions specified
in paragraph 1 or decisions of a general nature taken by the organs
with supreme authority, of the autonomous regions or local government
causes them to have no legal validity.
3. The manner of publication of other decisions, and the consequences
of the failure to do so, shall be determined by law.
The President of the Republic
Status and election
The President of the Republic shall represent the Portuguese Republic,
guarantee the independence of the nation, the unity of the State
and the proper functioning of the democratic institutions, and
shall be, ex officio, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
1. The President of the Republic shall be elected by universal,
direct and secret suffrage by the Portuguese citizens who are
registered as voters in the national territory.
2. The right to vote shall be exercised personally in the national
Eligibility for election
Citizens of Portuguese origin who are entitled to vote and are
at least 35 years of age are eligible for election.
1. No one shall be re-elected for a third consecutive term of
office or during the 5 years immediately following the end of
a second consecutive term of office.
2. If the President of the Republic resigns from office, he or
she shall not stand as a candidate in the election that immediately
follows nor in an election held in the 5 years immediately following
1. Nominations for the office of President of the Republic require
the support of a minimum of 7500, and a maximum of 15,000, citizens
entitled to vote.
2. Nominations shall be submitted to the Constitutional Court
at least 30 days before the date fixed for the election.
3. The election process shall be re-opened, under the conditions
prescribed by law, if a candidate dies or for any reason becomes
incapable of performing the functions of President of the Republic.
Date of election
1. The President of the Republic shall be elected in the period
between the 60th day and the 30day before the last day of the
predecessor's term of office, or between the 60th day and the
90th day following the day on which the office falls vacant.
2. The election shall not be held in the period of 90 days that
precedes or follows the date of an election for the Assembly of
3. In the circumstances referred to in paragraph 2, the election
shall be held in the period between the 90th day and the 100th
day that follows the date of an election for the Assembly of the
Republic: the term of office of the outgoing President shall be
automatically extended for the appropriate period of time.
4. Where two elections are possible, the date for the first shall
be fixed so as to permit both elections to be held in the periods
of time specified in paragraphs 1 and 3.
1. The candidate who obtains more than half the votes validly
cast shall be elected President of the Republic. Blank ballot
papers shall not be considered to be validly cast.
2. If none of the candidates obtains that proportion of the votes,
a second ballot shall be held on the 21st day after the date of
the first ballot.
3. In a second ballot, only the two candidates who have obtained
the most votes and have not withdrawn shall stand for election.
Installation and swearing in
1. The installation of the President-elect shall take place before
the Assembly of the Republic.
2. The installation shall take place on the last day of the term
of office of the outgoing President or, in the case of an election
after the office has fallen vacant, on the 8th day following publication
of the result of the election.
3. During the installation, the President of the Republic shall
take the following oath:
«I swear on my honour to perform faithfully the office
with which I am invested and to defend, observe, and cause to
be observed, the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic».
Term of office
1. The President of the Republic shall hold office for 5 years;
the term of office shall end on the installation of the newly
2. If the office falls vacant, the President of the Republic subsequently
elected begins a new term of office.
Absence from the national territory
1. The President of the Republic shall not be absent from the
national territory without the consent of the Assembly of the
Republic or its Standing Committee, if the Assembly is not in
2. This consent is not necessary if the President of the Republic
is in transit or on an unofficial visit of not more than 5 days,
although the Assembly of the Republic shall be informed in advance
of these occasions.
3. Failure to comply with paragraph 1 results in automatic forfeiture
1. The President of the Republic shall be answerable before the
Supreme Court of Justice for offences committed in the performance
of his or her duties.
2. It is the duty of the Assembly of the Republic to initiate
the proceedings on proposal of one-fifth, that is supported by
two-thirds, of the Deputies entitled to vote.
3. Conviction results in forfeiture of office and disqualification
4. The President of the Republic shall be answerable before a
court of law, after the end of the term of office, for offences
not committed in the performance of his or her duties.
1. The President of the Republic may resign from office by addressing
a message to the Assembly of the Republic.
2. The resignation shall take effect when the message is made
known to the Assembly of the Republic, subject to its subsequent
publication in the Diário da República.
1. If the President of the Republic is temporarily unable to perform
the duties or if there is a vacancy in the office before the installation
of a newly elected President, the presidential functions shall
be performed by the President of the Assembly of the Republic,
or, if that person is unable to act, by his or her deputy.
2. The office of the President of the Assembly, or his or her
deputy, are automatically suspended during the period when the
holder of the office is acting as President of the Republic.
Powers with regard to other organs
The President of the Republic has the following powers in relation
to other organs:
a. To preside over the Council of State;
b. To fix, in conformity with the electoral law, the dates of
the elections for the President of the Republic, the Assembly
of the Republic, the European Parliament and the regional legislative
c. To convene extraordinary sessions of the Assembly of the Republic;
d. To address messages to the Assembly of the Republic;
e. To dissolve the Assembly of the Republic, subject to the provisions
of Article 175, after receiving the opinions of the parties represented
in the Assembly and of the Council of State;
f. To appoint the Prime Minister in accordance with Article 190(1);
g. To dismiss the Government in accordance with Article 198(2)
and to remove the Prime Minister from office under Article 189(4);
h. To appoint and remove from office members of the Government
on the proposal of the Prime Minister;
i. To preside over the Council of Ministers at the request of
the Prime Minister;
j. To dissolve the organs of self-government of the autonomous
regions, on his or her own initiative or on the proposal of the
Government, after receiving the opinions of the Assembly of the
Republic and the Council of State;
l. To appoint and remove from office, on the proposal of the Government,
the Ministers for the Republic for the autonomous regions, after
receiving the opinion of the Council of State;
m. To appoint and remove from office, on the proposal of the Government,
the president of the Court of Audit and the Attorney-General;
n. To appoint 5 of the members of the Council of State and 2 of
the members of the Superior Council for the Judiciary ;
o. To preside over the Superior Council for National Defence;
p. To appoint and remove from office, on the proposal of the Government,
the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, and, after
receiving the opinion of the Chief of the General Staff, the Deputy
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (if any) and the
Chiefs of Staff of the three services of the Armed Forces.
The President of the Republic has the following personal powers:
a. To perform the functions of Supreme Commander of the Armed
b. To promulgate and order the publication of laws, decree-laws
and regulative decrees, and to sign resolutions of the Assembly
of the Republic approving international agreements and the other
decrees of Government;
c. To submit appropriate matters of national interest to a referendum
under Article 118;
d. To declare a state of siege or a state of emergency, in conformity
with the provisions of Articles 19 and 141;
e. To make a statement on all serious emergencies in the life
of the Republic;
f. To grant pardons and to commute sentences, after receiving
the opinion of the Government;
g. To request the Constitutional Court to undertake an anticipatory
review of the constitutionality of provisions of laws, decree-laws
and international conventions;
h. To request the Constitutional Court to rule on legal provisions
that are unconstitutional or whether unconstitutionality has occurred
i. To perform the actions relating to the territory of Macao that
are provided for in its statute;
j. To award decorations in accordance with the law and to perform
the function of grand-master of Portuguese orders of honour.
Powers in international relations
The President of the Republic has the following powers with respect
to international relations:
a. To appoint ambassadors and envoys extraordinary on the proposal
of Government, and to accept the accreditation of foreign diplomatic
b. To ratify international treaties once they have been duly approved;
c. To declare war in the case of actual or imminent aggression,
and to make peace, on the proposal of the Government, after receiving
the opinion of the Council of State and with the authorisation
of the Assembly of the Republic or, if it is not in session and
its immediate recall is not possible, of its Standing Committee.
Promulgation and veto
1. Within 20 days after receiving a decree of the Assembly of
the Republic for the purpose of its promulgation as law, or after
the publication of a ruling of the Constitutional Court that none
of the provisions of such a decree are unconstitutional, the President
of the Republic shall either promulgate the instrument or exercise
the right of veto in the form of a message, based on substantial
grounds, requesting its reconsideration.
2. If the Assembly of the Republic confirms its vote by an absolute
majority of the Members entitled to vote, the President of the
Republic shall promulgate the instrument within 8 days after receiving
3. However, a majority of two-thirds of the Deputies present,
where that majority exceeds an absolute majority of the Deputies
entitled to vote, is required to ratify decrees that are in the
form of organic laws or concern any of the following matters:
a. External relations;
b. The boundaries between the public, the private and the co-operative
and social sectors, with respect to ownership of the means of
c. Regulation of elections for the European Parliament or any
other electoral measures provided for in this Constitution.
4. Within 40 days after receiving a decree of the Government for
the purpose of its promulgation, or after the date of publication
of a ruling of the Constitutional Court that none of the provisions
of such a decree are unconstitutional, the President
of the Republic shall either promulgate the instrument or exercise
the right of veto in
by way of a written communication to the Government containing
the reasons for the veto.
5. The President of the Republic also has a right of veto in the
circumstances laid down in Articles 278 and 279.
Failure to promulgate or sign
Failure by the President of the Republic to promulgate or to sign
any measure specified in Article 137 (b) causes the measure to
have no legal validity.
Declaration of a state of siege or emergency
1. A state of siege or a state of emergency shall not be declared
unless the Government has first been consulted and the authorisation
obtained of the Assembly of the Republic or, if it is not in session
and its recall is not possible, of its Standing Committee.
2. Where the authorisation is given by the Standing Committee
of the Assembly, the declaration of a state of siege or a state
of emergency shall be ratified by a plenary sitting of the Assembly
as soon as possible after it is in session.
Powers of an interim President of the Republic
1. An interim President of the Republic does not have any of the
powers specified in Articles 136(e) and (n) and 137(c).
2. An interim President of the Republic shall exercise the powers
specified in Articles 136 (b), (c), (f), (m) and (p), 137(a) and
138 (a) only after taking the opinion of the Council of State.
1. Action taken by the President of the Republic under Articles
136(h), (j), (l), (m) and (p), 137 (b), (d) and (f) and 138 (a),
(b) and (c) shall be counter-signed by the Government.
2. Absence of the counter-signature causes the action to have
no legal validity.
Council of State
The Council of State is the political organ that advises the President
of the Republic.
The Council of State shall be presided over by the President of
the Republic and is comprised of the following members:
a. The President of the Assembly of the Republic;
b. The Prime Minister;
c. The President of the Constitutional Court;
d. The Ombudsman;
e. The presidents of the regional governments;
f. Former presidents of the Republic elected under this Constitution
and not removed from office;
g. 5 citizens appointed by the President of the Republic for the
period corresponding to the President's term of office;
h. 5 citizens elected by the Assembly of the Republic, by a system
of proportional representation, for the period corresponding to
the legislative term.
Installation and term of office
1. The installation of the members of the Council of State shall
be performed by the President of the Republic.
2. Members of the Council of State specified in Article 145 (a)
to (e) shall perform their functions for as long as they hold
the specified office.
3. Members of the Council of State specified in Article 145(g)
and (h) shall continue to perform their functions until the installation
of their replacements.
Organisation and operation
1. The Council of State has power to draw up its own standing
2. Meetings of the Council of State shall not be public.
The Council of State has powers:
a. To state its opinion on the dissolution of the Assembly of
the Republic and of the organs of self-government of the autonomous
b. To state its opinion on the dismissal of the Government in
the circumstances specified in Article 198(2);
c. To state its opinion on the appointment and removal from office
of the Ministers for the Republic for the autonomous regions;
d. To state its opinion on the declaration of war and the making
e. To state its opinion on the actions of the interim President
of the Republic specified in Article 142;
f. To state its opinion on all other matters as are provided for
in this Constitution, and, in general, to advise the President
of the Republic on the performance of his or her functions at
the request of the President.
Statement of opinions
Opinions of the Council of State specified in Article 148(a) to
(e) shall be stated at the meeting called for the purpose by the
President of the Republic and shall be made public at the time
that the actions to which they relate are taken.
Assembly of the Republic
Status and election
The Assembly of the Republic is the representative assembly of
all Portuguese citizens.
Number of Deputies
The Assembly of the Republic shall have not less than 230, and
not more than 235, Deputies, as provided in the electoral law.
1. Deputies shall be elected by electoral districts, the boundaries
of which shall be laid down by law, which may also provide for
one national district.
2. Except in the case where there is a national electoral district,
the number of Deputies allocated to each electoral district, shall
be proportionate to the number of voters enrolled in the electoral
register for that district.
3. Deputies shall represent the whole country, rather than the
electoral district for which they were elected.
Portuguese citizens entitled to vote may stand for election, subject
to the restrictions arising from local disqualifications or the
holding of specified offices, as are prescribed in the electoral
1. Nominations shall be made, as provided by law, by the political
parties either separately or in combination with others; the lists
may include citizens who are not members of the nominating parties.
2. No one shall stand for more than one electoral district or
be named in more than one list.
Method of election
1. Deputies shall be elected by a system of proportional representation
and the Hondt highest average method.
2. The law shall not limit the conversion of votes cast into numbers
elected by a requirement for a minimum national percentage of
Beginning and end of term of office
1. The term of office of Deputies starts with the first meeting
of the Assembly of the Republic and ends with first meeting after
the next general election, without prejudice to the powers to
suspend and remove individual Deputies from office.
2. The filling of Assembly seats that fall vacant and the temporary
replacement of Deputies, where there are good reasons, shall be
regulated by the electoral law.
1. Deputies who are appointed members of the Government shall
not perform the functions of a Deputy while the appointment is
in force; their seat shall be filled temporarily as provided forin Article 156(2).
2. The law may make provision for other disqualifications.
Performance of functions by Deputies
1. Deputies are guaranteed the conditions that enable them to
perform their functions efficiently, and in particular to maintain
the essential contact with the electorate.
2. The law shall prescribe the circumstances in which absence
of Deputies, by reason of meeting of the Assembly or missions
on its behalf, constitutes a valid reason for adjourning official
activities or duties unconnected with the Assembly.
3. Public bodies are under a duty, as provided by law, to co-operate
with Deputies in the performance of their functions.
Powers of Deputies
Deputies have the following powers:
a. To table proposals for the revision of this Constitution;
b. To table bills, draft resolutions or motions for debate;
c. To address questions to the Government concerning its actions
or those of the Public Service and to receive answers within a
reasonable time, subject to the law on State secrecy;
d. To request and to obtain from the Government or from the organs
of any public body such data, information and publications as
they may consider useful for the performance of their office;
e. To request the setting up of parliamentary committees of inquiry;
f. Such powers as are conferred on them by the Standing Orders
of the Assembly.
1. Deputies are not subject to civil, criminal or disciplinary
proceedings in respect of their voting or opinions expressed in
the performance of their duties.
2. Deputies shall not be detained or arrested unless on the authority
of the Assembly or when found in flagrante delicto committing
an offence punishable by imprisonment for more than 3 years.
3. Where criminal proceedings are instituted against a Deputy
who is charged with an offence other than one punishable in the
manner specified in paragraph 2, the Assembly shall decide whether
or not the Deputy shall be suspended so that the proceedings can
Rights and privileges
1. Deputies shall not act as jurors, experts or witnesses while
the Assembly is in session, except with the permission of the
2. Deputies enjoy the following rights and privileges:
a. Deferment of military service and civic or civil defence service;
b. Freedom of movement and the right to a special passport for
the purposes of official visits abroad;
c. A special identity card;
d. Allowances as prescribed by law.
Deputies have the following duties:
a. To attend plenary sittings of the Assembly and the meetings
of the committees of which they are members;
b. To perform their functions in the Assembly and to carry out
the responsibilities assigned to them by their parliamentary group;
c. To participate in the voting.
Cessation and resignation of office
1. Deputies cease to hold office if they:
a. Become subject to any of the disabilities or disqualifications
prescribed by law;
b. Fail to take their seat in the Assembly or exceed the number
of absences permitted under the Standing Orders;
c. Join a different party from the one that nominated them for
d. Are convicted by a court of membership of an organisation that
has a fascist ideology.
2. Deputies may resign the office by a declaration in writing.
Political and legislative powers
The Assembly of the Republic has the following powers:
a. To amend this Constitution in accordance with Articles 284
b. To approve the political and administrative statutes of the
c. To approve the statute of the territory of Macao;
d. To enact legislation on any subject other than those in the
exclusive powers of the Government under this Constitution;
e. To delegate to the Government power to legislate;
f. To delegate powers to legislate as provided in Article 229(1)(b);
g. To grant amnesties and general pardons;
h. To approve laws with respect to major planning options and
the State Budget;
i. To authorise the Government to raise and make loans and to
engage in other activities to provide credit that do not give
rise to unsecured debt, to prescribe the general conditions for
those matters and to fix the maximum amount in Treasury bills
that may be issued in any one year by the Government;
j. To approve international conventions on matters within its
exclusive powers, treaties for the membership of Portugal in international
organisations, treaties of friendship, of peace, for defence or
to rectify boundaries, or concerning military matters and any
other treaties tabled by the Government;
l. To propose to the President of the Republic the submission
of questions of relevant national interest to a referendum;
m. To authorise the declaration of a state of siege or a state
of emergency and to confirm any such declaration;
n. To authorise the President of the Republic to declare war and
to make peace;
o. To perform the other functions conferred on it by this Constitution
and the law.
The Assembly of the Republic has the following supervisory powers:
a. To monitor observance of this Constitution and the laws and
to keep the activities of the Government and the Public Service
b. To keep implementation of declarations of a state of siege
or a state of emergency under review;
c. To scrutinise, and to refuse to ratify, or to amend, decree-laws,
other than those made in the exercise by Government of its exclusive
legislative powers and regional legislative decrees made under
d. To receive the accounts of the State and of public bodies designated
by law, which shall be submitted not later than 31 December in
the year following and be accompanied by the report of the Court
of Audit, if completed, and any other information required for
e. To review the annual and the final reports concerning the implementation
Powers in relation to others organs
The Assembly of the Republic has the following powers in relation
to other organs:
a. To witness the installation of the President of the Republic;
b. To consent to the absence of the President of the Republic
from the national territory;
c. To institute proceedings against the President of the Republic
for offences committed in the performance of his or her functions,
and to decide on the suspension of members of the Government in
the circumstances specified in Article 199;
d. To debate the programme of the Government;
e. To pass motions of confidence in, and of censure of, the Government;
f. To monitor and to evaluate, in accordance with the law, the
participation of Portugal in the process for implementing the
g. To give its opinion on the dissolution of the organs of self-government
of the autonomous regions;
h. To elect, by a system of proportional representation, 5 members
of the Council of State, 5 members of the High Authority for the
Mass Media, and those members of the Superior Council for the
Public Prosecution whom the Assembly is empowered to appoint;
i. To elect, by a majority of two-thirds of the Deputies where
that majority exceeds an absolute majority of the Deputies entitled
to vote, 10 judges of the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman,
the president of the Economic and Social Council, 7 members of
the Superior Council for the Judiciary, and those members of other
constitutional organs whom the Assembly is empowered to appoint.
Exclusive legislative powers
The Assembly of the Republic has exclusive legislative power with
respect to the following matters:
a. Election of persons to hold office in the organs with supreme
c. Organisation, operation and procedures of the Constitutional
d. Organisation of national defence and determination of the responsibilities
consequent upon it, and the general structure, and the operation
and discipline, of the Armed Forces;
e. State of siege and state of emergency;
f. Acquisition, loss and re-acquisition of Portuguese citizenship;
g. Determination of the limits of territorial waters and the exclusive
economic zone, and the rights of Portugal to the adjacent sea-beds;
h. Political parties and associations;
i. Structure of the educational system;
j. Election of office holders in the organs of self-government
of the autonomous regions and of local government, and of other
constitutional organs and of organs elected by direct and universal
l. Status of office holders in the organs with supreme authority
and of local government, and of other constitutional organs and
of organs elected by direct and universal elections;
m. Grant to courts martial, under Article 215(2), jurisdiction
over serious offences that may considered equivalent to offences
that are essentially military;
n. Creation, abolition and alteration of the boundaries of local
o. Direct consultation with the electorate at the local level;
p. Restrictions on the exercise of fundamental rights by permanent
personnel of the military and the security forces when on active
Partially exclusive legislative powers
1. The Assembly of the Republic has exclusive legislative powers
with respect to the following matters, except where legislative
power is delegated to the Government:
a. Status and capacity of persons;
b. Rights, freedoms and guarantees;
c. Prescription of offences, punishments and security measures,
and the bases for their application, and the criminal process;
d. Basic legal rules with respect to the punishment of disciplinary
offences and breaches of regulatory ordinances, and the related
e. Basic legal rules with respect to requisition and compulsory
acquisition for public purposes;
f. Bases of the social security system and of the national health
g. Bases of the system for protecting nature, the ecological balance
and the cultural heritage;
h. Basic legal rules with respect to the renting of rural and
i. Taxation and the fiscal system;
j. Determination of the sectors for the ownership of the means
of production, including the basic sectors in which private businesses
and other similar entities may not operate;
l. Manner and form of interference with, and compulsory acquisition,
nationalisation and privatisation of, the means of production
and of land in the public interest, and the criteria for the determination
of compensation in those cases;
m. Planning system and the composition of the Economic and Social
n. Bases of the policy for agriculture, including the determination
of the maximum and minimum sizes of private farms;
o. Monetary system and the standards for weights and measures;
p. Basic legal rules with respect to the preparation and the structure
of the budgets for the State, the autonomous regions and local
q. Organisation and powers of the courts, the Public Prosecutors
and of non-judicial bodies for alternative dispute resolution,
and the status of the judiciary and Public Prosecutors;
r. Basic legal rules with respect to the intelligence services
and state secrets;
s. Status of local authorities, including the system of local
t. Participation of associations of residents in local government;
u. Public associations, guarantees against public administrators
and the civil liability of the Public Service;
v. Bases for the rules relating to public officials and their
x. General basis of the status of state-owned enterprises;
z. Determination of the property in the public domain, and the
arrange-ments with respect to such property;
aa. Legal rules with respect to the means of production of property
in the co-operative and social sector.
2. Laws delegating powers of legislation shall determine the subject,
the purpose, the extent and the period of the delegation, and
any power to extend that period.
3. Delegated powers of legislation shall not be used more than
once, but may be exercised in stages.
4. Delegated powers to legislate lapse when the Government to
which they were granted is dismissed, when the term of the Assembly
ends or when the Assembly is dissolved.
5. This Article applies to the delegated powers to legislate conferred
on the Government by the Budget law; when concerned with fiscal
matters, such powers shall not lapse until the end of the financial
year to which they relate.
Form of actions
1. The action specified in Article 164(a) shall take the form
of constitutional laws.
2. The actions specified in Article 167(a) to (e) shall take the
form of organic laws.
3. The actions specified in Article 164(b) to (i) and (m) shall
take the form of laws.
4. The actions specified in Article 166(d) and (e) shall take
the form of motions.
5. Other actions of the Assembly of the Republic, and the actions
of the Standing Committee specified in Article 182(e) and (f),
shall take the form of resolutions.
6. Resolutions shall be published without promulgation.
Legislative initiative and referendum
1. The power to initiate laws and to propose referenda lies with
Deputies, parliamentary groups and the Government; the power to
initiate laws with respect to the autonomous regions lies with
the appropriate regional legislative assembly.
2. Deputies, parliamentary groups and regional legislative assemblies
shall not table bills, draft legislation or amendments that involve,
in the current year, any increase in State expenditure or any
reduction in State revenue, as provided for in the Budget.
3. Deputies and parliamentary groups shall not propose referenda
that involve, in the current year, any increase in State expenditure
or any reduction in State revenue, as provided for in the Budget.
4. Bills, draft legislation and proposals for referenda that have
been finally rejected shall not be re-introduced in the same legislative
session, unless a new Assembly of the Republic is elected.
5. Bills, draft Government legislation and proposals for referenda
that are not voted upon in the legislative session in which they
are tabled need not be re-introduced in the following legislative
session, unless the legislative term of the Assembly has ended.
6. Draft legislation and proposals for referenda tabled by the
Government lapse on the dismissal of the Government.
7. Legislative initiatives from regional assemblies lapse at the
end of their legislative term, unless approved on the first reading,
in which case they lapse only when the legislative term of the
8. Parliamentary committees are entitled to submit alternative
texts; but these do not prejudice the bills, draft legislation
or the proposals for a referendum to which they refer when those
have not been withdrawn.
Debates and voting
1. Debate of bills and draft legislation shall comprise a first
reading general debate and a second reading debate on detail.
2. Voting comprises a vote on the first reading, a vote on the
second reading and a final overall vote.
3. If the Assembly so decides, texts approved on the first reading
shall be submitted to committees for their second reading, subject
to the power of the Assembly to recall them and to a final overall
vote by the Assembly.
4. The second reading of bills relating to matters specified in
Articles 167(a) to (f), (h), (n) and (p) and 168(1)(s) must be
voted on by the Assembly in plenary session.
5. Organic laws must be approved, in the final vote, by an absolute
majority of the Deputies entitled to vote.
6. Provisions of laws relating to matters specified in Articles
152(1) and (2) and 167(p) must be approved by a two-thirds majority
of the Deputies present, provided that the majority exceeds an
absolute majority of the Deputies entitled to vote.
Ratification of decree-laws
1. Decree-laws, other than those approved under the exclusive
legislative powers of the Government, shall be submitted, on the
petition of 10 Deputies, for consideration by the Assembly of
the Republic, at one of the ten plenary meetings next following
their publication; the Assembly may amend or refuse to ratify
2. Where proposals are made for the amendment of a decree-law,
made under delegated legislative powers, that has been submitted
for consideration, the Assembly may suspend the operation of the
decree, in whole or in part, until the law amending it is published
or the proposals for amendment are rejected.
3. The suspension shall lapse immediately the Assembly has held
10 plenary meetings without taking a final decision on ratification.
4. Where ratification is refused, the decree-law ceases to be
in force from the date of the publication of the resolution in
the Diário da República, and it may not be
published again in the same legislative session.
5. The ratification process shall lapse if, after a decree-law
has been submitted for consideration, the Assembly takes no decision
on it, or, having decided to make amendments, it does not approve
a law to that effect before the end of the current legislative
session, in which there have been 15 plenary meetings.
1. At the request of a Deputy or parliamentary group or the Government,
the Assembly of the Republic is entitled to adopt a urgency procedure
for passing a bill, draft legislation or a motion for a resolution.
2. At the request of the regional assembly for the Azores or Madeira,
the Assembly is also entitled to adopt an urgency procedure for
passing a bill initiated by that regional assembly.
Organisation and operation
1. The legislative term lasts for 4 legislative sessions.
2. In the case of a dissolution, the newly elected Assembly shall
start a new legislative term, the length of which shall be increased,
at the beginning, by the time needed to complete the legislative
session current at the date of the election.
1. The Assembly of the Republic may not be dissolved during the
6 months immediately following its election, or during the last
half-year of the term of office of the President of the Republic
or during a state of siege or a state of emergency.
2. A decree of dissolution made in contravention of paragraph
1 shall have no legal validity.
3. A dissolution of the Assembly does not affect the continuance
in the office of the Deputies or the powers of the Standing Committee
until the first meeting of the Assembly after the ensuing election.
Meeting after an election
1. The Assembly of the Republic shall meet as of right on the
third day after the final results of the election are declared,
or where election occasioned by the end of the legislative term
takes place on a day before the end of that term, on the first
day of the next legislative term.
2. If that date falls in the period when the Assembly is not in
session, it shall meet for the purpose of giving effect to Article
Legislative sessions, period of sittings, and convening
1. A legislative session lasts for one year from 15 October.
2. The usual period for sittings of the Assembly runs from 15
October to 15 June, subject to adjournments at the decision of
the Assembly on a majority of two-thirds of the Deputies present.
3. The Assembly may sit outside the period specified in paragraph
2, following a decision of a plenary session extending the usual
period for sittings, at the initiative of the Standing Committee,
or, if that is not possible and in the case of a grave emergency,
at the initiative of more than half of the Deputies.
4. Extraordinary sittings of the Assembly may be convened by the
President of the Republic for the transaction of specific business.
5. Where the Assembly decides to adjourn under paragraph 2, committees
are entitled to sit although the plenary Assembly is not sitting.
Internal powers of the Assembly
The Assembly of the Republic has the power:
a. To draw up and approve its own Standing Orders under this Constitution;
b. To elect, by an absolute majority of the Deputies entitled
to vote, its President and other officers, that is, 4 vice-presidents,
who shall be elected on the recommendation of the 4 largest parliamentary
c. To appoint the Standing Committee and the other committees.
Order of business of plenary sittings
1. The order of business shall be drawn up by the President of
the Assembly of the Republic in accordance with the order prescribed
by the Standing Orders, subject to the right to challenge it before
the Assembly in plenary session and to the powers of the President
of the Republic under Article 177(4).
2. The Government may request that priority be given to matters
of national interest that require urgent resolution.
3. All parliamentary parties are entitled to determine the order
of business of a specific number of sittings in accordance with
criteria to be prescribed by the Standing Orders, due account
being taken of the position of minority parties and those not
represented in the Government.
Attendance by members of the Government at plenary sittings
1. Ministers have the right to attend plenary sittings of the
Assembly of the Republic and may be assisted or replaced by Secretaries
of State, all of whom are entitled to speak as provided in the
2. Sittings shall be fixed at which members of the Government
shall be present to answer oral or written questions or requests
for information from Deputies; they shall be held at the minimum
intervals prescribed in the Standing Orders and on dates to be
settled in agreement with the Government.
3. The committees may request members of the Government to take
part in their work.
1. The Assembly of the Republic shall have the committees provided
for in the Standing Orders and may establish committees of inquiry
or committees for other specific purposes.
2. The composition of the committees shall reflect the representation
of parties in the Assembly of the Republic.
3. Petitions addressed the Assembly shall be examined by its committees
or by a committee established for the purpose, which may seek
the advice of other committees that are competent in the matter;
in all cases the committees may request any citizen to give evidence
4. Subject to the general rules governing their constitution,
parliamentary committees of inquiry must be set up when requested
by one-fifth of the Deputies entitled to vote, to a limit of one
per Deputy for each legislative session.
5. Parliamentary committees of inquiry have the same powers of
investigation as judicial authorities.
6. The presidencies of committees shall be distributed between
the parlia-mentary parties in proportion to the number of their
1. A Standing Committee of the Assembly of the Republic shall
sit when the Assembly of the Republic is not in session, when
it is dissolved and in the other cases provided for in this Constitution.
2. The Standing Committee shall be chaired by the President of
the Assembly and shall be composed of the vice-presidents and
Deputies appointed by all the parties in proportion to the number
of their Deputies.
3. The Standing Committee has the following powers:
a. To monitor the activities of the Government and the Public
b. To exercise the powers of the Assembly with respect to the
term of office of Deputies;
c. To take steps for the convening of the Assembly when necessary;
d. To prepare the opening of the legislative session;
e. To consent to the absence of the President of the Republic
from the national territory;
f. To authorise the President of the Republic to declare a state
of siege or a state of emergency, or to declare war or to make
4. In the case specified in paragraph 3(f), the Standing Committee
shall take the steps necessary to ensure that the Assembly is
convened as soon as possible.
1. Deputies elected for the same party or the same alliance of
parties are entitled to set up a parliamentary group.
2. Parliamentary groups have the following rights:
a. To participate in the committees of the Assembly in proportion
to the number of their Deputies and to nominate their representatives;
b. To express an opinion with regard to the order of business
and to have challenge the order of business adopted before the
Assembly in plenary session;
c. To initiate, in each legislative session, 2 debates on motions
questioning the Government on matters of general or sectoral policy;
d. To request the Standing Committee to take steps for the convening
of the Assembly;
e. To request the setting up parliamentary committees of inquiry;
f. To initiate laws;
g. To propose motions for the rejection of the Government's programme;
h. To propose motions of censure on the Government;
i. To be informed regularly and directly by the Government on
progress in respect of major matters of public interest.
3. Each parliamentary group is entitled to a place of work at
the seat of the Assembly and to specialist and administrative
personnel in whom it has confidence, as shall be determined by
Officials and experts serving the Assembly
The work of the Assembly and its committees shall be assisted
by a permanent staff of specialist and administrative officials
and by experts appointed or temporarily contracted, in the numbers
that the President considers necessary.
Function and structure
The Government is the organ for the conduct of the general policy
of the country and the superior organ of public administration.
1. The Government comprises the Prime Minister, the Ministers,
the Secretaries and the Under-Secretaries of State.
2. The Government may include one or more Deputy Prime Ministers.
3. The number of ministries and secretariats of State, their titles
and powers and the mode of coordinating them shall be laid down,
as appropriate to the case, in the decrees appointing the holders
of the offices or by decree-law.
The Council of Ministers
1. The Council of Ministers comprises the Prime Minister, the
Deputy Prime Ministers, if any, and the Ministers.
2. The law may establish Councils of the Ministers responsible
for special subjects.
3. Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State may be required
to attend meetings of the Council of Ministers.
Temporary replacement of members of the Government
1. If there is no Deputy Prime Minister, the place of the Prime
Minister shall be taken, in the Prime Minister's absence or inability
to act, by the Minister designated by the Prime Minister to the
President of the Republic, or if no such designation is made,
by the Minister whom the President of the Republic designates
for the purpose.
2. The place of a Minister shall be taken, in the Minister's absence
or inability to act, by the Secretary of State designated by the
Prime Minister or, if no such designation is made, by the member
of the Government whom the Prime Minister designates for the purpose.
Commencement and cessation of functions
1. The Prime Minister shall commence to hold office on installation
and shall cease to hold office when removed from office by the
President of the Republic.
2. Other members of the Government shall commence to hold office
on installation and shall cease to hold office when they, or the
Prime Minister, are removed from office.
3. Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State shall also cease
to hold office when their respective Minister is removed from
4. Where the Government is dismissed, the Prime Minister of the
outgoing Government shall be removed from office on the appointment
and installation of the new Prime Minister.
5. Before its programme has been subjected to review by the Assembly
of the Republic or after it has been dismissed, the Government
shall limit its activities to those which are strictly necessary
to ensure the proper management of public business.
Formation and responsibility
1. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President of the
Republic after taking the opinion of the parties represented in
the Assembly of the Republic and with due regard for the results
of the general election.
2. The other members of the Government shall be appointed by the
President of the Republic on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
The programme of the Government shall state its principal political
objectives and the measures to be adopted or proposed in the various
fields of governmental activity.
The members of the Government are bound by the programme of the
Government and by the decisisons taken in the Council of Ministers.
Responsibility of the Government
The Government shall be responsible for its actions to the President
of the Republic and to the Assembly of the Republic.
Responsibility of members of the Government
1. The Prime Minister shall be responsible to the President of
the Republic and, within the terms of the political responsibility
of the Government, to the Assembly of the Republic.
2. The Deputy Prime Ministers and the Ministers shall be responsible
to the Prime Minister and, within the terms of the political responsibility
of the Government, to the Assembly of the Republic.
3. The Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State shall be responsible
to the Prime Minister and to their respective Ministers.
Consideration of the programme of the Government by the Assembly
of the Republic
1. The programme of the Government shall be submitted to the Assembly
of the Republic for consideration, in the form of statement made
by the Prime Minister within a maximum of 10 days after appointment.
2. If the Assembly of the Republic is not in session, it must
be convened by its President for this purpose.
3. The debate may not exceed 3 days, and until it is closed, any
parliamentary group may propose the rejection of the programme
and the Government may request the approval of a vote of confidence.
4. A rejection of the Government's programme requires an absolute
majority of the Deputies entitled to vote.
Request for vote of confidence
The Government may ask the Assembly of the Republic for a vote
of confidence on a statement of general policy or on any matter
of national interest.
Motions of censure
1. The Assembly of the Republic may, on the proposal of one quarter
of the Deputies entitled to vote or of any parliamentary party,
pass a motion of censure on the Government with respect to the
implementation of its programme or any matter of national interest.
2. A motion of censure shall not be considered until 48 hours
after it has been tabled; the debate may not exceed 3 days.
3. If a motion of censure is not passed, its signatories shall
not table another such motion during the same legislative session.
Dismissal of the Government
1. The dismissal of the Government occurs when:
a. A new legislative term begins;
b. The President of the Republic accepts the resignation of the
c. The Prime Minister dies or is suffering from a permanent physical
d. Its programme is rejected;
e. A motion of confidence is not passed;
f. A motion of censure is passed by an absolute majority of the
Deputies entitled to vote.
2. The President of the Republic may, after taking the opinion
of the Council of State, dismiss the Government when necessary
to safeguard the proper functioning of the democratic institutions.
Criminal liability of members of the Government
Where criminal proceedings are instituted against a member of
the Government, who is charged with an offence other than one
punishable with imprisonment for more than 3 years, the Assembly
of the Republic shall decide whether or not that member shall
be suspended so that the proceedings can be pursued.
1. In performing its political functions, the Government has the
a To counter-sign the acts of the President of the Republic as
required by Article 143;
b. To negotiate and to agree international conventions;
c. To approve international conventions, approval of which is
not within the powers of the Assembly of the Republic or which
have not been tabled before the Assembly;
c. To table bills and draft resolutions before the Assembly of
d. To propose to the President of the Republic that matters of
relevant national interest be submitted to referendum under Article
f. To state its opinion on any declaration of a state of siege
or a state of emergency;
g. To propose to the President the making of a declaration of
war or the making peace;
h. To table before the Assembly of the Republic under Article
165(d) the accounts of the State and of such other public bodies
as the law shall require;
i. To submit to the Assembly of the Republic, at appropriate times,
information concerning the process for implementing the European
Union, in accordance with Article 166 (f);
j. To do such other acts as are provided for in this Constitution
and the law.
2. The Government shall approve treaties and international agreements
1. In performing its legislative functions, the Government has
the following powers:
a. To make decree-laws on matters not within the exclusive powers
of the Assembly of the Republic;
b. To make decree-laws on matters within the exclusive powers
of the Assembly of the Republic that are delegated to it by the
c. To make decree-laws amplifying laws that state basic principles
of the legal system.
2. The Government has exclusive legislative powers in matters
concerning its own structure and operation.
3. The decree-laws referred to in paragraph 1(b) and (c) must
expressly specify the law under which the legislative power is
delegated or which states the basic principles which they amplify.
In performing its administrative functions, the Government has
the following powers:
a. To prepare plans on the basis of the laws relating to the major
options, and to carry them out;
b. To put the Budget of the State into effect;
c. To make the regulations necessary for the proper enforcement
of the laws;
d. To manage the services and the direct administrative activity
of the State, both civil and military, to supervise indirect administration
and to keep watch over autonomous administration;
e. To perform all the activities required by law with respect
to the officials and personnel of the State and of other public
f. To protect democratic legality;
g. To perform all the activities and make all the arrangements
necessary to promote economic and social development and to meet
Powers of the Council of Ministers
1. The Council of Ministers has the following powers:
a. To determine the general lines of governmental policy and its
b. To decide whether to seek a vote of confidence in the Assembly
of the Republic;
c. To approve bills and draft resolutions;
d. To approve decree-laws and international conventions that are
not tabled before the Assembly of the Republic;
e. To approve the plans;
f. To approve the actions of Government that involve increase
or decrease in public revenue or expenditure;
g. To decide upon other matters within the powers of the Government
that are required by law or are submitted to it by the Prime Minister
or a Minister.
2. Councils of Ministers responsible for special subjects shall
exercise the powers conferred upon them by law or delegated to
them by the Council of Ministers.
Powers of members of the Government
1. The Prime Minister has the following powers:
a. To direct the general policy of the Government and to co-ordinate
and guide the activities of all Ministers;
b. To direct the operations of the Government and its general
relations with the other organs of the State;
c. To keep the President of the Republic informed with respect
to the conduct of the internal and external policies of the country;
d. To perform other duties conferred by this Constitution and
2. The Ministers have the following powers:
a. To carry out the policies within the responsibility of their
b. To protect the general relations between the Government and
the other organs of the State in the area of responsibility of
3. Decree-laws and other decrees of the Government shall be signed
by the Prime Minister and the Ministers responsible for their
1. The courts are the organs with supreme authority that have
the power to administer justice in the name of the people.
2. In administering justice, the courts are under a duty to safeguard
the rights and interests of citizens that are legally protected,
to punish breaches of democratic legality and to resolve public
and private disputes.
3. In performing their functions, the courts are entitled to the
assistance of other authorities.
4. The law may provide for alternative methods of dispute resolution
that do not involve the courts.
The courts are independent and subject only to the law.
Findings as to unconstitutionality
In matters brought before them for decision, the courts shall
not apply any rules that contravene the provisions of this Constitution
or the principles contained there.
1. Decisions of the courts shall be based on the cases and provisions
contained in law.
2. Decisions of the courts are binding on all public and private
bodies and shall prevail over the decisions of all other authorities.
3. The law shall regulate the conditions for the enforcement of
court decisions affecting other authorities, and shall prescribe
the penalties for failure to enforce those decisions.
Court hearings shall be public, unless the court hearing a matter
rules otherwise in the interests of safeguarding personal dignity
or public morality or of guaranteeing its own proper operation.
Juries, public participation and assessors
1. Juries shall be composed of judges from the entire bench and
by jurors and shall be summoned, at the request of the prosecution
or the defence, for the trial of serious crimes, other than those
2. The law may provide for the use of lay magistrates to hear
labour disputes, offences against public health, minor offences
and other matters which call for special consideration of the
social values that may have been infringed.
3. The law may also provide for the use of assessors with specialist
qualifications to take part in the hearing of specified matters.
Organisation of the courts
Categories of courts
1. There shall be the following categories of courts, in addition
to the Constitutional Court:
a. The Supreme Court of Justice and the courts of law of first
instance and of second instance;
b. The Supreme Administrative Court and other administrative and
c. The Court of Audit;
d. Courts martial.
2. Maritime courts and arbitration courts may be established.
3. The law shall determine the circumstances and the manner in
which the courts mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 may be constituted,
whether separately or jointly, as courts for the resolution of
4. Subject to the provisions concerning courts martial, courts
with exclusive jurisdiction to try specific categories of offence
shall not be established.
The Supreme Court of Justice and the courts of law
1. The Supreme Court of Justice is the highest court of law, without
prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.
2. The President of the Supreme Court of Justice shall be elected
by the judges of that court.
3. The courts of law of first instance shall be, as a rule, the
district courts, to which the courts mentioned in Article 213(2)
shall have an equivalent status.
4. The courts of law of second instance shall be, as a rule, the
courts of appeal.
5. The Supreme Court of Justice shall operate as a court of first
instance or of second instance in the cases prescribed by law.
Powers and jurisdiction of the courts of law
1. The courts of law shall be courts with a general jurisdiction
in civil and criminal matters and shall have jurisdiction in all
matters not assigned to other judicial bodies.
2. There may be courts of law of first instance with limited jurisdiction
or specialising in hearing specified matters.
3. Courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Justice may perform
their functions through specialised chambers.
Administrative and fiscal courts
1. The Supreme Administrative Court is the highest of the administrative
and fiscal courts, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the
2. The President of the Supreme Administrative Court shall be
elected by and from among the judges of that court.
3. Administrative and fiscal courts have jurisdiction over law
suits and appeals seeking decisions on disputes arising from administrative
or fiscal legal relations.
1. Courts martial have the jurisdiction to try offences that are
2. The law may, for good cause, grant to courts martial jurisdiction
over offences that may considered equivalent to offences referred
to in paragraph 1.
3. The law may confer on courts martial the power to order disciplinary
The Court of Audit
1. The Court of Audit is the highest body for reviewing the legality
of public expenditure and for delivering judgment on those accounts
that the law requires to be submitted to it and, in particular,
it has the following powers:
a. To give its opinion on the General Accounts of the State, including
the social security accounts and the accounts of the autonomous
b. To enforce liability for financial offences in accordance with
c. To exercise such other powers as are conferred on it by law.
2. The Court of Audit may perform its functions in a decentralised
way, through regional sections, as determined by law.
Status of judges
Judges of the courts of law
1. The judges of the courts of law constitute a single body which
shall be governed by its own statute.
2. The law shall determine the qualifications and rules for the
selection of the judges of the courts of law of first instance.
3. Selection of the judges of the courts of law of second instance
shall be made prevailingly on merit, by means a competition among
the judges of the courts of first instance, based on their curricula.
4. Appointment to the Supreme Court of Justice shall be by means
of a competition, based on curricula and shall be open to members
of the judiciary, public prosecutors and other jurists of merit,
as the law shall determine.
Guarantees and disqualifications
1. Judges have security of tenure and may be transferred, suspended,
retired or removed from office only as provided by law.
2. Judges may not be held liable for their decisions, except in
the circumstances provided for by law.
3. Judges in office may not perform any other functions, whether
public or private, other than in unpaid teaching or legal research,
as provided by law.
4. Judges in office may not be assigned to perform other functions
unrelated to the work of the courts unless authorised by the appropriate
Appointment, assignment, transfer and promotion of judges
1. The Superior Council for the Judiciary has the power to appoint,
assign, transfer and promote the judges of the courts of law and
to exercise disciplinary control over them, as provided by law.
2. The appropriate superior councils have the power to appoint,
assign, transfer and promote the judges of the administrative
and fiscal courts and to exercise disciplinary control over them,
as provided by law.
3. The power to appoint, assign, transfer and promote the judges
of other courts, and to exercise disciplinary control over them,
shall be determined by law, subject to the guarantees contained
in this Constitution.
Superior Council for the Judiciary
1. The Superior Council for the Judiciary shall be presided over
by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice and shall have
the following composition:
a. 2 members appointed by the President of the Republic, one of
whom shall be a judge;
b. 7 members elected by the Assembly of the Republic;
c. 7 judges elected by their peers by a system of proportional
2. The rules relating to guarantees for judges apply to all members
of the Superior Council for the Judiciary.
3. The law may provide for the participation of court officials
elected by their peers in the Superior Council for the Judiciary
for the exclusive purposes of discussing and voting on questions
relating to the assessment of the professional merit and disciplinary
control of court officials.
Functions and status
1. The Public Prosecutors have the responsibility for representing
the State, instituting criminal proceedings, and defending democratic
legality and such interests as shall be determined by law.
2. The Public Prosecutors shall have a separate status and be
autonomous as provided by law.
3. The Public Prosecutors shall be accountable judicial officers,
hierarchically graded, and shall be transferred, suspended, retired
or dismissed only in the circumstances provided by law.
4. The Attorney-General's Office has the power to appoint, assign,
transfer and promote, and to exercise disciplinary control over,
1. The Attorney-General's Office is the highest authority in public
prosecution and shall have such composition and powers as the
law shall determine.
2. The Attorney-General's Office shall be presided over by the
Attorney-General and shall contain the Superior Council for the
Public Prosecution, which shall include members elected by the
Assembly of the Republic and members elected by the Public Prosecutors
from among themselves.
The Constitutional Court
The Constitutional Court is the court that has the specific power
to administer justice in matters involving questions of legal
and constitutional nature.
Composition and status of the judges
1. The Constitutional Court shall be composed of 13 judges, 10
of whom shall be appointed by the Assembly of the Republic; the
remaining 3 shall be co-opted.
2. Six of those members appointed by the Assembly of the Republic
or co-opted must be selected from among the judges of the other
courts; the remainder shall be jurists.
3. Judges of the Constitutional Court hold office for 6 years.
4. The President of the Constitutional Court shall be elected
by the judges of that court.
5. Judges of the Constitutional Court enjoy the same guarantees
as to independence, security of tenure, impartiality and immunities,
and are subject to the same disqualifications, as judges of the
6. The law may prescribe further rules with respect to the status
of judges of the Constitutional Court.
1. The Constitutional Court has the power to decide questions
of unconstitutionality and illegality as provided in the Article
277 and following Articles.
2. The Constitutional Court, in addition, has the following powers:
a. To verify the death and to rule on the permanent physical incapacity
of the President of the Republic, and to verify that the President
is temporarily prevented from performing the functions of President;
b. To verify that the President of the Republic has forfeited
the office in the circumstances described in Article 132(3) and
c. To give final rulings on the proper conduct of, and the validity
of action taken during, the electoral process;
d. To verify the death and to rule on the incapacity of any candidate
for the office of President of the Republic, for the purposes
of Article 127(3);
e. To verify the legality of the constitutions of political parties
and their alliances, of their names, initials and symbols, and
to direct their dissolution, in accordance with this Constitution
and the law;
f. To provide an anticipatory verification of compliance with
this Constitution of referenda and of direct consultations with
the electorate at the local level.
3. The Constitutional Court shall also perform such other functions
as are conferred on it by this Constitution and the law.
Organisation and operation
1. The law shall prescribe rules with respect to the seat, organisation
and operation of the Constitutional Court.
2. The law shall prescribe rules with respect to the division
of the work of the Constitutional Court into non-specialist chambers
for the purpose of appeals in concreto on constitutionality and
legality or for the exercise of other powers conferred on it by
3. The law shall prescribe rules for reference to plenary sittings
of the Constitutional Court of contradicting rulings of its chambers
on the application of the same legal rule.
Political and administrative status of the Azores and Madeira
1. There shall be special political and administrative arrangements
for the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira that are based
on their geographic, economic, social and cultural characteristics
and on the historic aspirations of the peoples of those islands
2. Regional autonomy shall work for democratic participation by
the citizens of the regions, their economic and social development,
the promotion and protection of regional interests and the strengthening
of national unity and of the bonds of solidarity among all Portuguese.
3. Regional political and administrative autonomy shall in no
way derogate from the complete sovereignty of the State; it shall
be exercised within the framework of this Constitution.
1. Drafts of the political and administrative statutes of the
autonomous regions shall be prepared by the regional assemblies
and tabled before the Assembly of the Republic for debate and
2. If the Assembly of the Republic rejects or amends the draft,
it shall return the draft to the regional assembly in question
for its consideration and opinion.
3. On receipt of the opinion, the Assembly of the Republic shall
debate the draft and reach a final decision on it.
4. The rules set out in paragraphs 1 to 3 apply with respect to
amendment of the statutes.
Powers of the autonomous regions
1. The autonomous regions are corporate entities in public law,
and have the following powers, which may be further provided for
in their statutes:
a. To legislate, in compliance with this Constitution and the
general laws of the Republic, on such matters of specific interest
to the regions as are not within the exclusive powers of the organs
with supreme authority;
b. To legislate, when the power is delegated to them by the Assembly
of the Republic, in compliance with this Constitution, on such
matters of specific interest to the regions are not within the
exclusive powers of the organs with supreme authority;
c. To amplify, in matters of specific interest to the region,
the bases contained in laws on matters that are not within the
exclusive powers of the Assembly of the Republic and on matters
specified in Article 168(1)(f), (g), (n), (v) and (x);
d. To make regulations for implementing regional legislation and
general laws made by the organs with supreme authority that do
not reserve the regulation-making power to those organs;
e. To exercise the right of initiative with respect to their statutes,
in accordance with Article 228;
f. To exercise the right of legislative initiative under Article
170(1), by tabling bills and proposals for amendments before the
Assembly of the Republic;
g. To exercise the executive powers that belong to them;
h. To administer and dispose of their assets and to enter into
transactions and contracts where it is in their interest to do
i. To exercise their powers of taxation, in accordance with the
law, to allocate that revenue and the other revenue granted to
them, to apply that revenue to meet their expenditure, to adapt
the national fiscal system to regional circumstances in accordance
with the framework law enacted by the Assembly of the Republic;
j. To establish and dissolve local authorities and to alter their
areas, in accordance with the law;
l. To supervise the activities of local authorities;
m. To raise populated areas to the status of towns or cities;
n. To superintend those services, public institutions and state-owned
and nationalised businesses which engage in activities that are
exclusively or predominantly regional, and other activities where
supervision is required in the regional interest;
o. To approve the regional economic plan, the regional budget
and the regional accounts and to participate in the preparation
of national plans;
p. To prescribe acts that are ilegal under a regulatory ordinance
and to provide the sanctions, subject to Article 168(1)(d);
q. To participate in the determination and implementation of the
fiscal, monetary, financial and foreign exchange policies in such
a way as to ensure regional control over current methods of payment
and the provision of funds for the investments that are necessary
for their economic and social development;
r. To participate in the determination of policies with respect
to territorial waters, the exclusive economic zone and the adjacent
s. To participate in negotiations for international treaties and
agreements of direct concern to them and to share in any resulting
t. To co-operate with foreign regional bodies and to participate
in organisations concerned with the furtherance of inter-regional
dialogue and co-operation, in accordance with guidelines laid
down by the organs with supreme authority responsible for foreign
u. To provide their opinion, on their own initiative or when requested
by the organs with supreme authority, on questions of concern
to the regions that are within the responsibility of those organs.
2. Proposals for the delegation of a power to legislate shall
be accompanied by the draft of the regional legislative decree
that is to be made under it; Article 168(2) and (3) applies with
respect to any such delegation.
3. Delegated powers referred to in paragraph 2 shall lapse at
the end of the legislative term or on the dissolution of either
the Assembly of the Republic or the regional legislative assembly
to which they were granted.
4. Regional legislative decrees made under paragraph (1)(b) and
(c) shall expressly refer to the law delegating the power to legislate
or the laws containing the bases which they amplify; Article 172,
with the necessary modifications, applies to these decrees.
Limits on powers
The autonomous regions may not:
a. Restrict the right of workers as recognised by law;
b. Impose restrictions on the movement of persons and goods between
them and the other parts of the national territory, except restrictions
on goods that are necessary in the interests of public health;
c. Reserve any occupation or public office to persons born or
resident in the region.
Co-operation between the organs with supreme authority and
1. The organs with supreme authority shall, in co-operation with
the organs of regional government, ensure the economic and social
development of the autonomous regions, and shall seek, in particular,
to correct inequalities arising from insular circumstances of
2. The organs with supreme authority shall always obtain the opinion
of the organs of regional government on those matters within their
powers that affect the autonomous regions.
Representation of the supreme authority of the Republic
1. The sovereign authority of the Republic shall be specially
represented in each autonomous region by a Minister for the Republic,
who shall be appointed and removed from office by the President
of the Republic on the recommendation of the Government after
the opinion of the Council of State has been given.
2. The Minister for the Republic shall coordinate the work of
the central services of the State in so far it affects the interests
of the region; and for that purpose, he or she has ministerial
powers and is entitled to attend those meetings of the Council
of Ministers that deal with matters of interest to the region
3. The Minister for the Republic shall superintend the administrative
functions performed in the region by the State and shall coordinate
them with those performed by the region itself.
4. A Minister for the Republic who is absent or unable to act
shall be replaced in the region by the president of the regional
Organs of self-government of the regions
1. The organs of self-government of each region are the regional
legislative assembly and the regional government.
2. The regional legislative assembly shall be elected in universal,
direct and secret suffrage by a system of proportional representation.
3. The regional government shall be politically responsible to
the regional legislative assembly; the president of the government
shall be appointed by the Minister for the Republic who shall
pay due regard to the results of the election.
4. The other members of the regional government shall be appointed
and removed from office by the Minister for the Republic on the
recommendation of the president of that government.
5. The status of the members of the organs of self-government
of the autonomous regions shall be provided for in their political
and administrative statutes.
Powers of the regional legislative assembly
1. The regional legislative assembly has exclusive power to perform
the functions specified in Article 229(1)(a), (b), (c), the second
part of (d), (f), the first part of (i), (j), (m) and (p), and
to approve the regional budget, the economic plan and the regional
accounts and to adapt the national fiscal system to the circumstances
of the region.
2. The regional legislative assembly has the power to prepare
and approve its own standing orders in accordance with this Constitution
and the political and administrative statute of the region in
3. The provisions of Article 178 (c), 181(1), (2) and (3), 182,
except paragraphs (3)(e) and (f) and (4) and 183 (except paragraph
(2)(b)), apply, with necessary modifications, to the regional
legislative assembly and its parliamentary groups.
Signature and veto of the Minister for the Republic
1. The Minister for the Republic has the power to sign and order
publication of regional legislative decrees and regional regulatory
2. Within 15 days after receiving a decree of the regional legislative
assembly for signature or after the publication of a ruling of
the Constitutional Court that none of the provisions of such a
decree are unconstitutional, the Minister for the Republic shall
either sign the decree or exercise the right of veto in the form
of a request, based on substantial grounds, for its reconsideration.
3. If the regional legislative assembly confirms its vote by an
absolute majority of the deputies entitled to vote, the Minister
for the Republic shall sign the decree within 8 days after receiving
4. Within 20 days after receiving a decree of the regional government
for signature, the Minister for the Republic shall either sign
the decree or refuse to sign; the Minister shall send written
reasons for a refusal to sign to the regional government, which
may then convert the decree into a bill to be presented to the
regional legislative assembly.
5. In exercising the power of veto, the Minister for the Republic
shall also comply with Articles 278 and 279.
Dissolution of regional organs
1. The organs of self-government of the autonomous regions may
be dissolved by the President of the Republic, after taking the
opinion of the Assembly of the Republic and the Council of State,
for actions contrary to this Constitution.
2. If the regional organs are dissolved, the Minister for the
Republic shall assume responsibility for the government of the
1. The democratic organisation of the State shall include local
2. Local authorities shall be bodies corporate with representative
organs serving the particular interests of the population in their
Categories of local authorities and administrative division
1. Local authorities on the mainland shall be the parishes, municipalities
and the administrative regions.
2. The autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira shall be made
up of parishes and municipalities.
3. For large urban areas and islands, the law may establish other
forms of local government for the area that are appropriate to
the particular local circumstances.
4. The administrative division of the national territory shall
be established by law.
Functions and organisation
The responsibilities and organisation of local authorities and
the powers of their organs shall be regulated by law in such a
way as to give effect to the principle of administrative decentralisation.
Local assets and finance
1. Local authorities shall have their own assets and financial
2. The system of local finance shall be established by law and
shall be directed towards the fair apportionment of public funds
by the State and by the local authorities and the correction,
as necessary, of inequalities between local authorities at the
3. The receipts of local authorities must, in all cases, include
the income from the management of their assets and the sums collected
for access to their services.
Deliberative and executive organs
1. Every local authority shall include an elected assembly with
powers of deliberation and a corporate executive body responsible
2. The assembly shall be elected in universal, direct and secret
suffrage of the citizens resident in its area by a system of proportional
3. The organs of local authorities may undertake direct consultations
with the citizens enrolled on the electoral register in their
area, by secret vote, on matters within their exclusive powers,
in the cases, under the conditions, and with the effect, that
the law shall prescribe.
Power to regulate
Local authorities have their own power to make regulations, within
the limits of this Constitution, of the laws and the regulations
of superior local authorities or authorities with supervisory
1. Administrative supervision of local authorities consists of
verifying that the organs of those authorities are complying with
the law, and it shall be exercised in the cases and the manner
prescribed by law.
2. Supervisory actions that impose restrictions on local autonomy
require prior consultation with a local authority organ, as shall
be provided by law.
3. Local authority organs composed by direct elections may be
dissolved only for acts or omissions involving serious illegality.
Local authority staffs
1. Local authorities shall have their own staffs as prescribed
2. The rules governing officials and personnel of the State apply
equally to officials and personnel in local administration.
3. The law shall determine the manner in which the State is to
give technical and personnel support to local authorities, without
prejudicing their autonomy.
Organs of parishes
The representative organs of the parish are the parish assembly
and the parish board.
1. The parish assembly shall be elected by the citizens entitled
to vote who are resident in the parish.
2. In addition to the political parties, other groups of citizens
entitled to vote may put forward candidates for election to the
parish organs, as shall be provided for by law.
3. The law may provide that, in parishes with small populations,
the parish assembly may be replaced by meetings of all the citizens
entitled to vote.
1. The parish board shall be the executive organ of the parish;
it shall be elected by the assembly in secret ballot from among
2. The chairman of the board shall be the citizen who heads the
list that receives the most votes in the election to the assembly
or, where no assembly exists, the citizen elected for the purpose
by a plenary meeting of the citizens.
Delegation of responsibilities
The parish may delegate administrative responsibilities that do
not involve the exercise of formal decision-making to associations
Changes in municipalities
Municipalities may be established and dissolved, and their areas
altered, by law after consultation with the organs of the local
The representative organs of municipalities are the municipal
assembly and the municipal chamber.
The municipal assembly shall be composed of the chairmen of the
parish boards and at least an equal number of members elected
by an electoral college of the municipality.
The municipal chamber shall be the corporate executive organ of
the municipality; it shall be elected by the citizens entitled
to vote who are resident in its area. The chairman shall be the
candidate who heads the list that receives the most votes.
Associations and federations
Municipalities may form associations and federations for the administration
of common interests.
Share in the revenue from direct taxation
Municipalities shall share, in their own right, and in accordance
with the law, in the revenue from direct taxation.
Establishment by law
Administrative regions shall be established simultaneously by
law, which shall determine the powers, composition, responsibilities
and organisation of their organs; and different provision may
be made for different cases.
The establishment of each administrative region, which shall be
provided for by law, shall depend on the law referred to in Article
255 and on a favourable vote by a majority of the municipal assemblies
that represent the major part of the population of the region.
Administrative regions shall be responsible for the direction
of the public services and for coordinating and supporting the
activities of municipalities, while respecting municipal autonomy
and without limiting their powers.
Administrative regions shall prepare regional plans and participate
in the preparation of the plans referred to in article 92.
The representative organs of the administrative regions shall
be the regional assembly and the regional board.
The regional assembly shall be composed of members directly elected
by the citizens enrolled in the electoral register for the regional
area and of a smaller number elected, by a system of proportional
representation and the Hondt highest average method, by an electoral
college comprising the directly elected members of the municipal
assemblies in that area.
The regional board shall be the corporate executive organ for
the region; it shall be elected in a secret ballot by the regional
assembly from among its members.
Representatives of the Government
Attached to each region there shall be a representative of the
Government, appointed by the Council of Ministers, who shall also
have authority with respect to the other local authorities in
the regional area.
Organisations of residents
Establishment and area
1. With the objective of increasing participation by the population
in local administrative life, organisations of residents may be
set up for the residents of areas smaller than the parish.
2. The parish assembly, on its own initiative or at the request
of committees of residents or of a significant number of residents,
shall determine the boundaries of the areas of organisations of
residents mentioned in paragraph 1 and, where appropriate, resolve
disputes arising in that connection.
1. The structure of organisations of residents shall be laid down
by law and shall include a residents' assembly and a residents'
2. The residents' assembly shall be composed of the persons residing
in the area who are enrolled on the electoral register for the
3. The residents' committee shall be elected in a secret ballot
by the residents' assembly and may be dismissed at the will of
Rights and powers
1. Organisations of residents enjoy the following rights:
a. To petition local authorities with respect to matters of administration
of concern to the residents;
b. To participate in the parish assembly through their representatives,
who shall not have voting rights.
2. Organisations of residents may exercise the powers necessary
to enable them to perform the functions conferred upon them by
law or delegated to them by the organs of their parish.
The Public Service
1. The Public Service shall work to promote the public interest,
while observing the rights and interests of citizens that are
protected by law.
2. The organs and officials of the Public Service are subject
to this Constitution and the law, and shall perform their functions
with full respect for the principles of equality, proportionality,
fairness and impartiality.
Structure of the Public Service
1. The Public Service shall be so structured as to avoid bureaucracy,
to bring administration closer to the people and to ensure participation
by those affected by its activities, in particular, through public
associations, organisations of residents and other forms of democratic
2. To give effect to paragraph 1, the law shall establish suitable
methods of decentralising and devolving administration, without
prejudicing necessary efficiency and unity of action or the powers
of direction and supervision of the Government.
3. Public associations may be formed only to deal with specific
needs; they may not perform functions that properly belong to
trade unions; and their internal organisation shall be structured
on the basis of respect for the rights of their members and on
the democratic character of their organs.
4. Administrative procedure shall be the subject of a special
law which shall ensure the rationalisation of the systems in use
of the services and the participation by citizens in the decision-making
process or in the consideration of matters that affect them.
Rights and guarantees of citizens
1. Citizens are entitled to be informed by the Public Service,
when they so require, about the progress of proceedings in which
they are directly interested and to know the final decisions that
are taken with respect to them.
2. Citizens shall also enjoy the right to have access to administrative
records and files, subject to the legal provisions with respect
to internal and external security. investigation of crime and
3. Administrative action shall be notified to interested parties
in the manner prescribed by law; it shall be based on stated substantial
grounds when it affects the rights or interests of citizens that
are legally protected.
4. Interested parties are guaranteed recourse to the courts for
a review, on the ground of illegality, of any administrative action,
regardless of its form, that affects any of their rights or interests
that are legally protected.
5. Access to administrative justice is also guaranteed to citizens
for the purpose of securing rights or interests that are legally
6. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, the law shall fix the
maximum period within which the Public Service must respond.
1. When performing their functions, officials in the Public Service
and other personnel of the State and other public bodies shall
serve exclusively the public interest, as that is defined, under
the law, by the competent organs of the Public Service.
2. Officials in the Public Service and other personnel of the
State and other public bodies shall not be prejudiced or benefited
by their exercise of political rights contained in this Constitution,
in particular through party allegiance.
3. In disciplinary proceedings the right of the individual affected
to be heard and to present a defence is guaranteed.
4. No one shall hold more than one public post or office unless
that is expressly permitted by law.
5. The law shall determine when the holding of a public office
or post and the carrying out of other activities are incompatible.
Restrictions on the exercise of rights
The law may prescribe restrictions on the freedom of expression,
meetings, demonstration, association, and collective petitioning,
and on the capacity to stand for election of permanent staff members
of the military and the security forces when on active service,
to the extent made necessary by their particular functions.
Liability of officials and personnel
1. Officials and other personnel of the State and other public
bodies shall be responsible in civil, criminal or disciplinary
proceedings for their acts or omission when performing their functions
for actions that result in infringements of the rights or interests
of citizens that are legally protected; no action or proceedings
in respect of these matters shall be dependent, at any stage,
on the prior approval of a superior authority.
2. An official or other member of the personnel of the State who
acts on a service matter in accordance with the orders or instructions
of his or her legitimate superior officer shall not be held liable,
provided he or she, before acting, requested or required that
they be given or confirmed in writing.
3. The duty of obedience ceases if the carrying out of the orders
or instructions would involve the commission of a criminal offence.
4. The law shall regulate the circumstances under which the State
and other public bodies are entitled to be indemnified by their
organs, officials or personnel.
1. The police have the responsibility of defending democratic
legality, protecting internal security and the rights of citizens.
2. The measures that may be taken by the police shall be provided
for by law and shall not be used beyond what is strictly necessary.
3. Prevention of crime, including crimes against the security
of the State, shall be undertaken with due regard for the general
rules governing the police and with proper respect for the rights,
freedoms and guarantees of citizens
4. The law shall determine the arrangements with respect to thesecurity forces, each of which shall have a single organisation
for the whole of the national territory.
1. The State has the responsibility for ensuring national defence.
2. The objectives of national defence are to guarantee national
independence, the integrity of the national territory and the
freedom and security of the people against external aggression
or threats, while respecting constitutional order, the democratic
institutions and international conventions.
Superior Council for National Defence
1. The Superior Council for National Defence shall be presided
over by the President of the Republic and its composition shall
be determined by law.
2. The Superior Council for National Defence shall be the body
to provide advice on questions concerning national defence and
the organisation, operation and discipline of the Armed Forces,
and it shall have the administrative powers that shall be conferred
upon it by law.
The Armed Forces
1. The Armed Forces have the responsibility for providing the
military defence of the Republic.
2. The Armed Forces shall be composed exclusively of Portuguese
citizens, shall be organised on the basis of compulsory military
service and shall comprise a single structure for the entire national
3. The Armed Forces shall obey the competent organs with supreme
authority in accordance with this Constitution and the law.
4. The Armed Forces shall be at the service of the Portuguese
people, and shall be strictly non-partisan; their members shall
not take advantage of opportunities provided by their weapons,
positions or functions to intervene in political matters.
5. The Armed Forces may collaborate, as provided by law, in carrying
out specified tasks for meeting basic needs and improving the
quality of life of the people, including those arising from public
disasters that do not warrant the suspension of rights.
6. The laws that make provision with respect to states of siege
and states of emergency shall determine the conditions under which
the Armed Forces may be used in those circumstances.
Defence of the Nation, military and civic service
1. The defence of the Nation is a fundamental right and a fundamental
duty of all Portuguese.
2. Military service shall be compulsory for the period and on
the conditions that the law shall prescribe.
3. Persons considered to be unfit for armed military service shall
perform military service that does not require the use of arms
or civic service appropriate to their circumstances.
4. Conscientious objectors shall perform civic service of an equivalent
length to, and as onerous as, military service.
5. Civic service may be established as an alternative to or as
complementary to military service and may be made compulsory by
law for citizens who are not subject to military service.
6. No citizen who fails to perform military service or civic service,
where that is compulsory, may hold or acquire any office in the
State or in any other public body.
7. No citizen shall be prejudiced in respect of an occupation,
social security benefits or a permanent career by performing military
service or compulsory civic service.
Guarantees and revision of the Constitution
Review of constitutionality
1. Rules of law that contravene any provision of this Constitution
or the principles contained in it are unconstitutional.
2. International treaties that are unconstitutional, in substance
or form, but have been duly ratified may nonetheless be applied
as part of Portuguese law, provided that the provisions are applied
as part of the law of the other treaty party, unless the unconstitutionality
arises from the contravention of a fundamental principle.
Anticipatory review of constitutionality
1. The President of the Republic may request the Constitutional
Court to undertake an anticipatory review of the constitutionality
of any provision of an international treaty that has been submitted
to the President for ratification, or of an instrument sent to
the President for promulgation as a law or a decree-law, or of
an international agreement where the decree giving approval has
been presented for the signature of the President.
2. Ministers for the Republic may also request the Constitutional
Court to undertake an anticipatory review of the constitutionality
of any provision of a regional legislative decree or a regulative
decree for the implementation of the general law of the Republic
that has been sent to them for signature.
3. An anticipatory review of constitutionality shall be requested
not later than 8 days after the date on which the instrument is
4. The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or one-fifth
of the Deputies of the Assembly of the Republic, entitled to vote
may request the Constitutional Court to undertake an anticipatory
review of the constitutionality of any provision of any decree
submitted to the President for promulgation as an organic law.
5. On the same day as the President of the Assembly of the Republic
submits to the President of the Republic a decree for promulgation
as an organic law, he or she shall inform the Prime Minister and
the parliamentary parties in the Assembly of the Republic.
6. An anticipatory review of constitutionality of the kind described
in paragraph 4 shall be requested not later than 8 days after
the date referred to in paragraph 5.
7. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, the President of the Republic
may not promulgate decrees of the kind described in paragraph
4 before 8 days have elapsed from the date on which they were
received, or before a requested ruling of the Constitutional Court
is handed down.
8. The Constitutional Court shall hand down its ruling within
25 days; where paragraph 1 applies, this time limit may be reduced
by the President of the Republic for reasons of urgency.
Effects of rulings
1. If the Constitutional Court rules that a provision of a decree
or international agreement is unconstitutional, the instrument
must be vetoed by the President of the Republic or the Minister
for the Republic, as the case may be, and shall be returned to
the organ that approved it.
2. In the circumstances described in paragraph 1, a decree may
not be signed or promulgated unless the organ that approved it
deletes the provision ruled to be unconstitutional or, as appropriate,
confirms it by a majority of two-thirds of the Deputies present,
provided that the majority exceeds an absolute majority of the
Deputies entitled to vote.
3. If the instrument is revised, the President of the Republic
or the Minister for the Republic, as the case may be, may request
an anticipatory review of the constitutionality of any of its
4. Where the Constitutional Court rules that a provision of a
treaty is unconstitutional, that treaty shall be ratified only
if the Assembly of the Republic approves it by a majority of two-thirds
of the Deputies present, provided that the majority exceeds an
absolute majority of the Deputies entitled to vote.
Appeals on constitutionality and legality
1. The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals against
any of the following court decisions:
a. Decisions refusing to apply a legal rule on the ground of unconstitutionality;
b. Decisions applying a legal rule, the constitutionality of which
was challenged during the proceedings.
2. The Constitutional Court also has jurisdiction to hear appeals
against any of the following court decisions:
a. Decisions refusing to apply a legislative provision on the
ground of illegality arising from contravention of some superior
b. Decisions refusing to apply a provision of a regional legislative
instrument on the ground of illegality arising from contravention
of the statute of an autonomous region or the general law of the
c. Decisions refusing to apply a provision of an instrument made
by an organ with supreme authority on the ground of illegality
arising from contravention of the statute of an autonomous region;
d. Decisions applying a provision, the legality of which was challenged
during the proceedings on any of the grounds specified in sub-para-graphs
(a), (b) or (c).
3. Where a court refuses to apply a provision of an international
convention, any legislation or a regulatory decree, any appeal
under paragraph 1(a) or 2(a) must be brought by the Public Prosecution.
4. An appeal under paragraph (1)(b) or (2)(d) may be brought only
by the party who raised the question of unconstitutionality or
illegality; the law shall prescribe the requirements and procedure
with respect to the bringing of these appeals.
5. The Constitutional Court also has jurisdiction to hear appeals
against court decisions which apply provisions that it has previously
ruled to be unconstitutional or illegal; the Public Prosecution
must institute an appeal in all such cases.
6. Appeals may only be made to the Constitutional Court on questions
of unconstitutionality or illegality, as the case requires.
General review of constitutionality and legality
1. The Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to undertake review,
and to make rulings that are generally binding, in the following
a. Unconstitutionality of any legal rule;
b. Illegality of any provision of legislation, on the ground that
it contravenes superior law;
c. Illegality of any provision of a regional legislative instrument
on the ground that it contravenes the statute of the region or
the general law of the Republic;
d. Illegality of any instrument made by an organ with supreme
authority on the ground that it contravenes the rights of a region
as set out in its statute.
2. The following persons are entitled to request the Constitutional
Court to make generally binding rulings on questions of unconstitutionality
a. The President of the Republic;
b. The President of the Assembly of the Republic;
c. The Prime Minister;
d. The Ombudsman;
e. The Attorney-General;
f. One-tenth of the Deputies of the Assembly of the Republic;
g. The Ministers for the Republic, the regional legislative assemblies,
or their presidents, the presidents of the regional governments
or one-tenth of the deputies of a regional legislative assembly,
in any case of unconstitutionality on the ground of a contravention
of the rights of an autonomous region or in any case of illegality
on the ground of contravention of the statute of the region or
the general law of the Republic.
3. The Constitutional Court also has jurisdiction to review and
give generally binding rulings on the unconstitutionality or illegality
of a legal rule, the application of which it has held to be unconstitutional
or illegal in three appeals.
Effects of rulings of unconstitutionality or illegality
1. A generally binding ruling of unconstitutionality or illegality
shall be given effect from the date when the provision ruled unconstitutional
or illegal came into force and shall require that any provisions
that may have been revoked shall be reinstated, with retroactive
2. However, where unconstitutionality or illegality derives from
contravention of a constitutional or legal provision that has
been subsequently made, the ruling shall be given effect only
from the date when that provision came into force.
3. Cases already decided shall hold good, except if the Constitutional
Court rules otherwise in respect of a legal rule relating to penalor disciplinary matters or an illegal act under a regulatory ordinance
or a provision that is disadvantageous to the accused.
4. When required in the interests of legal certainty, or for reasons
of equity or public interest of exceptional importance, which
shall be justified if requested, the Constitutional Court may
prescribe effects of unconstitutionality or illegality that are
more restrictive than those specified in paragraphs 1 and 2.
Unconstitutionality by omission
1. At the request of the President of the Republic, the Ombudsman
or, in a case where the rights of an autonomous region have been
contravened, the presidents of the regional assemblies, the Constitutional
Court shall review and verify whether there has been an omission,
in contravention of this Constitution, to enact legislation that
is necessary to implement the provisions of this Constitution.
2. If the Constitutional Court verifies that there has been unconstitutionality
by omission, it shall communicate that fact to the competent legislative
Revision of the Constitution
Competence and time of revision
1. The Assembly of the Republic may revise this Constitution after
5 years have elapsed since the last occasion on which an ordinary
law revising the Constitution was published.
2. However, the Assembly of the Republic may, by a majority of
four-fifths of the Deputies entitled to vote, assume special powers
to revise this Constitution at some other time.
Power to initiate constitutional revision
1. Revision of this Constitution may be initiated by Deputies.
2, On the tabling of proposals for constitutional revision, any
other proposals for that purpose shall be tabled within 30 days.
Approval and promulgation
1. Amendments to this Constitution must be approved by a majority
of two-thirds of the Deputies entitled to vote.
2. Amendments to this Constitution, once approved, shall be incorporated
into a single revision law.
3. The President of the Republic has no power to refuse to promulgate
a revision law.
New text of the Constitution
1. Amendments to this Constitution shall be inserted in their
proper place with consequential substitutions, deletions and additions.
2. The new text of the Constitution shall be published together
with the revision law.
Limits on matters of revision
Laws revising this Constitution shall respect:
a. National independence and the unity of the State;
b. The republican form of government;
c. The separation of the Churches from the State;
d. The rights, freedoms and guarantees of citizens;
e. The rights of workers, workers' committees and trade unions;
f. The co-existence of public, private and co-operative and social
sectors in the ownership of the means of production;
g. The place of economic plans within the framework of a mixed
h. Universal, direct, secret and regular suffrage for the selection
of the elected members of the organs with supreme authority, the
autonomous regions and local government and a system of proportional
i. Pluralism in expression and political organisation, which shall
include political parties and the right of democratic opposition;
j. The separation and inter-dependence of the organs with supreme
l. Judicial review of legal provisions for positive unconstitutionality
and unconstitutionality by omission;
m. The independence of the courts;
n. The autonomy of local authorities;
o. The political and administrative autonomy of the archipelagoes
of the Azores and Madeira.
Limits on time of revision
No action may be taken to revise this Constitution during a state
of siege or a state of emergency.
FINAL AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
1. Constitutional laws enacted subsequent to 25 April 1974 not
saved by this Chapter shall be considered to be ordinary laws,
without prejudice to paragraph 2.
2. Ordinary laws enacted before this Constitution came into force
shall remain in force except to the extent that they are inconsistent
with this Constitution or the principles contained in it.
1. Until the administrative regions are fully established, the
areas not covered by them shall continue to be divided into districts.
2. Each district shall have, on conditions to be determined by
law, a deliberative assembly composed of representatives of the
3. The civil governor, assisted by a council, shall represent
the Government and shall exercise powers of supervision in the
area of the district.
Status of Macao
1. While under Portuguese administration, the territory of Macao
shall be subject to a statute that is appropriate to its special
2. The statute of the territory of Macao embodied in Law 1/76
of 17 February, with the amendments made by Law 53/76 of 14 September,
shall remain in force.
3. Upon the proposal of either the Legislative Assembly of Macao
or the Governor of Macao, who shall take the opinion of the legislative
Assembly of Macao, the Assembly of the Republic, which shall take
the opinion of the Council of State, may amend or replace that
4. The President of the Republic shall not promulgate a decree
of the Assembly of the Republic, where the proposal is approved
with amendments, unless the Legislative Assembly of Macao or the
Governor of Macao, as the case may be, gives a favourable opinion.
5. The territory of Macao shall have its own judicial system that
is autonomous and adapted to the particular circumstances of that
territory, as provided by law, which shall give full effect to
the principle of the independence of the judiciary.
Self-determination and independence of East Timor
1. Portugal remains bound by her responsibilities under international
law to promote and guarantee the right to self-determination and
the independence of East Timor.
2. The President of the Republic and the Government have the power
to take all necessary action for achieving the objectives set
out in paragraph 1.
Indictment and trial of officers and personnel of PIDE/DGS
1. Law 8/75 of 25 July, with the amendments made by Law 16/75
of 23 December and Law 18/75 of 26 December, shall remain in force.
2. The offences identified in Articles 2(2), 3, 4(b) and 5 of
the Law referred to in paragraph 1 may be given greater particularity
3. The law may make specific provisions regulating the exceptional
extenuating circumstances provided for in Article 7 of that Law.
Special rules with respect to political parties
The provisions of Article 51(3) shall apply to political parties
established before this Constitution came into force; the law
shall prescribe rules for that matter.
Principles to be applied to re-privatisations under Article
The framework law provided for in Article 85(1) shall guarantee
the following basic principles:
a. Re-privatisation of the ownership of, and the right to utilise,
the means of production or other property nationalised after 25
April 1974 shall be carried out, normally by the following preferred
means: by open public competitive tenders, by flotation on the
stock exchange or by public subscription;
b. Revenue obtained from re-privatisation shall be used only for
the purpose of redeeming the national debt or the debts of State-owned
businesses, or for servicing debts contracted as a result of nationalisations,
or for new investments in capital stock in the productive sector;
c. Workers in re-privatised businesses shall, in the process of
the re-privatisation of their business, retain all the rights
and duties to which they have become entitled;
d. Workers in re-privatised businesses shall be given a preferential
right to subscribe to a percentage of the capital stock of their
e. The value of the means of production or other property that
is to be re-privatised shall be assessed by more than one independent
Provisional statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira
The provisional statute of the Autonomous Region of Madeira shall
remain in force until the equivalent definitive statute comes
Date and coming into force of this Constitution
1. The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic bears the date
of its adoption by the Constituent Assembly, namely, 2 April 1976.
2. The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic comes into force
on 25 April 1976.
(Text according to Constitutional Law nº.1/92, of 25 de November
- third revision of the Constitution -, published in the supplement
to the Diário da República, first series-A,