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Portugal: Improvement of the Justice System

(Feb. 25, 2011) On February 17, 2010, the Portuguese Council of Ministers approved a Resolution designed to improve the efficiency of the judicial system. The Resolution is the result of a project developed by the Ministry of Justice through the Commission on the Operational Efficiency of Justice. The Ministries of Justice and Finance, along with the Superior Council of the Magistracy, the Portuguese Bar Association, and the Permanent Observatory of Justice (a center for the study of justice), took part in the Commission.

The Resolution establishes the guidelines and priority reforms to be adopted in the justice system, which include:

    • the introduction of new management models in the courts;
    • the promotion of efficiency in tackling disputes and procedural delays;
    • procedural simplification and organizational improvement;
    • improvement of the relevant judicial means to strengthen competitiveness;
    • completion of the digital agenda of the justice sector;
    • the launch of new media for public information and transparency of justice;
    • the strengthening of instruments to combat organized crime and corruption;
    • the reform of the system of recruitment and of the initial and continuing training of judges and prosecutors;
    • greater commitment to alternative means of dispute resolution;
    • improvement of some measures designed to reform administrative litigation;
    • rehabilitation of pending tax litigation; and
    • steps to ensure the sustainability of the judiciary's finances.

(Governo Aprova Medidas para Melhorar Efici├¬ncia da Justi├ža, Government of Portugal website (Feb 17, 2011),