Projects 2018-02-21T16:33:34+00:00


TRANSMIC – Transnational Migration, Citizenship and the Circulation of Rights and Responsibilities

The project “Transnational Migration, Citizenship and the Circulation of Rights and Responsibilities” (TRANSMIC), a project funded under the European Commission’s Marie Curie actions and which will run from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2018. The aim of the project is to contribute to the understanding of transnational migration, in particular by looking at the conditions for and effects of transnational migration, possibilities for the mobility of migrants’ rights to be enhanced, and the links between migration, citizenship, and migration and development.

The TRANSMIC project is coordinated by Maastricht University (The Netherlands), and also includes as partner institutions, besides the University of Minho, the Universities of Liège (Belgium), Oxford (UK), Aix-Marseille (France), Tampere (Finland) and Warsaw (Poland), as well as the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels.

The Law School of the University of Minho and CEDU will contribute to the project through the hosting and supervision of a PhD student who will work on a research project on the topic “Transnational Migration, Postcolonial Ties and Mobility Partnerships between the EU and Third Countries”. The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Patrícia Jerónimo (a collaborating member of CEDU) and co-supervised by Professor Maarten Vink, of Maastricht University.

More information here.

IR Patrícia Jerónimo

Ph.D. researcher Fanny Tittel-Mosser

(in progress)

R&D Units – UI4036 – 2015-2020

The Human Rights Center (DH-CII) is funded by the FCT.

In this strategic programme the DH-CII: will continue to paying attention to data protection, bioethics, immigration and cultural diversity, and democracy and State-building; will strengthen its interdisciplinary dynamic by engaging researchers of other fields, taking part in research projects involving other research centres; will foster its internationalization by strengthening the existing partnerships and by establishing new ones, by organizing regular international conferences and by supporting the participation of its researchers in international scientific meetings. One strong component of the Centre’s activities will continue to be the research and the supervision of the research projects conducted within the context of some of the Master programs at the Law School of the University of Minho.

IR Mário Monte

More information see here.

(in progress)

INTEROP – EU Digital Single Market as a political calling: interoperability as the way forward

The project, to be developed within the framework of the Jean Monnet Chair – which is held by Professor Alessandra Silveira, Director of the CEDU (Centre for Studies in European Union Law) – will be carried out by a team of researchers from the same Centre: coordinator, Professor Alessandra Silveira; in charge of the scientific component, Professor Joana Covelo de Abreu and also by Professors Pedro Froufe and Sophie Perez.

The project will last 24 months and was selected from 1177 applications submitted to the EACEA (Educational, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), having received the classification of 91 points out of 100 possible. In the criterion “quality of the team” obtained 24,5 in 25 points.

The project is based on the study of the Digital Single Market as a primary public interest for the European Union and intends to test the state-of-the-art of implementing administrative interoperability solutions at a later stage to test new forms of interoperability, taking account, in particular, its material, fundamental and judicial component, with reference to the simplified procedures for recovery of claims to be carried out within the European Union’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

IR Alessandra Silveira

(in progress)



The “4 EU training sessions on family law regulations for Cross-border Lawyers And Social Services” (C.L.A.S.S.4EU) is a project funded by the European Commission.

The partnership can count on a core of universities and law institutes: University of Verona (UNIVR – Italy), University of Milano Bicocca (UNIMIB – Italy), University of Minho (UMINHO – Portugal), Law Institute of Lithuania (TEISE – Lithuania) and Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE – Hungary).

The aim this project is increased lawyers and social service staff knowledge of Regulation No 2201/2203 in connection with other EU Regulations and Conventions on family law, developing a common expertise between these interrelated categories especially when the protection of children is at stake.

More information here.

IR Anabela Gonçalves

(in progress)


Law in Medicine

The project addresses the theme of law in medicine oriented to the exercise of the activity of health professionals. The aim is to stimulate the discussion about medical-legal issues and to provide practice-oriented training in order to contribute to a better and efficient exercise of the professional activity of health professionals; trying to avoiding the mass complaints and lawsuits filed against health professionals; to contribute to the improvement of the relationships established between the health professional and the patient. As a rule, health professionals do not have an in-depth knowledge of medical-legal issues and it´s increasing the proliferation of patient complaints and lawsuits, with serious practical consequences for health professionals, medical institutions and patients. On the other hand, this issue has not been sufficiently investigated within the scope of the Law, and there is a notable lack of knowledge among jurists about it. Despite its practical relevance, this is a topic that is not very developed in law schools and is practically unknown among health professionals.

IR Anabela Gonçalves

Co-IR Margarida Santos

(waiting approval)


Monitoring the human rights situation of sexual minorities in the African space of the CPLP

The CPLP´s African states until the end of the last century criminalized the sexual minorities by virtue of norms that had been in force since colonial times. With a slow change in this scenario started in the 1990s in Guinea-Bissau, there are still states like Angola which are on the way to a legislative reform. In the other countries of the African continent, such as Uganda and Senegal, the existence of so-called State homophobia with high rates of intolerance and discrimination against LGBTI communities is observed. Against this background, the project has two objectives: a) to analyze the relevant legislation of the African countries members of the CPLP, identifying legal and political options that directly or indirectly regulate issues related to gender identity and prohibition of discrimination because of these factors, but also, since these States are signatories to a wide range of legal instruments for the protection of human rights – adopted within the UN or the African Union – to scrutinize respect for these international commitments. On the other hand, b) on a social level, it aims at analyzing the colonial legacy, the influence of religion and popular religiosity, the type of political regime and the actions of international actors in order to build a framework that allows us to identify influences on the State and Legislative options.

IR Maria de Assunção Vale Pereira

Co-IR Patrícia Jerónimo

(waiting approval)

From facts and evidence to the judicial reasoning: towards a consistence on judicial criminal decision

The discovery of “truth” is one of the primary goals of any criminal judicial decision. Nevertheless, the realization of this objective is embedded with difficulties and obstacles concerning the possible role of subjectivity. In fact, “the construction of a solid truth in judicial proceedings is possible only with a knowledge, as deep as possible, of everything that can hinder it, and even make it impossible” (Calheiros, 2015, 75). In this context, the study of the evidence is particularly useful because of the challenge to the selection of the facts, to the reasoning behind it and to the judicial reasoning, according to reasonableness criteria (Calheiros, 2015, p. 81).

In this sense, the aim of this project is to analyze how the judge (and previously the public prosecutor) evaluates the evidence in the light of the current paradigm on freedom of appreciation of the evidence and how it produces the selection of proven and unproven facts and its statement of the facts, in the field of criminal proceedings, when “difficult facts” are involved. These facts “… involve a much more demanding exercise of appreciation and, in the exact same proportion, they are much more susceptible to relativization” (Calheiros, 2015, pp. 77, 78). Indeed, the variety of types of facts whose knowledge will have to be established in judicial proceedings, and on which the legal solution will be adopted depends, constitutes an enormous challenge to the capacity of jurists, requiring them that that they can equip themselves with adequate tools to deal with it (Calheiros, 2015, p.21).

In this sense, the project intends: 1) to analyse the obstacles with which the entrance and the knowledge of the facts are in the judicial processes; 2) to detect the specific difficulties in the task of appreciation of evidence and in the judicial reasoning; 3) to detect and understand the rational mechanisms / logical processes of appreciation of evidence, which allow certain facts to be determined from certain evidence; 4) to expose and understand how dominant social discourses may frame the appreciation of evidences and anchor convictions.

IR Clara Calheiros

Co-IR Margarida Santos

(waiting approval)

Sustainability and Human Rights: a new paradigm in the relation of man to the other and to the environment

The central objective of the project now presented is to seek to characterize and consolidate this sustainability, to understand its multiple manifestations and to draw up a rigorous framework regarding both existing international and European instruments for its implementation, and what has been done in Portugal (both from the legislative and judicial points of view). Once this scenario has been outlined, we will advance, with due dogmatic support, to the attempt to point out ways, and seeking to present a set of proposals for legislative reform, judicial action, public policies and communication, in order to transform sustainability into an effective human right, seen as a new paradigm of community living, in the relation of man to the other and to environment. The various activities proposed therefore seek to correspond to a holistic understanding of this right of sustainability, which is seen as a reality that goes far beyond the law.

In view of this, the team that will carry out this project is naturally constituted by a significant body of Law Academics (in the areas of constitutional law, European law, administrative law, local law, criminal law, etc.), but accompanied by experts from other equally important areas when we talk about sustainability. The necessary holistic vision that we have been referring to can only be manifested in a concatenation between actors from different fields, who can, with their contributions, draw attention to the various aspects that must be taken into account when we want to talk about sustainability as human right. Beyond the team members, mainly (but not exclusively) from academia, the project also has significant partnerships and collaborations, both with academics from foreign universities with recognized work in this area and with civil society institutions that work daily with the reality of sustainable development.

It seems to us, therefore, that the project we propose and intend to carry out will play a key role within the Portuguese social and legal landscape, with clear links both to the European space and, more broadly, to the international space, since it corresponds to an undeniable fact of the world today. In a global society of risks (of various and multifaceted risks), we can not really speak of development unless we consider that each human being, every country, every region, every continent can only advance in articulation with the others. Sustainability thus becomes an innovative understanding of the relationship between human beings and between them and the planet – but which, in the end, is immanent to human nature itself.

IR Flávia Loureiro

Co-IR Andreia Sofia Oliveira

(waiting approval)

Robotics, Society and Labour

This project aims to research the modifications arising out of the introduction of robots in daily life and its impact in law, in the context of organizational modifications and its subsequent need of adaptation of legal rules. This project will start from the computational reality, alongside the most recent technical developments and starting a process of legal reflection on the consequences of the introduction of software and robots with higher and higher degrees of autonomy. The technical concepts will be the starting point. It is intended to import from computational sciences the concepts of “agent” and “object”, “robot” and “mechanism”, and from these looking for considering its adaptation to the legal framework. From this, traditional legal concepts and institutes shall be revisited. It shall be equated the problematics of the will from the consideration of the existence of intentional states in software and robots (Giovanni Sartor). And, from this, it will be questioned and developped the traditional legal institutes of liabilities and torts, both in the civil as in the criminal domains, having in full consideration the characterisitcs of the new electronic entities, mainly autonomy, capacity of learning, pro-activity and sociability. It will still be analyzed the impacts in the organized society, both at the level of public administration, considering the transformation and adaptation  of the urban areas to a new connectivity and interactivity (smart cities)  and at the level of entrepreneurial organizations, with particular focus in the modifications that will necessarily occur in the domain of labour relationships.

In order to reach the proposed aims, it will be necessary to integrate several diferent domains of knowledge in the project, including the scientific domains of Legal Knowledge and of Computational Sciences, being of particular relevance the domain of Artificial Intelligence. On the legal side, we shall have to convoque the diferent domains of legal knowledge, both from the private law domain (civil law, labour law) and from the public law domain (criminal law, administrative law). The fact that some of the researchers in this project are lecturing the Master Course on Law and Informatics at the University of Minho will certainly be of utmost relevance for reaching the proposed aims. Also the interdisciplinarity of the research team, integrating law specialists and engineers, will be a decisive factor. The proposed work has an obvious relevance considering recent reports of international consulting groups foreseeing profound organizational and labour alterations in the years to come. . It is this challenge, with profound legal implications, particularly in the area of human rights and requiring an inter-disciplinary approach, that we are intending to research.

IR Francisco Andrade

Co-IR Teresa Coelho Moreira

(waiting approval)

Meaning and purpose of criminal sanctions. For the humanization of the penitenciary system

General objectives:

  • scientific, academic, professional and civic awareness of the importance of criminal sanctions in the process of rehabilitation of convicts and victims;
  • contribution to the humanization of the penal system;
  • demonstration of the ineffectiveness of inhuman, long and radical penalties;
  • training on penology issues;
  • dissemination of knowledge on criminal justice and human rights;

Research ideas:

  • the meaning and purpose of criminal sanctions, and the development of a “new” criminal paradigm;
  • inconsistencies in jurisprudence on penology;
  • the (in)effectiveness of the penitentiary system;
  • the practical implications of a social nature for the convicted person and his family;
  • reparation and reconciliation in criminal justice;
  • legal peace and social peace (a more human perspective).


  • dissemination of research results using a dedicated website to the Project, the website of the Promoting Center, and electronic publications;
  • encouragement of the discussion of this topic in scientific events and in the media;
  • implementation of workshops and short training courses;
  • holding three annual international conferences with the participation of experts on the subject;
  • strong interaction with society, especially with entities related to the topic, both in the study and in the dissemination of results.

Research plan:

– four research plans:

  1. a) theoretical and principiological: a general and transversal study on relevant theory and principles about the meaning and purposes of the criminal sanctions, which will set out the guidelines and main questions for the study to be followed in the subsequent plans;
  2. b) normative and comparative: a critical study of the norms related to the penitentiary system (criminal sanctions, purposes and choice and length or amount of criminal sanctions);
  3. c) practical, jurisprudential and enforcement-related: a comparative study of some paradigmatic judicial decisions, their enforcement and the personal and social implications (of the convicted and family);
  4. d) applied and compared: the results of the investigations will be applied both in Portugal (object-system) and in Portuguese-speaking countries (beneficiary systems), both in the legal system and in the training of professionals.

Complementarity among the participating entities:

– Interaction with entities with forensic tasks and those dealing with the enforcement of criminal sanctions with whom a protocol will be drawn up.

Relevance and innovative character:

The project is relevant because it will demonstrate the relative inefficiency of the penal system and is innovative because it will introduce a reparative purpose in the penal system and in the criminal sanctions? enforcement system. It will also contain a training component, which will be useful for professionals involved in the enforcement of criminal sanctions.

IR Mário Monte

Co-IR Pedro Freitas

(waiting approval)

Equality and cultural difference in the practice of European courts: Challenges and opportunities for inclusive societies

InclusiveCourts is an interdisciplinary research project which gathers lawyers, anthropologists and sociologists, in a cooperation between the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Human Rights, based in Braga, and the Centre for Research in Anthropology, based in Lisbon. It seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the legal challenges raised by cultural diversity in Europe. It focuses on the practice of the courts because of the important role that domestic courts have been taking on as places of encounter and tension among different cultures and legal traditions, in a growing context of legal pluralism and interlegality. The project aims to map and make an assessment of the way in which courts act in cases involving ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities (what is commonly referred as ‘multicultural jurisprudence’), namely, the way courts use concepts such as race, culture, ethnicity and religion; the way they interpret the principle of equality and balance it with respect for cultural difference; their openness to cultural arguments and evidence and the weight that they accord such arguments/evidence in their rulings.

The multicultural jurisprudence of Portuguese courts is a particularly good case study, given the relative novelty of Portugal’s status as an immigration country and multicultural society and the widespread (if not yet tested) assumption that Portugal is particularly apt for intercultural dialogue and immigrant integration. There are no interdisciplinary studies covering it in a comprehensive and systematic manner and Portugal is usually absent from comparative studies on multicultural jurisprudence. The project includes an inventory and critical assessment of the multicultural jurisprudence of Portuguese courts from 1976 onwards, covering all judicial areas (constitutional, administrative, civil, criminal, labour, family), and the setup of a database of annotated case law. The review of the rulings will be made in light of the theoretical debates on multiculturalism, legal pluralism and human rights, and of international human rights standards, at global and regional level. By comparing the Portuguese judicial practice with existing reports from other domestic jurisdictions in Europe, the project will advance the current state of comparative research on multicultural jurisprudence in Europe.

The project also seeks to respond to a recurring concern in recent years regarding the lack of preparation of judicial actors for engaging in intercultural communication and the need for further information and training. Through the direct involvement of judges, prosecutors and other judicial actors, the project aims to identify best practices and set up guidelines for an inclusive and ‘diversity aware’ judicial practice in Portugal. It will include the design of a training program for judicial actors, to be implemented as a pilot training program at the Centre for Judicial Studies (CEJ) and in different courts.

IR Patrícia Jerónimo

Co-IR Manuela Ivone Cunha

(waiting approval)

Working Group on the Security Council of the United Nations

The Working Group on the Security Council of the United Nations – HR- Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Universidade do Minho – Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

“Propostas para o Mandato Português no Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas” (see here)

Responsible Researchers:

Prof. Doutor Carlos Gaspar

Prof. Doutor Pedro Bacelar de Vasconcelos

(finished project)

Annotated Edition of the Constitution of Timor-Leste

The DHCII, in cooperation with the Government of Timor-Leste, published the book “Annotated Edition of the Constitution of Timor-Leste”.

This project, required by the Government of Timor-Leste as an important contribution for the State-building process, was sponsored by IPAD (Instituto Português de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento) and involved several researchers with knowledge of and experience in Timor-Leste as well as judges of Timor-Leste courts.

The digital version of the book is available online through the DH-CII website, reaching out to all the interested public.

Check here the book

(finished project)

Strategic Project 2011-2013

he Human Rights Center (DH-CII) was funded by the FCT.

The main goals of this research unit [Human Rights – Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (HR–CIR)], for the current and the upcoming years (2011-2013), were: to consolidate the work that has been done until now, to strengthen the research in its areas (as described above) and to extend its internationalization.

IR Pedro Bacelar Vasconcelos

More information see here.

(finished project)

Strategic Project 2014

The Human Rights Center (DH-CII) was funded by the FCT.

IR Pedro Bacelar Vasconcelos

More information see here.

(finished project)

Jean Monnet Chair: Citizenship of rights: European citizenship as the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States

Alessandra Silveira was a Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Law.  The project is titled “Citizenship of rights: European citizenship as the fundamental status of nationals of the Member States”.

The Court of Justice of the European Union, pushed by national courts of the Member-States, is creating by its jurisprudence a wider notion of citizenship of rights – which enhances european citizenship as “a fundamental statute of Member-states nationals”. Recent case law has asked european juridical order with the last notion of europan citizenship: “it just supports the freedom of circulation of individuals that are economically actives, or it corresponds to an uniform set of rights and obligations, that are characterized as being part of an Union of Law, in which fundamental rights have an important role?”.

Jean Monnet’s Programe wants to reinforce the role of lecturing and researching about european integration in Universities, not only in the Member-States, but also in 3rd Countries. It is co-funded by the European Commission, through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. The programe’s name honors the french politician Jean Monnet (1888-1979), who’s considered the mentor of the european unity (CEE) and the model of the Shuman Declaration.

IR Alessandra Silveira

(finished project)

Scientific and Technological Cooperation FCT/CAPES 2013-2015

CEDU obtained funding from the FCT/CAPES funding for young researchers exchange between Brazil and Portugal has been approved. The project “Interconstitutionality: constitutional provisions in network-style and European integration in worldwide society” presented by Minho University in partnership with Paraíba’s Federal University, Brasília’s University and São Paulo’s Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC), will allow the circulation of CEDU’s young investigators during the years from 2013 to 2015, who are developing a PhD in that topic.  Likewise, Minho University’s Law School will receive PhD and post-PhD students from the Brazilian Universities who are our partners, for periods of up to one year. It is worth pointing out that Minho University was the only Portuguese institution to have a Law (Public Law) project approved within the scope of this programme of cooperation between Brazil and Portugal – which testifies the excellence of the investigation that Minho University Law School has been developing in the field of European Union Law.

Within this project were realized various activities.

IR Alessandra Silveira

(finished project)