Author(s) Paula Pereira da Costa e Silva
Advisor(s) Anabela Susana Sousa Gonçalves
Year 2017

Synopsis The present essay aims to accomplish a closer look at the duty of supervision, legally assigned to the parents of one child, highlighting the legal consequences that the portuguese legal system establishes for the violation of one of the obligations of the panoply of obligations arising from the exercise of parental responsibilities, the duty of supervision. Its purpose, in the end, is to understand if the protection already stated in criminal law is convenient or if there is another way that criminal law is able to better safeguard the duly fulfillment of this duty. As follows, it became necessary to thicken the concept of power and duty of supervision, enabling an understanding of its content and what is concretely required from parents in order to perform it more closely to achieve the best interest of the child. Thus, our work identifies the diverse civil consequences of non-compliance with the duty of supervision and cogitates about its effectiveness to promote a greater effort and concern of parents as regards to ensuring the safety of the child. Noticing some shortcomings in the application of the instruments provided by the civil law, to grasp a greater fulfillment of the duty of supervision, quests on criminal law the possibility to promote more effectively the duly performance of that duty, considering the possibility of criminalizing the violation of the duty of supervision tout court, having as reference point the legislator’s solution of criminalizing other non-compliance with the exercise of parental responsibilities, specifically, the child’s abduction crime and the violation of the maintenance obligation. It also uncovers in the criminal system the regulation of the crime of exposure or abandonment that incriminates parents who maliciously expose or “abandon” their children in face of dangers from which they cannot defend themselves, in violation of their duty to supervise. Furthermore, equates the convenience of criminalizing the negligent performance of parents in those terms. Lastly, taking into consideration the principles and purposes of the criminal policy of our State of Law, concludes that what is already criminally established is convenient to protect the best interest of the child, for the inconvenience of the extension of the subjective element in the crime of exposure or abandonment and the criminalization of the breach of the duty of supervision per se, advocating a new civil statutory provision about this duty, an update and an adjustment of the mechanisms provided by the civil law.

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