Author(s) José Castro Novais
Advisor(s) Mário João Ferreira Monte
Year 2014

Synopsis This paper comprises the result of an investigation on the institution of provisional suspension of a proceeding, provided for in articles 281 and 282, both in the Code of Criminal Procedure. In this context we wanted to find out, first, the historical background and the reasons for the emergence of this mechanism of criminal procedure. Then, we analyzed the application of the institution of the provisional suspension of proceedings in Portuguese courts, in statistical terms, and we identified the factors which for almost three decades have blocked the use of this institution and, above all, if in this consensual mechanism, discretion (freewill) comprise the ruling – translating into a violation of the constitutional right of equality (of a citizen before the law) – and, in this context, we have pitched proposals for the solution to this problem. Immediately after, we decided to examine the legal regime and legal nature of the institution object of this paper, investigating a number of theoretical and practical procedural aspects. Finally we explored other issues related to the provisional suspension proceedings, specifically: admissibility, or not, of filing a case seeking only the provisional suspension of the proceeding; if injunctions and rules of conduct are in fact true penalties: the case of an injunction banning the driving of motor vehicles, and finally, if the principle of presumption of innocence is weakened when the judge is not in agreement with the suspension of the proceeding, or when a case moves forward due to violation, by the defendant, of the injunctions and rules of conduct imposed.

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