Author(s) Eva Lídia Ribeiro Gomes
Advisor(s) Fernando Eduardo Batista Conde Monteiro
Year 2017

Synopsis The current masters essay aims to study the reading and reproduction of statements made by the defendant in a criminal procedure and their value as a proof. The need to approach and reflect over this theme emerges after the law reform, pushed by the approval and entry into force of the legislation which lead to a major change in the Code of Criminal Procedure, Law no. 20/2013, of 21 of February – which came to being revealed as controversial. The framework of the reading and reproduction of statements by the defendant in a procedural phase prior to trial, in accordance with article 357 framework from the Code of Criminal Procedure, was too restrictive, hampering the use of this form of evidence without the consent of the defendant. The law change expressly widened the possibilities of acceptance of this way of proof, allowing the judge their appraise, even if the defendant exercises their right to remain silent. This change was thoroughly discussed within the doctrine and jurisprudence, as far as the enforcement of the aforementioned provision, according to its current wording, presents the risk of weakening the defendant’s procedural position, due to disregarding their constitutional rights and guarantees. In regard, it is important to assess the constitutional status of this provision, to ensure if the new legal regime raises a serious and unjustifiable limitation of the penal process guarantees, or if, it only symbolizes a legal adaptation to modern times.

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