Author(s) Madalena Patrícia da Silva Nascimento
Advisor(s) Mário João Ferreira Monte
Year 2014

Synopsis With the decree-Law n.º232/79, 24th of July, it was imposed an authentic regulatory ordinance in the portuguese law and, since then, have not ceased our doctrine and our courts of working the concept of the Administrative offenses. The need of this study and reflection, which lasted for more than 30 years, results from the very nature of this branch of the law by being a punitive law, different and autonomous of the classic criminal law. From this perspective, we can easily understand the social relevance that the Administrative Offenses Law represents for influencing the legal rights of the citizens when we look to conform their behaviour in accordance with the social coexistence rules. So far, no difficulty is presented to us, however, we may ask why, three decades later, there are still many controversial issues about this branch of the Law. It is true that the law in its broadest sense, needs to be rethought throughout the history since it is unequivocally associated to a social-historical context. And the Administrative Offenses Law is not and exception. We risk saying that it is a pure example of this correlation. However, it doesn’t seem that the problematic which remains in this branch of the Law, results only of the need of an actual interpretation. The Administrative offenses Law reveals more complications than initially one might think, and for that reason, was not possible, until de present day, improve it to avoid a set of consequences that have come in the last years. Our study stems precisely from the conscious need to point out the flaws of this branch of the Law which in recent years have become manifest and successive. Without giving the required constitutional framework of the Administrative Offenses Law, our study will focus on the relationship between the general system of the Administrative Offenses and the special systems, an issue that seems not so much academic issue, but essentially practical, seeking to exanimate specific questions that demonstrate the origin of such difficulties, and trying to find answers or guidelines for their resolution.

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