Code: 41037
Departament: Department of Social Sciences and Management
Field of Study: Legal Sciences
    State of Law
    EU Law
    Juridical Order
Paulo Ferreira da Cunha
Área Científica: Legal and Political Sciences

Ângela Montalvão Machado
Field of Study: Politics

Course Description:
With the study of this discipline the student is introduced in a reality that is structural to all societies and the life of all people, from the day they born till the day they die. There is Law because there are conflicts within societies. Societies were politically built to guarantee life in society and as long as desired by the society itself it is possible  Law is usually produced by the State or other entities, with the right to produce norms to regulate social life, with the ability to enforce them coercively. Nevertheless, such coercive power is also limited by law. As social human beings we are all part of of law application, we come into contact with law and get to understand the importance it has in every society. Our study will focus on Law that is applied in Portugal (despite its sources (national or international). 

The student must be able to:
-Understand the meaning of law and its importance to the functioning of societies and to the life of the people (individuals and corporations);
-Articulate, in a theoretical and practical mode, the relationship between Constitution, political power and State of Law;
-Know the importance of Europen Union Law and its relevance to public institutions, corporations and citizens;
-Have a theoretical and practical knowledge of people’s rights within the Portuguese juridical order;
-Understand the specific dynamics of corporate law in contemporary societies;
-Know the meaning of contracts  and be able to understand its relevance to people’s daily life (collectively and individually considered);
-Know what is civil, contract and extra-contractual responsibility, with the ability to apply concepts to specific cases;
-Understand the mechanisms for State intervention in the economy;
-Know the meaning of rights’ protection and how it is made effective within the Portuguese juridical order.

Part I
In Demand of Law: Initiation to Legal Knowledge 
1: Unraveling the Right: Criticism of Dogmatism (s), Common Sense and Prejudice (s)
2: Phenomenology: Images and Perspectives of Law 
3: General Epistemology: Law as a scientific, cultural and spiritual reality. Interdisciplinarity and Post-Disciplinarity. Legal Paradigms. New Paradigms  
Part II
Fundamental Vectors for a General Theory of Law 
4: Philosophy: From a descriptive notion of Right to topical axiological and sociological. Justice and Law. The example of Antigone. Currents of legal thought: monismos (positivistas) and pluralismos (jusnaturalismos and others); judicialisms and norms; topic-problematic and dogmatic-systematic, etc. 
5: Semiotics: Legal Signs 
6: Dynamics: Dimensions and Functions of Law 
7: Axiology: Basis (s), End (s), and (Fundamental) Principles of Law 
8: Linguistics: Accepts the term 'Right' 
9: Methodology: Sources of Law 
10: Special Epistemology: Branches of Law and Related Disciplines. The Humanistic Legal Sciences 
11: Geography: Plurality of Legal Orders and Comparison of Rights 
12: Sociology: Law and its Circumstance: History, Social Norms, Politics, State   
Part III 
General Theory of Legal Norms and Hermeneutics 
13: The Rule and the Law 
14: Classification of Legal Norms 
15: Hermeneutics: From Interpretation / Integration to Holistic Perspective

1. FERREIRA DA CUNHA, Paulo – Desvendar o Direito. Iniciação ao Saber Jurídico, Lisboa, Quid Juris, 2014.
2. Idem –Teoria Geral do Direito: Uma Síntese, Lisboa, A Causa das Regras, no prelo.
3. É ainda necessário o conhecimento de legislação de apoio, como a Constituição da República, o Código Civil e o Tratado de Lisboa. Nota muito importante: a única legislação que pode ser utilizada na realização das provas é da autoria de CAETANO, João Relvão; VIDAL, Nuno; - Legislação de Apoio ao Estudo do Direito, Lisboa, A Causa das Regras, 2018.


Workload (hours): 156
Contact Hours: 15

Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).

Language(s) of Instruction: Portuguese.

Contact for virtual mobility students: Communication and International Relations Office –