Portuguese Constitutional Court

Commonly known as the Tribunal Constitucional in Portuguese.

As a constitutional body per se, the Constitutional Court occupies a specific position and plays a specific role in the constitutional system of political authority: it can declare that legal (particularly legislative) provisions are unconstitutional.

In the hierarchy established by the Constitution, the Constitutional Court is the first of the courts to be mentioned, and thus precedes the remaining categories of court.

Unlike the other courts, the Constitutional Court's composition and responsibilities are laid down directly by the Constitution itself; the majority of its Justices are appointed by the Assembly of the Republic; it enjoys administrative and financial autonomy and its own budget, which occupies a separate heading under the general State expenses section of the national Budget; and it settles any issues concerning the delimitation of its responsibilities itself.
Notes:   Available in English and Portuguese versions.
Website:   www.tribunalconstitucional.pt/

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Guide ID: 3134 - Last Updated: August 19, 2013