CEDIS is one of the first Portuguese Research Units in the field of Law, the creation of which relates to the foundation of NOVA School of Law of NOVA University, Lisbon.

With a plural vision of law in contemporary society, an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to legal research, an international working network with European and Portuguese-speaking countries, researchers with diversified backgrounds and an open access orientation, CEDIS, was created to be a Research Centre on Law and Society, reflecting NOVA School of Law’s approach to legal studies.

The research that CEDIS is currently conducting pertains to the following areas of Law and Society:

  • Criminal Law, Equality Law
  • Law and History
  • Law and Politics
  • Law and Religion
  • Law and Security
  • Intercultural Law and Lusophony
  • Private Law
  • Procedural Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Transitional Justice
  • Tax and Social Security Law


The mission of CEDIS is to promote quality and innovation in the teaching of law and research in the field of social and legal studies, to enrich and update the library of NOVA School of Law, to provide the community with free access to legal documents and to support the creation and development of interfaces between research activities and community services.

To fulfil its mission, CEDIS develops its activities with the following objectives:

  • The study of Law in its relations with society, promoting a multidisciplinary awareness of Law and Society through the integration of legal and non-legal approaches to research and through openness to legal analysis methodologies developed by, or designed in collaboration with other fields of knowledge, with emphasis on our sister social sciences, including economics;
  • The study of new or emerging legal realities, such as transnational legal phenomena, alternative forms of dispute resolution, or new issues in the regulation of intellectual property and competition law;
  • Bringing the study of the practical application of law to the fore;
  • Supporting the implementation of a new academic and didactic model based on two-way communication and student participation in research activities;
  • Supporting projects aimed at providing services to the community;
  • Increasing the international projection of Portuguese legal studies.

Within the scope of its mission, CEDIS seeks to intensify the articulation between teaching and research through the involvement of graduate and post-graduate students in its research teams, especially those students attending PhD programmes in Law and Law & Security.