Within the framework of the Research and Development Centre on Law and Society (CEDIS) of NOVA School of Law, the research project, Observatory of Portuguese Legislation, was presented to and approved by the Foundation for Science and Technology, in January 2005.
This project was born with the aim of carrying out quantified analysis of various aspects of legislation, which gave rise in July 2007 to the annual publication of the “Bulletin of the Observatory of Portuguese Legislation”. The construction of a relational database is under development, which will allow access to the «life» of an act of legislation – from its adoption to its relationship with other acts of legislation, and its termination.
The Observatory of Portuguese Legislation is currently a shared project, namely with the ICJP, Institute of Legal and Political Sciences of the School of Law of the University of Lisbon (FDUL), also participating in the development of the Project of the Common Rules of Legislation in the Lusophone States and Regions.
The mission of the Observatory of Portuguese Legislation is the assessment of aspects of methodology applied in the drafting of law and legislative procedure. This cross-sectional analysis is independent of the type or branch of law, although necessarily attentive to the specificities of the different legislative acts. It is foreseen that observation of the legislative process will enable the elaboration of studies on the “state” of legislation, namely regarding:
- The frequency of changes introduced in legislative acts – Laws and Decree-laws – assessing the effectiveness and efficiency in terms of the opportunity costs of these changes, taking into account the defined objectives;
- Compliance with regulation and the duration of the regulatory process, which enables the creation of regulatory indicators;
- Characterization, in quantitative terms, of the legislative process (volume, distribution of this volume by type of legislation, by State bodies, by subject).
Measurement of legislative production in quantitative terms has been considered a priority task as it is considered an important contribution to the understanding of legislative policy.
This work is financed by national funds through FST – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., under the UIDB/00714/2020 project.
The initial research team was comprised of Professors João Caupers, Pierre Guibentif and Dr. Marta Tavares de Almeida. The team also included scientific research fellows recruited through competition from among students from NOVA School of Law, with preference given to students enrolled in the disciplines of Legislation Science, Economic Analysis of Law, or Sociology of Law.
Currently, Professor Francisco Pereira Coutinho and Mestre Sónia Rodrigues, as well as research fellows, recruited under the LegImpact Project, comprise the coordination team.