All scientific research at NOVA University of Lisbon School of Law must be carried out with moral integrity and the highest respect for the rights of any human subjects involved, especially their right to dignity. All those responsible for research projects should consider and define strategies to mitigate all possible risks associated with the participation of human subjects in their research projects.
All proposals to conduct research involving human subjects must be submitted for ethical review to determine their scientific merit and ethical acceptability, if significant risks associated with the participation of human subjects, as set out below, are foreseen. This review must be requested prior to any human contact.
Ethical clearance is needed if there are significant risks associated with the research project. Such risks include real or potential damage to the person’s physical or psychological well-being, or any significant disadvantage or discomfort to them. Studies involving the discussion or collection of data on matters that are sensitive to the participants, or that involve contact with vulnerable people, such as minors, migrants, victims of physical or psychological violence or abuse, persons with disabilities, or generally any persons in a fragile situation, mentally or physically, are to undergo ethical clearance.
Institutions which carry out scientific research must decide whether to set up their own ethics committee or establish a cooperation and sharing protocol with other institutions.
In this context, in February 2023, NOVA School of Law established a Protocol with NOVA University’s Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. According to this Protocol, any research projects from NOVA School of Law’s research community requiring ethical review, including PhD thesis projects, shall henceforth be submitted to the Institute’s Ethics Committee. Professor Helena Pereira de Melo is the representative of NOVA School of Law on this Ethics Committee.