Richard Albert, David Landau, Pietro Faraguna & Simon Drugda (Ed.), 2018 Global Review of Constitutional Law, I.CONnect and the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College, 2019, pp. 243-247.
5 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2019
Date Written: 2019
2018 was a significant year, as the Portuguese Constitutional Court repositioned itself as a non-deferent Court and as a faithful guardian of constitutional fundamental rights and liberties. As Jorge Pereira da Silva provocatively stated, “the Portuguese Constitutional Court is back!”. After years of what some labelled as the “judicial activism” of the jurisprudence of crisis – during and after the 2011-2014 bailout – that, for better or for worse, hit the news and the scholarship internationally, the PCC seemed more silent and cautious towards the legislator. With Ruling no. 225/2018, the Court declares that the legislative power can change the legal framework of assisted reproductive techniques if protection to the most vulnerable parties to a contract of gestation by substitution – the children and the surrogate mother – is granted.
We can truly state that 2018 was year of family rights, since many rulings consisted in major constitutional developments regarding the subjects of family life, development of one’s personality, right to personal identity and human dignity.
It was foreseeable that 2018 would be the year of a much-awaited electoral system reform, that would create more favourable conditions for a closer relationship between voters and their representatives within the constituencies. Yet, the recent rejection of a popular initiative to reform the Portuguese electoral system shows that the main political parties are still strongly divided over the right path towards achieving that goal.
Keywords: Portuguese constitutional court; constitutional rights enforcement
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