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Introduction to Law 2017/2018

  • 8 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


After completion with success of the course, the student will be able to:
a) Define the general idea of law and the legal order;
b) Identify the various classes of legal rules;
c) Classify and qualify the rights;
d) To characterize the coercive protection within the legal system;
e) To value the sources of law;
f) Handling the legal technique as a structural piece of legal interpretation.

Recommended Prerequisites

Not applicable to a curricular unit of the 1st year.

Teaching Metodology

To fully achieve the objectives proposed in the course, in the lectures, it is not dispensed the lecture, accompanied by debate of ideas, which is constantly promoted between teachers and students, complemented with the critical analysis of legislation, case-law and other documents. In what concerns to the methodology adopted in the practical classes, that looks forward to the student in order to apply and demonstrate the knowledge acquired in lectures, solving and pointing legal solutions to problems / created hypothesis. In the practical classes, it is also promoted a close contact with the reality of work, through the presentation and studies of real cases, encouraging a deeper understanding of matter and directing the student to a broader research, which implies a autonomous study at the same time.

Body of Work

I - General view of law
1 - The Social Order . institutions
2 - The Legal Order as Normative Order
II - The Legal Order
1 - The right objective and the subjective rights
2 - The Law and the State
3 - The Law, Justice and Security
III - Right Structure - The Legal Normativity
1 - The Legal Standard : concept and structure, ratings
2 - The Sanction
3 - The protection of the right and guarantee of individual rights
IV - Sources of Law
1 - Sources of Law Notion
2 - Enumeration and Classification of Sources of Law
3 - The Law Ramos - The criteria for the distinction
4 - Coding
V - Legal Technical
1 - The Application of Laws in Time and Space
1.1 - The definition of the problem
1.2 - The solution of the problem
1.3 - The laws on deadlines
1.4 - Interpretative laws
2 - The application of the law in space ( reference)
3 - The Interpretation of Law
4 - Integration of gaps : The forms of integration gaps.

Recommended Bibliography

MACHADO, J. BAPTISTA MACHADO – Introdução ao Direito e ao Discurso Legitimador, last reprint, Almedina, Coimbra, last edition

JUSTO, A. SANTOS – Introdução ao Estudo do Direito, Coimbra Editora, Coimbra, last edition

Complementary Bibliography

AMARAL, DIOGO FREITAS DO – Manual de Introdução ao Direito, Almedina, Coimbra, 2004

ÁNGEL LATORRE, Introdução ao Direito, reimpressão, Coimbra, Almedina

MACHADO, J. BAPTISTA - "Iniciação ao mundo do direito", Obra Dispersa, Vol. II, Scientia Ivridica, Braga, 1993, pp.
475 a 545.

SOUSA, MARCELO REBELO DE E SOFIA GALVÃO – Introdução ao Estudo do Direito, 5ª Edição, Lex, Lisboa, 2000

Weekly Planning

Theoretical classes

Presentation. The characteristics and importance of discipline.
Bibliographic indication and methodology adopted in the classes of the course.
The assessment system.
The Social Order. Institutions.
The Legal Order as Regulatory Order.
The right objective and the subjective rights: notions.
individual rights in the strict sense and potestative rights.
The Law, Justice and Security.
Relations between the Justice and Security.
The Legal Certainty.
The law and the state.
Relations between the law and the state.
The alleged statehood of law.
The Legal Standards: concept and structure.
The subsumption and the judicial syllogism.
Characteristics of legal rules.
Typology of legal rules:
mandatory rules and regulations operative.
universal standards, regional standards and local regulations.
General rules, exceptional standards and special standards.
Leges plus quam Perfectae; leges Perfectae; leges minus quam Perfectae and leges imperfectae
The principles of legality and opportunity
The penalty: the concept.
Types of sanctions: reconstitutivas, compensatory, punitive, preventive, mandatory.
no legal, legal invalidity (nullity and annulment) and legal validity (in the strict sense) versus ineffectiveness broadly.
The protection of the right and the guarantee of individual rights.
Allusion to the concept of coercivity (or coercion).
The Public Guardianship: Guardianship and the Judicial Administrative Ministry.
The Private Guardianship: concept and modalities.
Notion of law sources.
Enumeration and Classification of Sources of Law.
The concept of law.
Typology of normative acts.
Hierarchy of normative acts.
Advertising and beginning of the rule of law.
Termination of Law: expiry or revocation. Allusion to the concept of revalidation.
The custom
The Jurisprudence.
The Doctrine.
The reference of the Civil Code to equity (remission).
The application of laws in time.
The definition of the problem.
The solution of the problem.
The transitional provisions.
The general principle - the principle of non-retroactivity.
Characterization of varying degrees of retroactivity.
The solution of Article 12 of the Civil Code.
The laws on deadlines.
Interpretative laws.
The Interpretation of Law: concept and need.
The traditional interpretation of the law Theory
The object (or end) of interpretation: the current objectivist, the subjectivist current and Theory of Synthesis or Mixed.
The elements of interpretation.
The grammar element.
Logical elements: the historical element, the systematic element and the rational or teleological element.
The results of interpretation: the declarative interpretation restrictive interpretation, extensive interpretation,
Repealing interpretation or ab-rogante and expository interpretation.
The integration gaps.
gap concept.
The arrangements for gaps.
Distinction between broad interpretation and integration gaps.
Forms of integration gaps.
The analogy (analogy legis).
The creation of an ad hoc standard (analogy iuris).
Reviews of the subjects taught.

Practical classes
Lesson 1
Presentation . General considerations.

Lesson 2
Analysis of legal provisions. Design of the standard.

Lesson 3
Analysis of legal provisions. Design of the standard.

Lesson 4
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 5
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 6
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 7
Mini Test

Lesson 8
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 9
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 10
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 11
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 12
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 13
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 14
Resolution of case studies.

Lesson 15
Mini Test

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

Upon successful completion by the student in the CU, it is a goal that the student has obtained the knowledge of basic legal concepts enabling him/her to a better learning of the remaining CU’s that make up the study course and to be able to frame and solve practical situations that he/she will face in the course of professional. activity In this way, students will be able to meet the objectives that are proposed in the above mentioned point a) after studying items 1 and 2 of Chapter I of the study plan,. It is pretended, also, the reaches of the objective mentioned above in b) to the study of item 3 of Chapter I. The purpose of learning identified in paragraph c, will be achieved with the study of point 1 of Chapter II of the program. In what concerns to the goals contained in d) and e) will be achieved after they have been taught, respectively, Chapters II and IV of curricular programme.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

For complete success of all learning objectives is it used the lecture method, but is not dispensed the interactivity with the student in constant debate positions based on the various program themes. Thus, to achieve the objectives referred in subparagraphs a) to e) shall be used, the expositive and Socratic methods. In the other hand, to achieve the objective mentioned in paragraph f), will be given focus to the inductive method.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYes 
Analytical and synthetic skillsYes 
Balanced decision makingYes 
Commitment to qualityYes 
Ethical and responsible behaviourYes 
Event organization, planning and managementYes 
Information and learning managementYes 
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYes 
Relating to othersYes 
Research skillsYesYes
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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