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PORTUGAL - Abolitionist

Government: parliamentary democracy
State of civil and political rights: Free
Constitution: adopted 2 April 1976; effective 25 April 1976; revised many times
Legal System: based on civil law system; the Constitutional Tribunal reviews the constitutionality of legislation
Legislative System: unicameral Assembly of the Republic
Judicial System: Supreme Court (judges appointed for life by the Conselho Superior da Magistratura)
Religion: Roman Catholic 84.5%, other Christian 2.2%, other


International Treaties on the Death Penalty and Human Rights:
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • 1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
  • Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  • 6th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (concerning the abolition of the death penalty)
  • European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances
  • Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)


FACTS

Portugal abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1867 and became totally abolitionist in 1976. The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic at Art. 24 states: "Human life is inviolable. In no case shall the death penalty be applied."
The Constitution actually prohibits extradition to countries where the maximum punishment is higher than Portugalís, which does not even have life imprisonment, or where the death penalty is applicable.
On October 3, 2003 Portugal deposited with the Council of Europe the instrument of ratification of Protocol No 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms banning the death penalty in all circumstances. The last execution took place in 1849.
On December 19, 2016, Portugal once again co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.

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