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Research lines

Individuality, Solidarity, Law
Law beyond borders
Justice and Freedom Law, Life and Technology State, International Society, Human Action
Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator
António Monteiro Fernandes Vasco Becker-Weinberg Hugo Cunha Lança Inês Fernandes Godinho Rui Albuquerque



Individuality, Solidarity, Law

Coordinator: António Monteiro Fernandes
Contact: p5007@ulusofona.pt

This is a line of research in Law, including its historical and philosophical dimensions, without excluding the opening to other knowledge (sociology, anthropology, political science…) necessary for the profound apprehension and understanding of the realities in question. The research themes may involve material from various legal disciplines, whether or not taught at the Faculty of Law, namely: Constitutional Law, History of Law, Philosophy of Law, Fundamental Rights, Family Law, Law of Succession, Labour Law, Social Security Law and Employment Policies.

The “individuality” strand immediately refers to the field of fundamental rights, particularly as regards the protection of equality, personal dignity and privacy, and, in general, to the matter of constitutionally consecrated rights, freedoms and guarantees.  The reference to “solidarity” evokes not only the normative systems with the purpose of social protection but also the legal instruments for the promotion and defence of employment, as well as the legal framework of family relations and inheritance regimes. From another perspective, this programmatic reference leads to the forms of organisation and action of collective interests and the dialectical relationships established between these phenomena and individual rights and freedoms.
Throughout the perimeter thus outlined, there are problems of legitimacy and efficiency of legislative interventions, as well as a combination of the various levels of regulation, including that of individual autonomy. On the other hand, we are faced with a vast panel of topics for historical-legal and jusphilosophical research.

Examples of possible topics/areas of research in this line:

  • Equality and non-discrimination as mainstream in European law.
  • Social security law as an instrument of employment policy.
  • Work relations and digitalisation.
  • Freedom of expression and the right to a good name and reputation.
  • A multidimensional legal framework for domestic violence.
  • Trade union freedom and individual freedom.
  • The protection of personal data in Portuguese law.
  • History of Portuguese labour law.
  • Divorce in the legal systems of the PALOP countries.

Law beyond borders

Coordinator: Vasco Becker-Weinberg

The research line of Law Beyond Borders covers those areas of law that bring together the classical (or transnational) element of the term, as well as those areas where the borders of law are open to other sciences, such as International Relations, Political Science, Economics, Psychology and Health Sciences, among others.
Hence, the traditional areas of International Law, European Law and the transnational expressions of the different branches of law are brought together in this line of research, as well as those less traditional, but increasingly relevant, areas resulting from the interactions of legal science with other sciences.

In terms of the globalisation of law, this line of research naturally includes issues and themes of Public and Private International Law, International Institutional Law, International (or European) Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law and transnational Political Science, as well as International Relations, and, considering the specific European context, European Law, as well as the specific Lusophone context, the rights of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP).

In terms of the interaction of law with other sciences, or multidisciplinarity, this includes both the fields that have been worked on and densified for some time, such as the economic analysis of law, competition and regulation, or even forensic psychology, but also the more recent fields of medical law, bio-right or artificial intelligence when interrelated with international law or economic law, to give just a few examples.

Examples of possible topics/research areas in this line of research

  • European integration in its various perspectives (namely political or economic)
  • Legal cooperation in Lusophony
  • The legal-economic framework of regulation and competition
  • International commercial law
  • Law of international and European organisations
  • International law of economic, social and environmental relations
  • International judicial cooperation
  • The legal framework of health (or health protection)

Justice and Freedom

Coordinator: Hugo Cunha Lança
Contact: hdlanca@gmail.com

We learn from Ulpiano that Justice is the constant and perpetual will to give each person what is theirs, the jurist being more than a priest, a servant of Justice. And, having it as a premise, it is required that the first concern of the Law hermeneutic is the defence of the most deprived of legal support. Therefore, the protection of children, the defence of the rights of adolescents, the gender issue(s), the respect for the elderly and people with disabilities should be one of the first concerns of the scholars of this area of knowledge. Thus, under this topic, we call for studies that interpret these issues from a multiplicity of perspectives [as if we were dealing with a cubist canvas], namely through the lens of Criminal Law, Family Law, Procedural Law, Sociology and Philosophy of Law, inter alia.

As far as the concept of Freedom is concerned, we must take as a premise its axiological value, observing it in its comprehensive omniscience, in a constant becoming with reality and the new threats, as well as reflecting on freedom as a value of public Law, especially its constitutional protection, in dialogue with the coeval challenges of democracy.

Crucial to the development of this line is the imperative for the Jurist to strip off the arrogance of the jurist and summon other knowledge (sociology, psychology, medicine, biology, etc.) to dialogue and tread paths that, in isolation, are doomed to failure. Not in a view of interdisciplinarity (which often makes us take the cloud for Juno), but in a logic of multidisciplinarity, building solutions on a par with other experiences and perspectives.

Examples of possible themes/research areas in this line of research

  • gender issues;
  • medically assisted procreation
  • euthanasia and the living will
  • the protection of children and adolescents
  • freedom of contract: traditional types of contract and new types of contract
  • freedom of economic initiative and its limits
  • constitutional freedoms and their current threats: from big brother to terrorism and covid
  • access to the courts and alternative means of dispute resolution;
  • the new challenges related to evidence.

Law, Life and Technology

Coordinator: Inês Godinho
Contact: ines.godinho@ulusofona.pt

This line of research aims to contribute to the creation and development of scientific knowledge in the areas mentioned: Law, Life and Technology. It embraces such broad concepts of these three topics that, within its scope, technological applications such as artificial intelligence, social networks and cryptography are included; it also seeks research from various legal disciplines that include both contributions from contract law and doubts regarding the assumptions of criminal investigation in the digital environment; finally, changes in collective life and intrusions in intimate life are also included.

The discussion to be triggered will necessarily have a legal dimension, but it is also intended to be multidisciplinary, involving, among others, engineering, bioethics, philosophy, sociology, economics and management. On the other hand, the breadth of the themes and concepts that are to be studied is also reflected in the openness of this line of research to collaborations with the other research lines at CEAD.

Examples of possible subjects/areas of research in this line are

  • Applications and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the courtroom
  • Smart Contracts and the need to review contractual processes
  • Civil Liability and AI
  • Technology and access to law
  • Risk management in technology regulation
  • The European Union strategy for AI
  • Social Networks and Democracy
  • Cryptography and Fundamental Rights
  • Technology and criminal investigation
  • The regulation of fake new

State, International Society, Human Action

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