Conducting socio-legal research in Portugal: From the experience of the Permanent Observatory for Justice to the study of working conditions in courts

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl.1735

Keywords:

Socio-legal studies, judicial system, trust and involvement, judicial institutions and professionals, methodologies, Portugal

Abstract

Empirical research on judicial systems requires diversified methodologies adapted to the contexts of courts and judicial actors. The experience gathered through the Permanent Observatory for Justice tells us that the support of judicial and political institutions and professionals’ associations are essential to reach a ‘hard-to-reach population’ and obtain robust results. The Observatory, with its interdisciplinary approach, had a significant public impact and contributed to public policies on justice. It was also fundamental to design and implement judicial training actions, through the Observatory’s Legal and Judicial Training Unit. The aim is to discuss the developed strategies to ensure the involvement of the institutional and judicial actors, build trust, and achieve valid results. The use of the project QUALIS, which assessed working conditions in Portuguese courts, allows us to focus on a concrete example of use of strategies and methodologies, with impacts on the improvement of the judicial system.

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Author Biographies

João Paulo Dias, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

João Paulo Dias. Researcher – Permanent Observatory for Justice, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. Institutional address: Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Colégio S. Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal. Email address: jpdias@ces.uc.pt

Conceição Gomes, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

Conceição Gomes. Researcher – Permanent Observatory for Justice, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. Institutional address: Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Colégio S. Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal.  Email address: cgomes@ces.uc.pt

Marina Henriques, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra

Marina Henriques. Researcher – Permanent Observatory for Justice, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. Institutional address: Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Colégio S. Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, 3000-995 Coimbra, Portugal. Email address: marina@ces.uc.pt

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Published

20-12-2023

How to Cite

Dias, J. P., Gomes, C. and Henriques, M. (2023) “Conducting socio-legal research in Portugal: From the experience of the Permanent Observatory for Justice to the study of working conditions in courts”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 13(S1), pp. S10-S29. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl.1735.