Research Centre for Private Law

Research, development, production and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the field of Private Law.

A Research Unit of the Institute of Private Law (IDP)

Founded in 2014, CIDP is an autonomous R&D Unit dedicated to the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the field of Private Law.


Its activity is predominantly developed along two fundamental axes: the individual and collective research carried out by its members, and the organization of courses, seminars, conferences and workshops on current themes in Private Law.

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Research Lines

CIDP has decided to structure its activities for the period 2024-2028 according to five research lines, which will act as the basis for research projects to be developed, involving teams of researchers from all areas working collaboratively in an articulated manner.

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Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Private Law

The advent of the Digital Era has changed social, economic and legal structures. The world we now live requires the Law to pay special attention to new issues, not previously encountered. The social relevance of personal data raises questions in the field of personality law, automation and artificial intelligence require the workings of civil liability to be reconsidered and the wide use of e-commerce demands study of online consumer rights. The new reality extends into finance, with a direct impact on investor rights and business funding models.


In addition, automation and artificial intelligence are both tools and challenges in courts. On the one hand, they promise to speed up and facilitate procedural acts, relieving judges, bailiffs and lawyers of repetitive and time-consuming tasks. But at the same time, insofar as they provide autonomous means of decision-making, they raise fundamental questions about the future meaning and nature of adjudication.


Finally, generative artificial intelligence raises relevant challenges in intellectual property law, namely as regards the protection of copyright and even the identity or nature of the author.


These trends and demands are not new. They were the subject of the last research line called Private Law in the Digital Era (PLDE). The current research line arises in the continuation of the work carried out at PLDE, integrating and focusing on the latest technological developments.

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New Perspectives of Corporate Governance

The last few years have been marked by profound reforms in Commercial Company and Capital Market Law, especially at the level of European normative instruments.


Following on from the work conducted within the previous line of research called Modernization of Corporate Law, the current line New Perspectives of Corporate Governance will focus its attention on three topics: (i) the impact of technology on company law; (ii) the reformulation of corporate law structures as a result of the new centrality of stakeholder interests; (iii) the impact of ex contractu governance on the company and the limits of of private autonomy in shareholder agreements.

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Diversity, Harmonization and Unification of Private Law

The research on Comparative Law, including its methodological foundations, is a central theme of CIDP's research. The diversity of modern Private Law coexists with a growing effort towards harmonization and unification, which transcends the European space and is instrumental to the free flow of people, goods, services and capital across borders in a globalised economy.


This research line will pay special attention to international instruments, in particular, the CISG (which came into force in Portugal at the end of 2021), the UNIDROIT Principles on International Commercial Contracts, the Principles of European Contract Law and other relevant normative acts from the European Parliament and from the Council.


In this context, is also important the creation of a permanent observatory of Lusophone legal systems, which preserve a fundamental unity with Portuguese law, and the international dissemination of its output.

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Foundations of Private Law

This line of research is devoted to the study of the historical, dogmatic and axiological foundations of Private Law, always seeking a deeper understanding of legal systems and their evolution.


The research projects to be developed cover the core areas of common and commercial Private Law, as well as its immediate foundations and instruments (Philosophy of Law and Methodology). It also involves studying the models of adjudication (specially linked with new morphologies of conflicts) including alternative dispute resolution (ADR).


This research line also includes the critical analysis of judicial activity (including its social and economic impact), as well as the survey and systematization of empirical data on that activity.

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New Perspectives on Regulation, Compliance and Private Enforcement

The emergence of independent authorities has subverted the classic separation of powers model, which is why they have been endowed with three types of traditionally separate public powers: normative, executive and (para)judicial. Modern independent authorities issue regulations of a general and abstract nature, monitor and inspect the activity of businesses and, finally, impose financial penalties (fines) and ancillary sanctions if they detect offences. In this regard, it is difficult to sustain the classic opposition between administrative law and criminal law, especially since the European Court of Human Rights has consistently held that administrative offences and other typically administrative offences should be considered criminal offences for the purpose of applying Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. The social context of regulatory law requires a paradigm shift in the application of law and interaction with economic agents. Experience generally points to the advantages of an approach based on the principles of responsive regulation and regulated self-regulation. The balance between the two, however, requires a delicate balance between the requirements of effective regulation and the advantages of collaboration with businesses in the performance of this public law mission. In fact, the risks of this combination are immense and can only be minimised by establishing mechanisms to guarantee the independence and accountability of regulators and to prevent them from being captured by a wide range of interests, from party interests to business interests, which also involves transparency in the revolving doors between the exercise of regulatory functions, government functions and management functions of public, mixed or private companies. A virtuous articulation of responsive regulation with regulated self-regulation cannot ignore another pillar, which is the private enforcement of the law through actions for damages and collective redress brought by consumer representatives and others interested in promoting competition. Damages actions and collective redress often act as natural allies of more effective economic regulation and more efficient self-regulation, reinforcing the attitude of compliance on the part of companies by encouraging the prevention of legal risks that may arise from non-compliance. Any reflection on the intersecting themes of regulation, regulatory compliance and actions for damages and collective protection must value the experience of law in action, calling on the critical mass that accompanies matters of economic regulation and competition defence, adding national experience to the experience of other European countries and the European Union itself, but also to that of other reference legal systems, especially Anglo-Saxon ones, whose practice is inspiring for the European context. This line of research also includes the research project that has been developed in the field of judicial evidence, considering that evidential problems take on new dimensions in the context of the passage of information between regulators, intelligence agencies, criminal police agencies and criminal investigation holders, at the domestic level, but also at the cross-border level and not only in the European context. The research project encompasses the most general aspects of the theory of evidence and the dogmatic aspects of judicial evidence in the various regulated areas of economic activity, thus aiming to contribute to the development of an area of legal thought and practice that suffers from a lack of attention in civil law legal systems, compared to common law countries. It is a research project that involves ongoing articulations and partnerships with foreign research centres, which have already produced results in terms of national and foreign publications and scientific meetings in Portugal and abroad.

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Meet the researchers

CIDP’s team of researchers currently comprises 56 Integrated Researchers who hold a PhD, 59 Integrated Researchers who do not hold a PhD and 5 Collaborating Researchers.
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José Alves de Brito

Law degree (1998), Master in Law (2006) and PhD in Law (2017), currently holds the position of Auxiliary Professor in the Legal Sciences Group in Lisbon Law School. As an Intern University Assistant, and later on as University Assistant, he collaborated in Civil Procedure Law, Introduction to Legal Studies, Commercial Law and Contract Law. He is co-responsible for Insurance Law in Lisbon Law School master degree. Formerly a lawyer, he is the author of several articles in Civil Procedure Law and Insurance Law. He is Lusitania’s, Companhia de Seguros, SA, Ombudsman.

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Tiago Soares da Fonseca

Law degree (1998), master degree (2007) and PhD (2018) in Legal Sciences from the University of Lisbon School of Law. Is auxiliary Professor within the Legal Science Group of the Lisbon University Law School. At this School of Law, taught several disciplines namely, General Theory of Civil Law, Law of Obligations, Commercial Law, Property Law and Contract Law. He has held other functions in the same School Law, namely as a member of the Pedagogical Board (2001-2002) and hold a position at Bissau’s Law School, pursuant to a cooperation agreement between the Portuguese Republic and Guinea-Bissau and was responsible for General Theory of Civil Law and Commercial Law (2000-2001). Author ofseveral publication, among others O Direito de Exoneração do Sócio no Código das Sociedades Comerciais (2008) and A transação civil na litigância judicial e extrajudicial (2018). Lawyer, legal advisor and arbitrator.​

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Diogo Pereira Duarte

Professor of Law at the University of Lisbon, where he teaches General Theory of Civil Law, International Contracts and Law of Financial Technology (FinTech). He is a researcher at the Private Law Research Center (CIDP). Was a Guest Professor at the Faculty of Law of Eduardo Mondlane University (Maputo). He is also Professor at the Universidade Europeia (Laureate international). Outside the academy, he is General Counsel and Data Protection Officer at Banco de Investimento Global (BiG). Author and lecturer in the areas of Civil Law, Corporate Law and Labor Law. He has been researching the FinTech phenomenon, and co-organised the project “FinTech - challenges of financial technology (2017)”. He is member of the executive committee of the FinTech and Crowdfunding Conferences, the later co-organized by the CMVM and CIDP. He is also a collaborator of Portugal FinTech Association and the Governance Lab.​

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António Menezes Cordeiro

Law degree (1975), PhD (1985) with aggregation (1996) in Law, Full Professor of the Lisbon University School of Law and Dean of the Legal Sciences Group. Held several academic positions, namely as President of the Directive Council (1989-1991) and as President of the Scientific Council (1998-2001) of the Lisbon University School of Law. In the graduation course he has taught or is teaching the disciplines Theory of Law, Rights in rem, Law of Obligations, Introduction to the Study of Law, General Theory of Civil Law, Philosophy of Law, Law of Economics, Labor Law, Banking Law and Commercial Law. Author of more than three hundred publications. Among these works stand out Da boa fé (1984, seven reprints), Tratado de Direito Civil (11 volumes), Direito do trabalho, Direito Bancário, Direito Comercial, Direito das Sociedades, Direito dos Seguros and Tratado da Arbitragem. Director of Revista de Direito das Sociedades and of Revista de Direito Civil, Deputy Director of Revista O Direito and member of the Editing Committee of Revista da Ordem dos Advogados, of which he was Deputy Director from 1990 to 2010. Legal consultant, national and international arbitrator and lawyer, being a founding member of the law firm António Menezes Cordeiro & Associados. President of CIDP and IDP. Effective partner of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences (Academia das Ciências de Lisboa). President of the Arbitration Centreof the Portuguese Chamber ofCommerceand Industry (since 2016).

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Isabel Alexandre

Isabel Alexandre graduated in Law (1989) at the University of Lisbon, where she also obtained her Master's (1994) and PhD's (2012) degrees in Law.She was Senior Technician at CMVM – Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (Portuguese Securities Market Commission), Advisor to the Office of the Governor of Macao and Advisor to the Office of Judges of the Tribunal Constitucional (Portuguese Constitutional Court).She is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon and a Technical Consultant in the Legal Services Department of Banco de Portugal (Portuguese Central Bank).She is a member of the Board of Directors of the IVM – Instituto dos Valores Mobiliários.She has published several books and articles and is a speaker at conferences and courses, mainly in Civil Procedural Law.

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Luis Vasconcelos Abreu

I was born in Lisbon, in 1965. In 1988, I graduated in Law. Then, I completed a M.A. in Public Law, in 1993, and a M. A. in Private Law, in 1988. Later, the Ph.D., in Law, in 2015. I have twenty five publications in the field of Law. I have been teaching Law, namely at the Law School of the University of Lisbon, as well as working as an attorney-at-law. I have many years of experience in Banking Law. I have also experience as a supervisor and as a member of jury for M. A. thesis. I have worked as an arbitrator at “CAAD - Centro de Arbitragem Administrativa” and “CAL - Centro de Arbitragem de Litígios Civis, Comerciais e Administrativos”.

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José Ferreira Gomes

Professor of Lisbon University School of Law (FDUL), arbitrator and external counsel of the Portuguese Securities Market Commission. Doctorate in Law by the FDUL (2014), LL.M. by Columbia University (New York)(2004), andlicenciatura(law degree) by the Portuguese Catholic University School of Law (2001). WasVisiting Scholar and Research Fellowat Columbia University (2007-2008), researcher atMax-Planck-Institutfür ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht (Hamburg) and at Ludwig‑Maximilians-Universität München (Munich) (several periods from 2008 to 2013). Received several scholarships and research prizes from national and international institutions. Is a member of the Governance Lab, of the Private Law Institute (IDP) and of the Private Law Research Centre (CIDP) of the FDUL. Is also a member of the editorial board of theRevista de Direito das Sociedades, of the executive commission of theCódigo das Sociedades Comerciais Anotado, and of the board of directors of the Erasmus and International Relations Office of the FDUL. From 2001 to 2007, practiced law as an associate at Uría Menéndez (M&A, corporate and project finance); from 2008 to 2013 practiced law in individual practice; from 2008 to 2009 was counsel to the commission of the Portuguese Corporate Governance Institute (IPCG) that drafted the project for a Corporate Governance Code; from 2013 to 2014 was head of legal of the Issuers Department of the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM); in 2015 was counsel to the working group of the Bank of Portugal that drafted recommendations on corporate governance of banks. Drafts bills of law in commercial, company, banking and securities law, both in Portugal and in other Portuguese speaking countries. Its favourite research areas are civil and commercial law (business law), especially company, banking and securities law.​

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Francisco Mendes Correia

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon and also an Invited Professor in the Law and Business Master’s Programme at the Portuguese Catholic University. Francisco also works as a lawyer at Sérvulo & Associados. Francisco earned his Doctoral Degree in 2015 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where he teaches since 2006. Francisco is also a Post-Graduate in European Union Law at King’s College London. He is a member of Governance Lab and a researcher at the Centre of Investigation in Private Law (CIDP). His main research areas are Banking Law, Financial Law, Private Law and European Union Private Law.

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Teresa Quintela de Brito

Graduated (1988), Master (1996) and PhD (2013) in Law (Specialty: Juridical-Criminal Sciences), she is an Assistant Professor in the Legal Sciences Group of the Lisbon University Faculty of Law. He has also lectured at the Lusíada University of Lisbon (1988-1998) and at the Nova School of Law (2012-2018). In bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral degrees she was teacher responsible or co-responsible for the disciplines of Philosophy of Law, Criminal Law (theory of criminal law and theory of crime), Special Criminal Law, Economic and Financial Criminal Law, Criminal Law IV (Criminal liability of legal entities: substantive aspects), Criminal Procedural Law II and III (Procedural issues of criminal liability of legal entities I and II), Cybercrime and Digital Evidence. Researcher, speaker at conferences and post-graduate courses, legal consultant, and supervisor of dozens of scientific papers. Author of four monographs, more than fifty articles published in scientific journals and collective works, organizer, and co-author of several collective works. Member of the Editorial Committee of the Anatomia do Crime. Revista de Ciências Jurídico-Criminais and of the Revista de Concorrência & Regulação; permanent contributor to the Revista Portuguesa de Ciência Criminal and to the Lex Medicinae. Revista Portuguesa de Direito da Saúde; associate of the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences (FDUL) and of the Biomedical Law Centre (Coimbra Faculty of Law). Member of various working groups responsible for the preparation of legislative projects in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law and Penitentiary Law.

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Rui de Mascarenhas Ataíde

With a degree in Law (1982), a Master's (1999) and a Doctorate (2013) in Legal-Civil Sciences from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon (FDUL), he is Professor at FDUL, where, since 1992, he has been teaching Introduction to the Study of Law, Law of Obligations, Family Law, Law of Succession, Rights in Rem, Contract Law I and II in the Undergraduate Course. In the Master's Degree Course in Law and Legal Practice, he is responsible for the subjects of Registrations and Notarial Services and Civil Liability Law, and in the Master's Degree Courses in Law and Legal Science and Doctorate, he is co-responsible for the subject of Civil Law (Civil Liability) with Professor Luís Menezes Leitão. In the Doctorate Course, he also coordinated the subject of Introduction to Private Law. He cooperated with the Bissau Faculty of Law and with the Mandume Ya Ndemufayo University Faculty of Law (Lubango). He is a guest speaker on Postgraduate Courses, Legal Conferences and Congresses organised by FDUL, FDUC, Centro de Estudos Judiciários and Almedina. He also practiced law in the office of Professor José Dias Marques. He is the author of several monographs, scientific articles, notes and lessons, namely, Private contract law in the face of the present pandemic crisis. Some problems, in particular temporary economic impossibility, RFDUL (Lisbon Law Review), Número Temático: COVID-19 e o Direito, Ano LXI, 2020, N. º 1, pp. 675-709, Institutionalised arbitration of Consumer Law disputes: notes on the scope of application of Law No. 144/2015 of 08 September (Mechanisms of Extrajudicial Resolution of Consumer Disputes) (co-authored with Inês Sítima Craveiro), International Journal of Arbitration and Conciliation - Year XIII - 2020, pp. 37-86, "Unfair terms in the insurance contract" Civil Law Magazine, Year V (2020), 1, pp. 115-125, "Criteria for ascertaining negligent fault" (co-authored with Inês Sítima Craveiro), O Direito Magazine, Year 152, II (2020), pp. 343-355, Os deveres no tráfego, Estudos Comemorativos dos 50 Anos do Código Civil, Lisbon, 2019, Código das Sociedades Comerciais Anotado (coordination of Professor Doctor António Menezes Cordeiro), 3rd edition (collaboration with Professor António Menezes Cordeiro in the annotation to articles 172 to 174 and 242 - A to 242. Civil Liability for Breach of Duties in Traffic (2015, to be reprinted in 2019), Civil Liability of Supervisory Authorities and Financial Regulation (2017), "The substantive effects of the Land Registry", ROA, Ano 77 - Vol. I/II - Jan./Jun. 2017, The sale of consumer goods (2017), Land Registry Studies (2017), Possession and Detention (2015), Causation and objective imputation in the theory of civil liability (2010), The liability of the "represented" in tolled representation (2008). He has been President of the Board of the IDC/Association for the Study of Consumer Law at FDUL since July 2014.

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Ana Catarina Salgado

Graduate in Law (1999), Mestre (2007) and Ph.D (2016) in Law, is Assistant Professor of the Legal Sciences group of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon. She has held several cooperation functions under Protocols between the FDUL and several Mozambican institutions (2010-2017), namely those of Director of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Unizambeze (where the Law course was included) and Deputy Director for the Académica area, as well as the regency of several disciplines, both at Unizambeze and Eduardo Mondlane University, such as Special Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, Labor Law, Institutional Transport Law, Air Transport Law, Methodology and Research Project , Criminal Mediation and Arbitration Practices and General Theory of Civil Law. At the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, he taught subjects such as Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, Labor Law, Introduction to Law Study and Land Transport Law. She is the author of publications such as "Terrorism - The Legitimacy of a Forgotten Past" (in co-authorship - 2005); "From the legal regime of domestic violence practiced against women in Mozambican criminal law" (2010) and "The community courts in Mozambique" (2016). She is a lawyer and jurisconsult.

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Paulo de Sousa Mendes

Graduate in Law (1981), LL.M. (1987) and Ph.D. (2006). Professor at the University of Lisbon, where he has taught since 1981 Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence Law. Member of the Board of the Research Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Sciences (University of Lisbon). Member of the Scientific Council of the Research Centre for Latin-American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (University of Göttingen). Scholarships from FCT (Augsburg, Freiburg i. Br., Göttingen, Munich, Bielefeld, and Trento), DAAD (Munich, and Freiburg i. Br.), and MPI (Freiburg i. Br.). Former Head of the Antitrust Department (2013-2016) and of the Legal Department (2009-2013) of the Portuguese Competition Authority. Former Professor at the Portuguese Military Academy (2006-2009). Former member of the Portuguese Committee for the Reformation of the Penal Code and the Penal Procedural Code (2005-2007). Former member of the Supervision Committee for the Portuguese Intelligence Services (1998-1999). Former lawyer of the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (1998-2006).

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Luís Lima Pinheiro

Full Professor at the Law School of the University of Lisbon, teaching Private International Law, Introduction to the Study of Law, Civil Law and International Business Law in the graduation, master and Ph. D. courses. Additionally, he as acted as legal consultant and arbitrator. He is author of many books and articles on the subject matters of Private International Law, International Civil Procedure, International Business Law, International Arbitration, Transport Law and Civil Law, including a 3 volumes textbook on Private International Law with several editions. He gave conferences and taught post-graduation courses in many foreign countries and in other Portuguese Schools in matters concerning Private International Law, International Business Law, Arbitration Law and the legal cooperation with Portuguese speaking countries. He is President of the Center of Arbitration and Dispute Resolution of the Law School of the University of Lisbon. He was the first President of the Portuguese Arbitration Association and is member of the Harvard Club of Portugal, of the International Academy of Comparative Law/Académie international de droit comparé, and of the GigaNet.

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Luís Menezes Leitão

Luís Menezes Leitão holds a Law degree (1986), a Master's degree (1991) and a PhD (1998) with Aggregation (2005) in Law at the University of Lisbon School of Law. He has conducted research in several foreign universities, namely in Germany, Italy, France and the United States. He has participated in numerous congresses and seminars, and held courses and conferences in Portugal, the United States, Italy, Brazil, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Timor-Leste. He is currently Full Professorat the University of Lisbon School of Law, where he has been teaching, among other subjects, Civil Law (Law of Obligations and Contracts Law); Labour Law and Information Society Law. He was President of the Directive Council of theSchool of Law (2002-2004)and he also served as a member of the Centre for Fiscal Studies of the General Directorate of Taxes. He is a lawyer and legal consultant. He has authored many studies and articles in the areas of Law of Obligations, Commercial Law, Real Rights, Labour Law and Information Society Law. Among these areDireito das Obrigações (3 vols.), O ensino do Direito das Obrigações, A Responsabilidade do Gestor perante o Dono do Negócio no Direito Civil Português, O Enriquecimento sem Causa no Direito Civil, Cessão de Créditos, Garantias das Obrigações, A Indemnização de Clientela no Contrato de Agência, Código do Trabalho Anotado, Código da Insolvência e da Recuperação de Empresas Anotado and Estudos de Direito Fiscal.

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João Gomes de Almeida

Assistant professor at the University of Lisbon School of Law, where he earned his Undergraduate (2002), Master (2011) and Doctoral (2017) degrees in Legal Sciences. He has been teaching various curriculum units of the Bachelor’s programme of the University of Lisbon School of Law since 2006, with an emphasis on Private International Law and Civil Procedure Law. He is responsible for the curriculum unit Direito Processual Civil (avançado) [Advanced Civil Procedure Law] in the Master in Juridical-Civil Sciences programme of the Lusíada University of Lisbon Faculty of Law. He has published various works, namely Divórcio em Direito Internacional Privado [Divorce in Private International Law] and Direito de Conflitos Sucessório: Alguns problemas [The Law Applicable to Succession Matters: Some Questions]. He is a member of the Pedagogical Board and the Private Law Research Center of the University of Lisbon School of Law. He is a law consultant as well.

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Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Lisboa
Alameda da Universidade, Cidade Universitária
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