Research Lines

CIDP has decided to structure its activities for the period 2023-2028 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.

Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Private Law

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. João Marques Martins

Earned his Bachelor's degree (2004) and PhD (2016) in Law from the University of Lisbon – Law School, where he is Assistant Professor. He has lectured Commercial Law and Contracts Law (Bachelor's programme) as well as International Contracts, Comparative Law and Port/Airport Law (Master's programme). João Marques Martins has published papers on Tort Law, Civil Procedure Law and Bioethics, as well as the book "Prova por Presunções Judiciais na Responsabilidade Civil Aquiliana" (2017), which corresponds to his PhD thesis.

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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.

Associated Projects

New Perspectives of Corporate Governance

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Ana Perestrelo de Oliveira

Graduated (2005) and PhD (2011) in Law, she is an Associate Professor in the Legal Sciences group at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, where she has taught the subjects of Commercial Law, Company Law, Securities Law and General Theory of Civil Law, in undergraduate and master’s courses. Lawyer and legal consultant, partner at Eduardo Paz Ferreira & Associados. Researcher at the Research Centre for Private Law. Member of the editorial board of the Revista de Direito das Sociedades, of the executive committee of the Annotated Commercial Companies Code and of the coordinating committee of the editorial board of the Revista Concorrência & Regulação. Member of the Management Committee of the Resolution Fund — Banco de Portugal. Member of the list of arbitrators of the Commercial Arbitration Centre of the Lisbon Commercial Association and the Commercial Arbitration Institute of the Porto Commercial Association. Member of several working groups responsible for preparing legislative projects in the areas of economic, corporate and financial law, in Portugal, Guinea, Cape Verde and Angola. Author of several articles and monographs and speaker at conferences and postgraduate courses, especially in the areas of commercial, corporate and securities law, economic law and arbitration.

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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.

Associated Projects

Diversity, Harmonization and Unification of Private Law

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Dário Moura Vicente

Dário Moura Vicente was born in Lisbon in 1962. He holds a PhD and Aggregation in Law from the University of Lisbon, of which he is a Full Professor.

He has taught, among other subjects, General Theory of Civil Law, Law of Obligations, Comparative Law, Private International Law, International Commercial Law, Copyright and Industrial Property Law. He was Vice-President of the Directive Council of the Faculty of Law, President of the Institute for Legal Cooperation and President of its Scientific Council. He is, since 2023, President of the Private Law Research Centre.

A lawyer in Lisbon since 1987, he has served as an arbitrator, lawyer, and expert in numerous arbitration proceedings.

He is the President of the Portuguese Intellectual Property Law Society, an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a Member of the Hispano-Luso-American Institute of International Law. Vice-President of the Deutsch-Lusitanische Juristenvereinigung. President of the General Assembly and member of the Scientific Council of the European Association of Private International Law (EAPIL).

Main scientific publications: Da arbitragem comercial internacional: Direito aplicável ao mérito da causa (1990); Da responsabilidade pré-contratual em Direito Internacional Privado (2001); Direito Internacional Privado: Ensaios (4 vols., 2002-2018); La propriété intellectuelle en droit international privé (2009); A tutela internacional da propriedade intelectual (2nd ed., 2019); Direito Comparado (vol. I, 5th ed., 2021; vol. II, 2017); Comparative Law of Obligations (2021).

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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.

Associated Projects

Foundations of Private Law

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Paula Costa e Silva

Graduate, Master, Doctor with Aggregation in Law at the University of Lisbon School of Law, with a specialisation in Legal Sciences, Paula Costa e Silva is Full Professor of the University of Lisbon School of Law.

She is also a Member of the Editorial Board of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation;
Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Commercial Arbitration Center of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

President of the Institute of Brazilian Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon;

Chairman of the Board of the Portuguese Securities Institute;

Referee (HKIAC, SCIA, CAM-CCBC) and Jurisconsult and Lawyer registered with the Portuguese and Brazilian Bar Association.


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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.

Associated Projects

New Perspectives on Regulation, Compliance and Private Enforcement

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. 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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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.

Associated Projects


A total of 21 Research Projects have been approved by the Board of Directors to be developed within the scope of CIDP’s different thematic lines in the period 2024-2029.
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Master’s and PhD Scholarships

The scholarships awarded annually by CIDP aim to promote research in the scientific areas defined as main objects of study by the Centre’s Research Lines.
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Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Lisboa
Alameda da Universidade, Cidade Universitária
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