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Department of Judicial Cooperation and International Relations


The Department of Judicial Cooperation and International Relations (DJCIR) has been established under the new Statute of the Public Prosecution Service (SPPS), approved by Act 68/2019, of 27 August 2019, and entered into force on 1 January 2020. It operates under the authority of the Prosecutor General’s Office and, in accordance with Article 54(1) of the Statute, it is incumbent upon this Department to ensure international judicial cooperation and to afford support to the Prosecutor General’s Office in the field of international relations.

DJCIR is responsible for carrying out the functions of the central authority in the field of international judicial cooperation in criminal matters which, in accordance with Article 21(1) of the Act on International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters (Act 144/99, of 31 August 1999), are conferred upon the Prosecutor General’s Office. It is incumbent on the aforesaid Department to, inter alia: lay the groundwork, at administrative level, for such cooperation cases handled; perform the duties of National Correspondent for EUROJUST and of contact point for the European Judicial Network in criminal matters, as well as for other judicial cooperation networks; assist public prosecutors with the preparation and execution of international judicial cooperation requests; give impetus to and coordinate the Public Prosecutors’ national network for international judicial cooperation; and collect and process information on the implementation of international and EU legal instruments in this field.

In the scope of international relations, it is incumbent on the DJCIR to provide support to the activity of the Prosecutor General’s Office in matters of international representation, to monitor the implementation of international agreements and protocols, in particular, with Public Prosecution Services of other countries and to ensure participation in international meetings by providing support and assistance to the experts appointed to participate therein.

The Department also assists in legal matters, collects, processes and disseminates legal information and carries out studies, especially in the field of EU, foreign, international and human rights law. It has a translation service which affords support to the activity of Public Prosecution Service, in particular in the context of cases where international judicial cooperation in criminal matters is sought and in the context of the representation of the Portuguese State before the European Court of Human Rights. Furthermore, it provides information not only on Portuguese law applicable to a particular criminal case, when requested by a foreign judicial authority, but also on foreign law, when requested by a Portuguese judicial authority.

DJCIR is headed by a Deputy Prosecutor General or by a District Prosecutor, a post filled under Article 167 of the SPPS. Its internal organisation and staff regime shall be defined in specific statutory provisions.