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Consultative Council of the Prosecutor General's Office

The Prosecutor General’s Office performs consultative functions through its Consultative Council, which is a panel-structured body composed of the Prosecutor General (who presides) and 9 other members [articles 36(2) of the Statute of the Public Prosecution Service/SPPS; 3 of the Ministerial Decision No. 265/99 of 12 April 1999] recruited from among deputy prosecutors general, members of the Judiciary and of the Public Prosecution Service, as well as from among other jurists applying thereto (article 128 of the SPPS).

The powers granted to this consultative body, which concern exclusively the legal analysis and legality matters, are laid down in article 37 of the SPPS.

The opinions rendered by the Consultative Council play a relevant role in the consistency of case-law and in the clarification of law matters in the sense that:

— after ratification by the entities who have requested them or to whose sector the matter relates, the Consultative Council legal opinions on general provisions are published in the II Series of the «Diário da República» (official gazette) in order to produce effects as the official interpretation, before the respective services, of the matters that they are intended to enlighten (article 43 of the SPPS).

— The Prosecutor General may decide that the doctrine comprised in the Consultative Council legal opinions is to be followed and upheld by members of the Public Prosecution Service. Public prosecutors are thus bound to lodge an appeal against any jurisdictional decision that is contrary to that doctrine, which allows case-law to be consistent (article 42 of the SPPS).

The Consultative Council’s opinions are gathered in a free-access database.