Certain decisions taken in foreign courts or administrative authorities must be reviewed and confirmed by the Portuguese Courts.

Apart from what is established in treaties, conventions, regulations of the European Union and special laws, no decision on private rights, issued by a foreign court, takes effect in Portugal, whatever the nationality of the parties, without being reviewed and confirmed. Thus, Article 978 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides.

(It is not necessary to review when the decision is invoked in a pending case in the Portuguese courts, as a simple means of proof subject to the judgment of who is to judge the case.)

The most current review and confirmation processes are actions:

Statutory Union deed (de facto union was confirmed by Public Deed of declaration of stable union)

- Divorce decree (the spouses divorced in another country)

- Adoption decree (Adoption took place in a country other than Portugal)

- Regulation of Parental Responsibilities (the agreement on its exercise was regulated in another country).

But all decisions (sentences) taken abroad that need to be effective in Portugal need to be reviewed and confirmed in Portugal such as civil convictions, conviction in damages, etc.

For the review and confirmation, the Court of Appeal of the area in which the person against whom the judgment is intended to be domiciled is competent, observing with the necessary adaptations the provisions of articles 80 to 82 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

In order for the sentence to be confirmed, it is necessary to:

- That there is no doubt as to the authenticity of the document containing the decision or the intelligence of the decision;

- That it has become final in accordance with the law of the country in which it was issued;

- That comes from foreign court whose competence has not been provoked in fraud to the law and is not on matter of the exclusive competence of the Portuguese courts;

- That the exception of lis pendens or res judicata can not be invoked on the grounds of a Portuguese court, except if it was the foreign court that prevented the jurisdiction;

- That the defendant has been regularly summoned for the action, under the law of the country of the court of origin, and that in the proceeding the principles of the adversary and the equality of the parties have been observed;

- That it does not contain a decision whose recognition leads to a result manifestly incompatible with the principles of the international public order of the Portuguese State.

- Having processed the process in our office, the Initial petition is prepared and will be presented to the Court of Appeal, with the document that includes the decision to be reviewed, among other complementary documents.

- When the application is lodged, the opposing party is summoned to file its opposition within 15 days.

- The applicant may respond within 10 days of notification of the opposition.

- However, if both parties are in agreement, the application is lodged by both parties as applicants, and there is no room for challenge, making the procedure faster.

Note: If it is not an urgent procedure, it is suspended on legal holidays.



Bi-lingue (English and Portuguese).

Clara Isabel Leite



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