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Support to the courts

Judicial archives

The judicial archives are the part of the courts charged with receiving, handling and communicating concluded cases and further documents produced or received during the judicial function.


Law 62/2013, of August 26th, concerning the Organization of Judicial System, states in article 142 that the following cases are considered ready for archiving:

a) Civil cases, three months after the final decision has been passed into judgement
b) Penal cases, three months after the absolving decision or any other final noncondemning decision or decision terminating the penalty or security measure has been passed into judgement
c) Cases in which the instance is interrupted
d) Enquiry cases, three months after the archiving dispatch
e) Any further cases under the Public Prosecution, whenever they reach their conclusion.

and considers, in paragraph 2 of the same article, that "cases, books and papers go to the court archive after the prosecutor's inspection and the CORREIÇÃO as the case may be, by the prosecutor or judge, without prejudice to cases in which the filing is automatically ensured by the computer system, without need for judicial or secretary intervention."

Depending on the judicial secretariats, the archives are organized upstream, with the case sections, and downstream, with the national archiving institutions, namely the National Archive of Torre do Tombo and with the District Archives, whither shall go, according to article 3, paragraph 1 sub-paragraph c) of Decree-Law 149/83, of April 5th and Portaria 368/2013 of December 24th, those cases or documents that, because of the importance of their probatory or informative value, are deemed worthy of permanent conservation.

Within a context heavily characterised by the hypertrophy of the judicial documentation, the Directorate-General of Justice Administration has been giving particular attention to initiatives that, while pursuing goals in terms of the organization of the judicial archives, also seek to restore the selective documental flow between the judicial institutions and the national archiving institutions, thus striving to respond to the problems resulting from the increase in the volume of documents and to safeguard a legacy that is acknowledged as relevant, both from the side of the rights of the citizens and the State, as from the side of the preservation of the collective memory.

DGAJ provides information on Incorporation into District Archives and elimination of documents, legislation on judicial archives, memos on judicial archives and judicial funds incorporated into District Archives.

For further information please contact Francisco Sampaio by email francisco.j.sampaio@dgaj.mj.pt

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