Methodology of Law

Academic year
Subject Area
Philosophical Legal
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Theoretical legal acknowledge acquired in the 1st. cycle of studies is required, as well as reading of legal sources in  the main European languages.

Teaching Methods

Exposition, exploration and discussion of themes starting from recommended and accompanied readings, in seminar, and consequent oral and written presentation of written commentaries of selected texts, and elaboration of autonomous works under orientation, with oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

In this course, under the theme Application, Decision, Judgment ... : alternative paradigms of concrete realization of law, different paths will be covered, related to different comprehensions of the concrete realization of law, namely the modus operandi of the judge, in a critical-reflexive concentration, from a specific jurisprudentialist perspective, with its specific understanding of the autonomy of law and of legal rationality, and its specific "methodical scheme", to be confronted with other perspectives, said to be normativists, on the one hand, and functionalists, on the other.

Work Placement(s)



1. The jurisprudencialist perspectivation of legal methodology

1.1. The presupposition of the sense of law

1.2. The problematic field of ​​legal methodology

1.3. The practical-jurisprudential rationale

2. Dialogue with normativist and functionalist alternatives:

2.1. Normativist Methodical Model(s): the paradigm (s) of application

2.2 .Functionalist  Methodical Model(s): the paradigm (s) of the decision

2.3. Jurisprudencialist Methodical Model(s): the paradigm of judgment

2.3.1 . Proposal for a methodical scheme for the concrete realization of law . The dialectics system-problem . The analogical reasoning – characterization . Methodical model:

2.3.2 . The autonomous  normative-methodological relevance of the foundations and of the results of adjudication

3. Critical reflection: between application , decision and judgment ...

Head Lecturer(s)

Ana Margarida Simões Gaudêncio

Assessment Methods

Research work: 100.0%


A. Castanheira Neves, Metodologia Jurídica. Problemas fundamentais, Coimbra Editora, 1993

ID., O actual problema metodológico da interpretação jurídica, Coimbra Editora, 2003

ID., Digesta, Coimbra Editora, vols. I e II, 1995, e vol. III, 2008

ID., “O direito como validade”, Revista de Legislação e Jurisprudência, 143, n.º 3984, 2014

F. J. Bronze, Lições de Introdução ao Direito, 2.ª Ed., Coimbra Editora, 2006

ID., Pensamento jurídico (Teoria da Argumentação), Coimbra, 2003

ID., Analogias, Coimbra Editora, 2012

J. M. Linhares, “Na ‘coroa de fumo’ da teoria dos princípios: poderá um tratamento dos princípios como normas servir-nos de guia?”in F. Alves Correia/J. Machado/J.C. Loureiro (Ed.), Estudos em Homenagem ao Prof. Doutor José Joaquim Gomes Canotilho, III, Coimbra Editora, 2012

R. Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs, Harvard University Press, 2011

H. Hart, The Concept of Law, Oxford University Press, 1961, 1994

R. Alexy, Theorie der juristischen Argumentation, Suhrkamp, 1978, 1983