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Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Legal Methodology and Research


The main intention of the present seminar is to explore the connections between Law and methodic discourses: on one hand, mapping the most significant challenges of legal contemporary thinking, on the other hand, providing students with the indispensable tools and the adequate knowledge to construct their research program.



Level of Qualification|Semesters|ECTS

| Semestral | 7,5

Year | Type of course unit | Language

1 |Mandatory |Português



Recommended complementary curricular units

Introduction to Law, Philosophy of Law and Legal Methodology (1st cycle)

Professional Internship



Introduction/ Law and the discours of Methods

Part I/ Research methods (oficina juris) . Some possible problems: (a) Research planning: the choice of the subject-matter and the bibliographical research; (b) The general scheme and the choice of method: internal and external configuration of the general scheme; methodical options about the written formulation (the indispensable circularity); how to solve research problems; how to understand originality and relevance; (c) The problem of the bibliographic treatment; (d) Reflections on different aspects of the intended investigation, particularly its ethical dimension. The problem of plagiarism.

Part II/ Legal methodology and the challenges of contemporary legal thinking.

1.         Is a ' Legal Method ' today possible? 

2.         The plurality of legally relevant interpretative communities and the types of rationality.

3.         The problem of jurisdictional adjudication methodologically conceived. The outcomes of interpretation.


Students are supposed to understand the role of the judge (and his/her modus operandi) in our present circumstances and to develop their ability to conduct academic research.

Teaching methodologies and assessment

Discussion considering different texts and problems.The original paper is developped in the context of the second part themes (concerning Legal Methodology). Assessment: discussion in seminars, 30%; paper, 70%.


[segunda parte] NEVES, A, Castanheira (1993), Metodologia Jurídica. Problemas Fundamentais, Coimbra, Coimbra Editora

BRONZE, Fernando J. (2012),  Analogias, Coimbra: Coimbra Editora

LINHARES, J M (2017), O binómio casos fáceis/casos difíceis e a categoria de inteligibilidade sistema jurídico. Um contraponto indispensável no mapa do discurso jurídico contemporâneo?, Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.

[primeira parte] BELL, J., Como realizar um projecto de investigação, Lisboa: Gradiva, 2008.

COSTA, José de Faria, Minimae Leges Artis Jurisprudentiae, Texto não publicado, mas já disponibilizado, em formato PDF pelo seu autor.

PEREIRA, Alexandre/POUPA, Carlos, Como escrever uma tese, 5.ª ed., Lisboa: Editora Sílabo, 2012.

 LOVITTS, B. and WERT, E. Developing Quality Dissertations in the Social Sciences: A Graduate Student's Guide to Achieving Excellence,  Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2009.

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