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Standing committees

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees (CACDLG) is responsible for:

– Addressing questions concerning the interpretation or application of constitutional precepts;
– Handling all matters concerning the fundamental rights and obligations enshrined in the Constitution and the law, in all matters pertaining to the areas of competence of this Committee, as defined by the Conference of Parliamentary Committee Chairpersons, namely:

  • Rights, freedoms and guarantees (all those listed under Title II of Part I of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, in particular, rights of personality, apart from those mentioned in Chapter III – Workers’ rights, freedoms and guarantees – and those relating to the media);
  • Justice, social reintegration and prison matters;
  • Internal administration, including electoral matters, namely concerning the exercise of voting and referendum rights – without prejudice to cooperation with the competent committee in matters concerning the electoral system and the statute of local government officials – and civil protection matters, without prejudice to the competence of other committees with respect to forest fires;
  • Legal regimes relating to immigration, asylum and refugees, migration, integration and intercultural dialogue;
  • European area of freedom, security and justice;
  • Human rights;
  • Citizenship, equality and non-discrimination, tackling violence against women and domestic violence and combating human trafficking;
  • Protection of children and young people at risk and the elderly, without prejudice to the necessary cooperation with the Committee on Employment, Social Security and Inclusion, which also has functional competences in this area;
  • Legal schemes governing citizens’ right to petition and legislative initiative by citizens;
  • Definition of sanction regimes in sectoral areas, without prejudice to the main competence of the parliamentary committee that is competent for the matter in question in each case, namely in the field of road safety, through the processing of legislative initiatives revising or amending the Highway Code, without prejudice to the competence of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Public Works, Planning and Housing;
  • To monitor, supervise and pronounce itself on the action of the Government and the Administration in the areas under the political responsibility of the Ministers of the Presidency, in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister and for Parliamentary Affairs Justice, and Home Affairs.

In the performance of its duties, the Committee is responsible for:

– Issuing opinions on questions of interpretation of the Constitution;
– Issuing opinions on the constitutionality of bills and other parliamentary initiatives, when asked to do so by the President of the Assembleia da República or other standing parliamentary committees, and producing the corresponding opinions;
– Issuing opinions on conflicts of competence between committees at the request of the President of the Assembleia da República;
– Considering bills, draft resolutions and rules of procedure submitted to it by the President of the Assembleia da República and producing the corresponding opinions;
– Considering questions of procedure and issuing opinions on the interpretation and implementation of rules and remediation of shortcomings in the Rules of Procedure when so requested by the President of the Assembleia da República, the Bureau or the Plenary;
– Considering and voting on the details of texts that the Plenary has passed with respect to the general principles, as well as any draft amendments, as provided for in Article 168 of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure;
– Considering petitions addressed to the Assembleia da República falling within its competences and falling within the remit of the Committee;
– Monitoring, considering and pronouncing itself on Portugal’s participation in the process of constructing the European Union and on European initiatives falling within its areas of competence, as laid down in the Constitution and the law;
– Proposing to the President of the Assembleia da República the holding in Plenary of debates on topics falling within its areas of competence so that the Conference of Leaders can rule on their timeliness and interest, and appointing a rapporteur if the proposal is approved;
– Setting up the panel for the Human Rights Award of the Assembleia da República and considering applications submitted to it (pursuant to Resolution of the Assembleia da República no. 69/98 of 10 December 1998, as amended by Resolution of the Assembleia da República no. 48/2002 of 20 July 2002, and the Award Regulations);
– Setting up, together with the Committee on Education and Science, the panel for the António Barbosa de Melo Prize for Parliamentary Studies and considering the applications submitted to it (pursuant to Order of the President of the Assembleia da República no. 56/XIII of 15 September 2017);
– Drawing up, by the end of each legislative session, its draft activity plan and the respective draft budget for the following legislative session, for submission to the President of the Assembleia da República for consideration;
– Drawing up and passing its regulations.

The concurrent competence of other standing parliamentary committees for the matter in question limits this Committee’s work to issues of constitutionality and protection of fundamental rights.