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Accepted Paper:

Mapping the multicultural jurisprudence of Portuguese courts  
Ximene Rêgo (University of Minho)Ines Granja (University of Minho)

Paper short abstract:

Portugal's case-law is promising as a case-study on multicultural jurisprudence, despite absent from international comparative studies on the matter. InclusiveCourts project seeks to bridge this gap by looking into the practice of Portuguese courts in cases involving cultural arguments.

Paper long abstract:

When faced with cases falling under the heading of 'multicultural jurisprudence', domestic courts are often required to use concepts such as race, culture, ethnicity and religion, and to balance the principle of equality with cultural difference. Portugal's case-law is particularly promising as a case-study on multicultural jurisprudence, given its relatively recent status as an immigration country (and as a multicultural society) and the widespread conviction that it is an immigrant friendly country that favors integration and intercultural dialogue. Yet, Portugal remains absent from international comparative studies on the matter. InclusiveCourts research project (JUSGOV & CRIA) seeks to bridge this gap by looking into the practice of Portuguese courts in cases involving minorities and/or cultural arguments.

A mixed methods research project has been designed, including a detailed mapping and review of Portuguese jurisprudence (1976-2021), the running of five focus groups with the main legal stakeholders (which included judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and NGO representatives); and, specifically regarding the familiarity of judges with cultural arguments used in court, we applied a questionnaire and conducted in-depth interviews with judges and prosecutors.

Data analysis shed light on openness to cultural arguments and evidence and on the weight that judicial actors accord both in their rulings.

Panel P156
Law and Culture in Court