When the Court Buildings Close: The Use of Technologies During COVID‐19 in Portugal





Courts, COVID-19, Technologies, Courts' Performance, Portugal


The coronavirus outbreak showed the critical importance and usefulness of a robust technical infrastructure and end-to-end digital processes in the judicial system. Although some application difficulties and limitations were observed during this crisis, the modernization of the Portuguese judicial system was a key element to safeguard the continuity of the functioning of courts. This short article aims to analyse the implementation and use of technologies in the Portuguese courts, as an alternative mode of delivering and maintaining court service within the context of the COVID-19 crisis. For this purpose, several steps are made, namely the characterization of the modernization level of the Portuguese judicial system and the collection and critical analysis of the legal framework, concerning the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the judicial bodies of governance. Additionally, the analysis relies on the results of a questionnaire and interviews applied to the judicial professions and on official statistical information regarding the functioning of Portuguese courts during the periods of confinement. Final remarks will preview different paths for the future needs of courts in terms of upgrading the use of technologies to contribute to a better, swift, fair, and trustworthy justice.




How to Cite

Casaleiro, P., Dias, J. P., Queirós, F., & Jesus, F. (2022). When the Court Buildings Close: The Use of Technologies During COVID‐19 in Portugal. University of Bologna Law Review, 7(2), 241–262. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2531-6133/16561