Research & Development Centre on Law and Society

CEDIS is one of the first Portuguese research units in the field of law. Its creation came with NOVA School of Law foundation.

With a pluralist vision of law in contemporary society, CEDIS has an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to legal research, an international network with European and Portuguese-speaking countries, researchers from diverse backgrounds and an open access orientation. CEDIS was stablished as a research centre on law and society, reflecting NOVA School of Law’s approach to legal studies.

The research that CEDIS currently undertakes is organised in the following areas of law and society:

  • Criminal Law
  • Equality Law
  • Law and History
  • Law and Politics
  • Law and Religion
  • Law and Security
  • Law, Interculturalism and Lusophony
  • Private Law
  • Procedural Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Transitional Justice
  • Tax and Social Security Law.


The mission of CEDIS is to promote quality and innovation in legal education and in socio-legal studies research, to enrich and update the library of the NOVA School of Law, to provide the community with free access to legal documents and to support the creation and development of interfaces between research activities and community services.

In order to fulfil its mission, CEDIS develops its activities around the following themes:

  • The study of law in its relations with society, promoting a multidisciplinary awareness of law and society by integrating legal and non-legal approaches to research and by opening up to methods of legal analysis developed by or in collaboration with other fields of knowledge, with an emphasis on social sciences, including economics;
  • The study of new or emerging legal realities, such as transnational legal phenomena, alternative forms of dispute resolution, or new issues in the regulation of intellectual property and competition law;
  • Bringing to the forefront the study of the practical application of law;
  • Support the implementation of a new academic and teaching model, based on two-way communication and student participation in research activities;
  • Support projects aimed to provide community services;
  • To raise the international profile of Portuguese legal studies.

As part of its mission, CEDIS also seeks to strengthen the link between teaching and research by involving undergraduate and postgraduate students in its research teams, especially students in Law and Law & Security doctoral programmes.

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