Develop studies on sanctioning policies in socio-normative areas particularly lacking in analysis, reflection and systematisation.


Prevention policies
Legislative reforms
Administrative offences

Participating Institutions to which the research group belongs

NOVA School of Law


Maria Teresa Couceiro Pizarro Beleza (Principal Investigator)
Frederico Augusto Gaio de Lacerda da Costa Pinto
Ana Bárbara Pina de Morais de Sousa e Brito
Helena Maria Matias Pereira de Melo
Nuno José Cardoso da Silva Piçarra

Doctoral Students:

Maria Elena Burgoa y Arenales Macedo Dias
Francisco Miguel da Trindade e Silva Borges
Helena Paula Magalhães Bolina
Helena Cláudia de Faria Guimarães
Luciana Lois Santos Rodrigues
Maria Manuel da Costa Simões
Núbia Nascimento Alves
Sandra Inês Ferreira Feitor


Maria Teresa Quintela de Brito Prazeres da Silva
Maria Teresa de Quadros Ribeiro Serra

Research Group Structure:

I. New times, new crimes, new criminal laws?
Team Leader: Teresa Pizarro Beleza
Team: Teresa Pizarro Beleza, Nuno Piçarra, Frederico Lacerda da Costa Pinto, Teresa Quintela de Brito, Teresa Serra, Francisco Borges, Helena Bolina, Maria Manuel Simões

II. Misdemeanour Observatory
Head: Frederico Costa Pinto;
Team: Teresa Pizarro Beleza, Nuno Piçarra, Frederico Lacerda da Costa Pinto, Teresa Quintela de Brito, Teresa Serra, Francisco Borges, Helena Bolina, Maria Manuel Simões, Sandra Inês Feitor.

III. Group of Professors of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedural Law Jorge de Figueiredo Dias: online group
Leader: Teresa Pizarro Beleza
Team: Teresa Pizarro Beleza, Frederico Costa Pinto

Research Group Objectives:

Criminalia is a research group in Law and Criminal Sciences and related subjects that brings together professors, researchers and doctoral students with curricula and projects in these fields. The Group is directed by Teresa Pizarro Beleza and aims to develop studies on sanctioning policies in socio-normative areas that are particularly in need of analysis, reflection and systematization. Each of the proposed thematic lines has specific objectives to which it refers.

PROPOSED THEMATIC LINES: 3 thematic lines are proposed:


In recent decades new social practices that pose dangers or harm to people have become more visible or emerged. In some cases, what was hidden or tolerated has become publicly and legally censored. Think of human trafficking, stalking, identity theft, bullying, online bullying, child grooming, sexting, sex slavery, forced labour and begging, mobbing, parental kidnapping, smart shops, domestic violence, maltreatment, organ trafficking, destruction of embryos, new sexual assaults or online defamation. This project aims to study the socio-normative characteristics of these forms of aggression and to consider the need to create new legal types of crimes or new forms of prevention.


(1) Report: study of relevant situations and suggestion of measures for legislative reform and new prevention policies.
(2) External collaboration: links will be established with the judiciary, victim protection associations or educational associations.
(3) Colloquium: The new forms of crime against individuals and the (possible and impossible) responses of the criminal justice system.
(4) Publication of the proceedings of the symposium.



In the last 30 years, Mere Social Order Law has probably been the branch of Law which has grown the most. The legislative power has extended the sanctioning of administrative offences to all social and economic sectors. New types of infractions have been created, the main and accessory sanctions have been increased, different procedural models have been adopted, defence guarantees have been debated and sanctioning powers have been attributed to very different entities. All this took place on the basis of specific and autonomous legislative impulses and the study of these matrices of transformation and development has never been carried out in a complete and systematised manner. It is essential to know all the dimensions of this legislative intervention, to identify the matrixes of the solutions, to verify the existing asymmetries and to put into perspective possible reform horizons.

(1) LegisCord: constitution of a systematised collection of misdemeanour legislation (to document the diversity of existing regimes);
(2) JurisCord: constitution of a systematised collection of case law on misdemeanours (to identify the main problems and document the answers given);
(3) Colloquium: Current problems and reform trends in misdemeanour law;
(4) Publication of the proceedings of the colloquium;
(5) Publication of a book on The situation of mere administrative offence law: models, influences and lines of evolution.


From an initiative by Teresa Pizarro Beleza, the Jorge de Figueiredo Dias Group of Professors of Criminal Law and Procedure was created in 2010. In October 2012, the Group met for the first time at Nova-Direito: with a session dedicated to doctoral students in criminal sciences, where research projects were presented, and a colloquium on Multiculturalism and Criminal Law. The book containing these texts will be published in January 2014 (Almedina). In 2013, a Facebook page of the Group was launched, which will allow the exchange of information and the launch of initiatives. The page needs to be monitored on an IT level and fed with specialised content.

Objectives: Develop the Jorge de Figueiredo Dias Group’s page, ensuring its maintenance, graphic and computer quality and the dissemination of specialized content in the area of Criminal Sciences.