CEDIS members have been actively contributing to directly influencing global, European and national public policies and legislative processes. They have been producing a number of specialised studies and policy reports for governments, NGOs, as well as European institutions (European Commission and European Parliament), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Portuguese National Contact Point on Responsible Business Conduct, civil society organisations and NGOs such as Oxfam, IMVF, Caminhos de Infância, etc. Here are a few examples:

  • A1) Helena MELO has been serving on key bioethics and biolaw committees in Portugal. She has been contributing to significant legislative initiatives, such as the committee that revised the Basic Health Law, and has also played an active role in assisting the Minister of Health in drafting relevant legislation.
  • A1) João Zenha MARTINS has been representing Portugal in various organisations and participated in the drafting of various pieces of legislation related to labour law.
  • A3) In 2023, a new United Nations mechanism to search for the missing in Syria was voted on and approved by the General Assembly. This mechanism is the result of Jeremy Sarkin’s (CEDIS) work with Syrian NGOs since 2020 and his book on the need for such a mechanism and how it could work. The mechanism will be established soon and will help determine the fate and whereabouts of the possibly 1 million people in Syria who have been detained and disappeared since 2011.
  • A5) In 2022, the European Commission published a Draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, also known as the Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence Directive. This was a historic moment for the field of human rights and business, ESG and the search for sustainable and responsible businesses that respect human rights, decent work and environmental standards along the global value chain. The Directive is based on a study co-authored by Claire Bright (CEDIS): European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, Torres-Cortés, F.; Salinier, C.; Deringer, H.; Bright, Claire et al., Study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain – Final report, EU Publications, 2020, This study focuses on due diligence requirements to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights abuses, including children’s rights and fundamental freedoms, serious physical and health risks and environmental damage, including climate change.
  • A6) Athina SACHOULIDOU was part of a European Commission High Level Group on access to data for law enforcement.
  • A7) Laura ALVAREZ organised a symposium that was referenced in the OECD Annual Report on the Activity of National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct 2021, p. 45. She also participated in the peer review process of the Portuguese National Contact Point on Responsible Business Conduct, providing several recommendations for its improvement.
  • A7) In 2023, NOVA BHRE members notably drafted 2 important reports: a report for the UN Development Agency, analysing the human rights risks linked to business activities in Mozambique; and a report for the Portuguese Government to inform the drafting of the first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.
  • A7) Felipe PATHÉ-DUARTE acted as a Consultant in 2020 for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to Counter Violent Extremism in Mozambique and in 2023 for the Council of Europe on the use of digital tools for disaster risk communication. For the Secretariat of the EUR-OPA Major Risks Agreement, he wrote a report whose recommendations were adopted at the 80th meeting of the Committee of Permanent Correspondents and Directors of Specialised Centres (Joint Meeting).
  • C2) Jorge CARVALHO coordinated studies and drafted regulations for the Energy Services Regulator in Portugal (ERSE Recommendation no. 1/2019; Common Commercial Relations Regulation for the electricity and natural gas sectors 2020).
  • C6) Felilpe Brito BASTOS co-authored reports for the European Parliament on the responsibility of the European Banking Union and contributed to a study for the European Data Protection Supervisor on treaty compliance.
  • C9) Margarida Lima REGO led research analysing road accident data and court decisions over a 40-year period for legislative improvements, as requested by the Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority.



CEDIS is committed to providing legal advocacy and support directly to those in need through various clinics, including the Equality and Discrimination Clinic (A1), the Observatory against Racism and Xenophobia (A1), the NOVA Refugee Clinic (A3), the IPSI Counter (B4) and the NOVA Consumer Lab (C2).

CEDIS prioritises improving public engagement through impactful programmes designed to reach diverse audiences and the general public, such as our“Talks on Racism and Xenophobia“, through which CEDIS strives to empower individuals to actively participate in discussions related to critical issues on this topic.

As another example, NOVA’s Refugee and Migration Clinic led a dynamic “16 Days of Activism” campaign in 2023. Similar campaigns will be carried out regularly from 2025 to 2029.



Between 2018 and 2023, CEDIS researchers were honoured with 41 awards. These are just a few examples:

  • A1) Teresa BELEZA received the Maria Barroso Prize for Gender, Equality and Citizenship, awarded by the Municipality of Lagoa in the Algarve in 2021.
  • A1) Soraya NOUR SCKELL was awarded the Wolfgang-Kaupen Prize by the German Sociological Society, Sociology of Law Section, in 2018.
  • A1) Luís Cabral de OLIVEIRA was awarded the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation/Portuguese Academy of History Prize in 2021 for his work on the History of Portugal’s Presence in the World.
  • A2) Nausica PALAZZO was recognised as a Young Leaders Academy Fellow by the EUTOPIA Alliance of Universities in 2023.
  • A2) Nausica PALAZZO was also awarded the Fulbright 75th Anniversary Prize by the Fulbright Commission Italy in 2023.
  • A7) Felipe PATHÉ-DUARTE was honoured with the 2021 ASMEA Research Award for his article “Jihad, Gas and Governance – The Insurgency in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.”
  • B2) Assunção CRISTAS and Armando Marques GUEDES received the “Friend of the Navy” medal from the Brazilian Navy in 2021.
  • B4) Giulia PRIORA won the ATRIP 2020 Essay Competition, organised by the ATRIP International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property, in 2021.

To see all the awards received by CEDIS researchers between 2018 and 2023, click here.