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Constitution of the Portuguese Republic


Article 22 (Liability of public entities) Jointly with the officeholders of their entities and organs and their staff and agents, the state and other public entities are civilly liable for actions or omissions that are committed in or because of the exercise of their functions and result in a breach of rights, freedoms or guarantees or in a loss to others. Article 266 (Fundamental principles) 1. The Public Administration shall seek to pursue the public interest, with respect for all those citizens’ rights and interests that are protected by law. 2. Administrative organs and agents are subject to the Constitution and the law, and in the exercise of their functions must act with respect for the principles of equality, proportionality, justice, impartiality and good faith. Article 268 (Citizens’ rights and guarantees) 1. Citizens have the right to be informed by the Administration, whenever they so request, as to the progress of the procedures and cases in which they are directly interested, together with the right to be made aware of the definitive decisions that are taken in relation to them. 2. Without prejudice to the law governing matters concerning internal and external security, criminal investigation and personal privacy, citizens also have the right of access to administrative files and records. 3. Administrative acts are subject to notification of the interested parties in the form laid down by law, and when they affect rights or interests that are protected by law, must be based on express and accessible grounds. 4. Citizens are guaranteed effective jurisdictional oversight of those of their rights and interests that are protected by law, particularly including the recognition of the said rights and interests, the impugnation of any administrative act that harms their rights and interests, regardless of its form, the issue of positive decisions requiring the practice of administrative acts that are required by law, and the adoption of adequate provisional remedies. 5. Citizens also have the right to challenge administrative norms which have external force and harm those of their rights or interests that are protected by law. 6. For the purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2) the law shall lay down a maximum time limit for responses by the Administration. Article 271 (Liability of public sector staff and agents) (1) The staff and agents of the state and of other public entities are civilly and criminally liable and subject to disciplinary proceedings for their actions and omissions in the exercise of their functions, and for any such exercise that leads to a breach of those citizens’ rights or interests that are protected by law, and no phase of any action or proceedings shall be dependent on authorisation by higher authority.