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List of Relevant Laws Impacting Free Speech (Portugal) (2015-2022)

Legislation (Acts and Bills)

Law 78/2015

This law regulates the promotion of transparency on ownership, management and means of financing of the entities that perform activities of social communication.

Law 74/2020, of 19 November 2020  on the Transposition of Directive (EU) 2018/1808 of the European Parliament and the Council

  • Implied several changes in the Law of Television, namely related with the on-demand audiovisual media services and video sharing platforms.

Decree-Law 107/2021, of 6 December 2021

  • Changes the regulation of the rates paid by those entities to the Media Regulatory Authority.

Portaria n.º 24/2022, of 7 January

  • Stipulates the amounts to be paid to ERC by audiovisual media services.

Portuguese Charter of Human Rights in the Digital Era Law 27/2021, of 17 May, later modified in August 2022 by Law 15/2022

  • This law was adopted by the Portuguese Parliament, invoking the need to protect human rights in the digital era.

Law 7/2020

  • Introduction of public service obligation to promote physical exercise and good nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic: “to promote the broadcasting of programs that advise and stimulate the practice of physical exercise and good nutrition in case of the collective duty to remain at home because of the state of exception or the necessity of social isolation”.

Decree-Law 20-A/2020, of 6 May

  • The government decided to anticipate the procurement of institutional publicity to financial support media services. This last decision was by far the most disputed one, because of the alleged risks of an attack to media independence.


Code of Ethics for Journalists was adopted on 30 October of 2017

Case law/Enforcement

Supreme Court of Justice, 4555/17.1T8LSB.L1.S1, 1.ª Secção, 2 December 2020

  • The Portuguese Supreme Court evaluates the protection under the expectable criteria, probable decision, and values weighting of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Patrício Monteiro Telo de Abreu (June 2022)

  • Despite the sexual stereotyping of one female member of the municipal board, the ECtHR found that the caricatures had remained within the limits of exaggeration and provocation that were typical of satire.

Freitas Rangel (ECtHR, January 2022)

  • The case concerned the applicant’s conviction for critical statements made about the professional bodies for judges and for public prosecutors at a hearing of a parliamentary committee.

L.P. and Carvalho (ECtHR, October 2019)

  • The case concerned findings of liability against two lawyers for defamation and for attacking a person’s honor, in respect to two judges whom the lawyers had criticized in documents they had drawn up in their capacity as legal representatives.

Antunes Emídio and Gomes da Cruz (ECtHR, September 2019)

Paio Pires de Lima (ECtHR, February 2019)

  • In the two above the pattern of violation of Article 10 was materially similar, putting at stake freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.

Pinto Coelho (ECtHR, March 2016)

  • The ECtHR held Portugal responsible for the violation of freedom of expression because of the criminal law fine imposed on a journalist for having broadcasted excerpts in a news report which included sound recording from a court hearing obtained without permission from the judge,



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