O crime de lenocínio e a exploração da prostituição
: a descriminalização do crime de lenocínio simples

  • Catarina Isabel Costa Rocha (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present paper aims at giving a critical appreciation about the exploitation of prostitution. In particular, misdemeanor exploitation of prostitution. (article 169 nº1, Criminal Code). For this purpose, it was considered necessary, in order to frame the legal motto in analysis, describing the combined science between criminal law, the criminal legal interest, the historical evolution of the exploitation of prostitution law and its legislative policy models. The investigation’s core focuses on suppressing the constituent element “exploiting situations of abandonment and economic necessity”, in the Criminal Code Amendment ratified in 1998, under Article 169 nº 1. In consequence, it was formed an infinite controversy, doctrinal and jurisprudence, over the protected criminal legal interest. On the one hand, the defense whereby the norm protects the sexual freedom, which is constitutional. On the other hand, in opposition, advocating its unconstitutionality, that the crime rather protects the “sexual morality”. In addition, comprehending that protects the sexual freedom it queries whether it respects the principle of necessity and subsidiarity. Similarly, other particularities arise, among others, such as the principle of human dignity as a legal interest, the classification as a crime of abstract danger and a limited constitution interpretation. Thus, given these foremost problems, the present investigation was also accompanied by a few empirical studies, in order to conciliate the legal argument with the social reality, which is inherent in the prostitution phenomenon. However, without citing them as grounds for legitimising the legal discourse, before a democratic society, plural and mutable. The latter part aims to propose an answer to this dispute. In this respect, it is recognised the arduous path, as well as the necessity to face the phenomenon with a multi-disciplinary perspective. Once weighting the whole argumentative base analysis, the unconstitutionality and the decriminalisation of the misdemeanor exploitation of prostitution, is the conclusion we find.
Date of Award12 Jul 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorSandra Tavares (Supervisor)


  • Exploitation of prostitution
  • Prostitution
  • Criminal legal interest
  • Sexual freedom
  • Sexual morality


  • Mestrado em Direito

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