O dever de obediência no direito penal militar

  • Marta Gomes Silva (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The “Forças Armadas” (Armed Forces) are the military group employed by thestate to defend the Portuguese Republic.To effectively accomplish their mission, the Armed Forces follow a stricthierarchical structure and carry out their duties under the values of mission, comradeship,loyalty, and respect between peers and towards superior officers.The theater of operations in which the military operate, whether in times of peaceor war, can unleash situations of imminent danger which call for a quick and efficientresponse. In this dissertation, we analyze the values of discipline and respect cultivatedwithin the organization which enable firm and immediate obedience in carrying out ofthe orders issued by the superiors.We listed the defined duties with which the soldiers are bound by law to comply,particularly those of obedience and loyalty, which may cause a conflict of duties.We analyzed the professional stance that is to be adopted by the subordinate whenhe finds himself facing conflicting duties, specifically when the superior issues anillegitimate order. To present a solution to this issue is one of the goals of this dissertation.We also investigated the possibility of excluding the subordinate's guilt, in caseswhere he acts illegally as a result of obeying an unlawful order. This issue is extremelypertinent from the point of view of military criminal law, seeing that criminal censorshipis based on the values of society, but the military world goes beyond those values, as itfaces situations of much greater life risk. We believe that in these situations there is agreater chance of error either on the legal prohibition or on the justification cause of illegality, and this makes it a relevant question to analyze.The research carried out regarding this topic shows that there is very little debate on this subject within the Portuguese jurisprudence, and while some authors are beginning to broach the topic there is still a lot to explore.
Date of Award26 Apr 2022
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorGermano Marques da Silva (Supervisor)


  • Hierarchical superior
  • Subordinate
  • Obedience duty
  • Loyalty duty
  • Conflict of duty


  • Mestrado em Direito

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