O princípio da presunção de inocência
: garantia subjetiva do arguido ou ficção legal?

  • Beatriz de Azevedo Maia de Sousa Braga (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This paper aims to carry out a study on one of the guarantees of criminal procedure constitutionally enshrined: the Presumption of Innocence. In an initial phase, it is crutial to understand the importance of the principle in question for any Democratic State under the rule of law, by outlining in general terms its origin, its positivisation in the Basic Law and its content. The binomial Presumption of Innocence and In Dubio Pro Reo is also analysed, providing the different doctrinal perspectives on this theme, and both the ways in which the former manifests itself. The second part of the dissertation is dedicated to the study of the Presumption of Innocence within the process, beginning with an analysis of its manifestations during the enquiry and fact-finding, such as in the trial phase, with special attention to the pre-understanding judgments and the impartiality of the judges. This is followed by a brief approach to the expressions of the principle in question outside the proceedings, with a particular emphasis on the role of the media and the respective sensationalist news in the formation of prejudices and stigmas in relation to the accused.
It is concluded that the Presumption of Innocence does not manifest itself with the same intensity throughout the process, reaching its maximum expression of the application in the trial phase; and that, as far as its manifestations outside the process are concerned, it is merely a legal fiction.
Date of Award20 Dec 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorGermano Marques da Silva (Supervisor)


  • Presumption of innocence
  • In Dubio Pro Reo
  • Criminal procedure
  • Coercive measures
  • Sufficient evidence
  • Prejudgements
  • Publicness principle
  • Legal confidentiality


  • Mestrado em Direito

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