Francisca Van Dunem

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Francisca Van Dunem
TOUR DE TABLE 2016-07-08 Informal Meeting of Justice Ministers (27553458143) (cropped).jpg
Minister of Justice
Assumed office
November 26, 2015
Prime Minister António Costa
Preceded by Fernando Negrão
Personal details
Born (1955-11-05) November 5, 1955 (age 61)
Nationality Portugal Portuguese
Angola Angolan[1]
Political party no affiliation
Residence Portugal
Alma mater Faculdade de Direito de Lisboa
Website Portuguese Government - Minister

Francisca Eugénia da Silva Dias Van Dunem (5 November 1955, Luanda, Angola) is an Afro-Portuguese lawyer. She is the Portuguese Minister of Justice since the 26 November 2015.[2] Previously she was the director of the Lisbon public prosecution department. She is Portugal's first black government minister in history.[3]


Van Dunem has a law degree, Faculty of Law, University of Lisbon, awarded in 1977. She was subject to competitive examination for the Portuguese public prosecutor's office in 1979.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Van Dunem's most relevant professional activities included judicial activities such as trainee deputy public prosecutor (Lisbon and Loures courts) (1979-1980); deputy public prosecutor (Lisbon labour court) (1980-1983); deputy public prosecutor (Lisbon criminal court) (1983-1985); deputy public prosecutor (Lisbon public prosecution service) (1987-1989); member of the Principal State Prosecutor's private law firm (1989-2001); and Deputy Principal State Prosecutor, Director of the Lisbon public prosecution service (since 2001).[4]

Personal life[edit]

Van Dunem was born in 1955 in Luanda, then the capital of the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola. She went to Lisbon in the early 1970s in order to study law at the University of Lisbon. In April 1974, the Portuguese Estado Novo regime was overthrown by a leftist military coup and in 1975 Angola become a newly independent communist country - the People's Republic of Angola. In 1977 she was awarded her law degree. Her brother José Van Dunem was murdered in a purge occurred in Agostinho Neto's post-independence Angola that same year.

Francisca did not return to Angola and pursued a family life and a professional career in Portugal. She is married and has one son. They live in Greater Lisbon area.