Portuguese Council of State

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The Council of State (Portuguese: Conselho de Estado, IPA: [kõˈsɐʎu ðɨ (ɨ)ʃˈtaðu]) is an organ established by the Constitution of Portugal to advise the President of the Republic of Portugal in the exercise of many of his discretionary powers. The constitution states that it must be summoned by the President in case he decides to dissolve the Assembly of the Republic, declare war or peace, or in case a government steps down. Members of the council are immune from prosecution, a member of the council may only be brought before a court of law with prior agreement of the Council to lift his immunity and is no longer serving on the council.

History[edit]

Although there are notices about the existence of a Council of State in Portugal before 1385, the first permanent regiment for its functioning was established by King Sebastian through his charter of 8 September 1569.

The Council of State continued to exist after the establishment of the Constitutional Monarchy in 1821. It was foreseen in the Portuguese Constitutions of 1822, 1826 and 1838.

After the 5 October 1910 revolution that established the Republic in Portugal, the Council of State was abolished, not being foreseen in the Constitution of 1911.

The Council of State was reestablished by the Constitution of 1933. It was again not foreseen by the Constitution of 1976. However, it was reestablished in 1984, following the revision of the Constitution of 1982.

Composition[edit]

Current members[edit]

From 9 March 2016:

Office Member
President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of the Assembly of the Republic Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues
Prime Minister António Costa
President of the Constitutional Court Joaquim Sousa Ribeiro
Provider of Justice (Ombudsman) Alfredo José de Sousa
President of the Regional Government of Azores Vasco Cordeiro
President of the Regional Government of Madeira Miguel Albuquerque
Former elected President of the Portuguese Republic António Ramalho Eanes
Former elected President of the Portuguese Republic Mário Soares
Former elected President of the Portuguese Republic Jorge Sampaio
Former elected President of the Portuguese Republic Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Designated by the President of the Republic António Guterres
Designated by the President of the Republic Eduardo Lourenço
Designated by the President of the Republic Luís Marques Mendes
Designated by the President of the Republic António Lobo Xavier
Designated by the President of the Republic Leonor Beleza
Elected by the Assembly of the Republic Carlos César
Elected by the Assembly of the Republic Francisco Louçã
Elected by the Assembly of the Republic Domingos Abrantes
Elected by the Assembly of the Republic Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Elected by the Assembly of the Republic Adriano Moreira


Elements designated by Aníbal Cavaco Silva (as of 2016): Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Leonor Beleza, João Lobo Antunes, António Bagão Félix, Vítor Bento.

Elected by Parliament (2011): Francisco Pinto Balsemão, António José Seguro (resigned Sep 2014, replaced by Alfredo Bruto da Costa), Luís Marques Mendes, Manuel Alegre, Luís Filipe Menezes.

References[edit]