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Presidency of the Portuguese Republic

Presidency of the Portuguese Republic

Introduction

The Council of State is a political consultation body for the President of the Republic, which he chairs.

The Council of State is responsible for advising on a series of actions for which the President of the Republic is responsible. It should also advise him, on the exercising of his role, whenever he requests it.

The Council of State is composed of members who are in it by virtue of the positions they hold or held, and by members chosen by the President of the Republic and elected by the Assembly of the Republic.

Legislation

Constitutional Principles

CONSTITUTION OF THE PORTUGUESE REPUBLIC

PART III
Organization of political power

HEADING II
President of the Republic

CHAPTER III
Council of State

Article 141
(Definition)

The Council of State is the political counselling body of the President of the Republic.


Article 142
(Composition)

The Council of State is chaired by the President of the Republic and its members are:

  • The Speaker of Parliament;
  • The Prime Minister;
  • The President of the Constitutional Court;
  • The Ombudsman;
  • The presidents of the regional governments;
  • The former presidents of the Republic elected within the period the Constitution has been in force and who have not been discharged from office;
  • Five citizens appointed by the President of the Republic for the period corresponding to his mandate;
  • Five citizens elected by Parliament, in according with the principle of proportional representation, for the period corresponding to the parliamentary term.


Article 143
(Empowering and mandate)

1. The members of the Council of State are empowered by the President of the Republic.

2. The members of the Council of State appointed in accordance with items a) to e) of Article 142 shall remain in office whilst holding their respective positions.

3. The members of the Council of State appointed in accordance with items g) and h) of article 142 shall remain in Office until those that replace them are empowered in their respective offices.


Article 144
(Organization and operation)

1. The Council of State shall establish its own rules of procedure.

2. The meetings of the Council of State are not open to the public.


Article145
(Remit)

The remit of the Council of State is:

  • Provide an opinion on the dissolution of Parliament or of the Legislative Assemblies of the autonomous regions;
  • Provide an opinion on the dismissal of the Government, in the case foreseen under No. 2 of article 195;
  • Provide an opinion on declaration of war and making peace;
  • Provide an opinion on the acts of the interim President of the Republic referred under article 139.
  • Provide an opinion upon the remaining cases foreseen in the Constitution and, in general, counsel the President of the Republic in the exercise of his duties, when so requested.


Article 146
(Issue of opinions)

The opinions of the Council of State foreseen under items a) to e) of article 145 are issued at the meeting which has been called for the purpose by the President of the Republic and made public when the act to which the opinion refers is put into practice.

 

Rules of Procedure

RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE


CHAPTER I
Nature and composition

Article 1
(Definition)

The Council of State is the political counselling body of the President of the Republic.


Article 2
(Composition)

The Council of State is chaired by the President of the Republic and its members are:

  • The Speaker of Parliament;
  • The Prime Minister;
  • The President of the Constitutional Court;
  • The Ombudsman;
  • The presidents of the regional governments;
  • The former presidents of the Republic elected within the period the Constitution has been in force and who have not been discharged from office;
  • Five citizens appointed by the President of the Republic for the period corresponding to his mandate;
  • Five citizens elected by Parliament, in accordance with the principle of proportional representation, for the period corresponding to the parliamentary term.


CAHPTER II
Remit

Article 3
(Remit)

1. The remit of the Council of State is:

  • Provide an opinion on the dissolution of Parliament and of the official bodies of the autonomous regions;
  • Provide an opinion on the dismissal of the Government, in the case foreseen under No. 2 of article 195;
  • Provide an opinion on the appointment and dismissal of the ministers of the Republic for the autonomous regions;
  • Provide an opinion on declaration of war and making peace;
  • Provide an opinion on the proposals for the alteration or replacement of the charter of the territory of Macau, in the terms of No. 2 of article 296 of the Constitution;
  • Counsel the President of the Republic in the exercise of his duties, when so requested;
  • Approve and change its Rules of Procedure, interpret its provisions and complete its gaps;
  • Carry out the acts foreseen in Law No. 31/84, dated September 6, as well as those foreseen in these Rules of Procedure.

2. Whenever the President of the Republic is temporarily prevented from attending his duties, as well as when the office is vacant until the new president is empowered, the remit of the Council of State is also to provide opinion on the following acts of the interim President of the Republic:

  • Setting the dates for the election of the President of the Republic and of members of Parliament and of the regional assemblies, in accordance with the electoral legislation;
  • Calling extraordinary meetings of Parliament;
  • Appointment of the Prime Minister, in the terms of No. 1 of article 190 of the Constitution;
  • Appointment and dismissal, on proposal from the Government, of the Auditor General and of the Public Prosecutor;
  • Appointment and dismissal, on proposal from the Government, of the Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, of the Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, should the latter Office exist, and of the chiefs of staff of the three branches of the Armed Forces, after hearing, in the two latter instances, the Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff;
  • Carry out the duties of supreme commander of the Armed Forces;
  • Appointment of ambassadors and of extraordinary envoys, under proposal from the Government, and acceptance of letters credential from foreign diplomatic representatives.


CHAPTER III
Operation

Article 4
(Initiative and presidency of the meetings)

1. The Council of State is chaired by the President of the Republic, who shall call its meetings, set the agenda and preside over them.

2. The Council of State cannot meet without the presence of the President of the Republic.


Article 5
(Calling of meetings)

1. Meetings shall be called, except in cases of exceptional urgency, with a minimum notice of 3 days.

2. Except in cases of exceptional urgency, the meeting shall be called by letter addressed to the members of the Council of State, containing the date and time of the meeting, as well as the respective agenda;

3. It is the duty of the secretary of the Council of State to send the letters calling the meetings with the required advance in order to ensure that the notice foreseen under No. 1, above, is respected.


Article 6
(Location of meetings)

The meetings of the Council of State shall be held in the facilities of the Presidency of the Republic or wherever the President of the Republic may select.


Article 7
(Constitution of meetings)

The Council of State shall always operate in plenary meetings, excepting the provisions of No. 2 of Article 12.


Article 8
(Quorum)

1. The meetings of the Council of State may only be held, on first call, with the presence of the majority of its members effectively in office.

2. Should the meeting not take place due to lack of quorum, the Council may call another meeting with the same agenda, in the terms of No. 1 of article 5 and this may be held with any number of members.


Article 9
(Hearing of the Council of State)

1. Excepting those instances foreseen under item f) of No. 1 of article 3, the opinions of the Council of State shall always be subject to a ballot.

2. In those instances foreseen under item f) of No. 1 of article 3 the President of the Republic may decide only to hear the opinion of the members of the Council, without recourse to a ballot.


Article 10
(Voting)

1. The opinions and decisions of the Council of State are obtained by absolute majority vote.

2. Voting shall always be nominal, with the exception of the provisions of article 12, No. 3.

3. Abstaining is not admissible.


Article 11
(Opinions)

1. The opinions of the Council of State may be issued verbally or in writing.

2. The opinions foreseen under items a) to e) of No. 1 and No. 2 of article 3 shall be issued obligatorily in writing.

3. The remaining opinions will only be issued in writing in case the President of the Republic so requests.

4. Whenever the issue of opinions is related to the remit referred under item e) of No. 1 l| of article 3, the Council will appoint a reporter.

5. The opinions foreseen under items a) to d) of No. 1 and No. 2 of article 3 will be issued in the meeting called for the purpose, without prejudice to the possibility of the discussion being suspended by the President of the Republic should he believe there are acceptable grounds.


Article 12
(Decisions relating to members of the Council of State)

1. The decision concerning a declaration of permanent physical impediment of a member of the Council of State, foreseen in article 7, No. 2, of Law No. 31/84, will obligatorily be preceded by an examination carried out by at least three physicians appointed by the Council.

2. The decision to authorize a member of the Council of state to be appointed as an expert, a witness or a declarant, foreseen under article 15, No. 2, of Law No. 31/84, will obligatorily be preceded by the hearing of the member of the Council in question, either by the President of the Republic or by the Council itself and, in the latter case, the will of this body obtained through an enquiry in writing sent to each of its members.

3. The decision to suspend a member of the Council of State, foreseen under article 14, No. 2, of Law No. l/84, shall be subject to a secret ballot.

4. The member of the Council of State to who relate the decisions referred in this article shall not have the right to vote.


Article 13
(Minutes)

1. The full proceedings of the meetings of the Council of State shall be written in a special book, the opening and closing terms of which will be signed by the President of the Republic.

2. The draft minute of each meeting will be prepared by the secretary, who will send it to the members of the Council of State for approval at the beginning of the next meeting, unless the Council should decide that the minute be written and subject to approval during the meeting to which it respects.

3. After being written in the respective book, the minutes will be subscribed by the secretary and signed by the President of the Republic.

4. The minutes of the Council of State may not be consulted or disclosed, during a period of 30 years from the end of the presidential mandate when the respective meetings were held.

5. The President of the Republic may decide to allow, in exceptional cases, the partial or total consultation or disclosure of the minutes.

6. After the referred 30 year period, the consultation or disclosure of the minutes may be allowed through a request addressed to the President of the Republic.

7. The consultation or disclosure of the meetings, in the terms provided for in the above paragraphs, will always be ensured by the secretary of the Council of State and by the departments of the Presidency of the Republic.


Article 14
(Administrative and support services)

The administrative and support services for the Council of State will be supplied by the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic which, for the purpose, will place the required means at the disposal of the Council.


CHAPTER IV
Publicity

Article 15
(Nature of meetings and binding to secrecy)

1. The meetings of the Council of State are not open to the public.

2. The members of the Council of State and the secretary are duty bound to secrecy as to the object and the contents of the meetings as well as to the decisions taken and opinions issued, with the exception of the provisions of the following articles.


Article 16
(Disclosure of the contents of meetings)

The President and the Council may agree to publish, after the meetings, an informative note which will briefly relate the whole or part of the object of the meeting and its results.


Article 17
(Publication of opinions)

1. Publication of the following is obligatory:

  • The opinions foreseen under items a) to d) of No. 1 and No. 2 of article 3, if the President of the Republic practises the acts in question.
  • The opinion foreseen under item e) of No. 1 of article 3.

2. The publication of the opinions referred in item a) of the previous paragraph will be simultaneous with that of the acts to which they respect.

3. The remaining opinions shall only be published should the President of the Republic so determine.

4. Publication will be made in Series 1 of the Official Gazette of the Republic.


Article 18
(Publication of entry into force)

1. These Procedural Rules will be implemented on the date of their publication.

2. Publication will be made in Series 1 of the Official Gazette of the Republic, by order of the President of the Republic.

3. The text remitted for publication shall contain the statement of approval by the Council, with the respective date, and shall be signed by the President of the Republic.

4. The Provisional Procedural Rules of the Council of State approved on March 30 and published on April 18 of 1984, is hereby revoked.


(*) First change to the Rules of Procedure of the Council of State. Rules of Procedure of the Council of State No. 1/2001, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic No. 97, Series 1-A dated 26 June 2001.


Approved by the Council of State on November 7, 1984
Signed on November 10, 1984.
Publish.
The President of the Republic, ANTÓNIO RAMALHO EANES.

Members

  • President of the Assembly of the Republic
    Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues
  • Prime Minister
    António Costa
  • President of the Constitutional Court
    Judge João Pedro Caupers
  • Ombudsman
    Maria Lúcia Amaral
  • President of the Regional Government of Madeira
    Miguel Albuquerque
  • President of the Regional Government of the Azores
    José Manuel Bolieiro
  • Former President of the Republic
    General António Ramalho Eanes
  • Former President of the Republic
    Aníbal Cavaco Silva

Five citizens chosen by the President of the Republic for the period corresponding to his mandate:

  • António Lobo Xavier
  • António Damásio
  • Lídia Jorge
  • Luís Marques Mendes
  • Leonor Beleza

Five citizens elected by the Assembly of the Republic, for the period corresponding to the duration of the legislature:

  • Carlos César
  • Francisco Pinto Balsemão
  • Francisco Louçã
  • Rui Rio
  • Domingos Abrantes
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