BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE JUDICIAL REVIEW METHOD APPLIED IN PORTUGAL
The most important aspect of the Portuguese system of control of the constitutionality of legal norms is the fact that, according to Article 204 of Portuguese Constitution, “in matters brought before them for decision, the courts shall not apply any rules that contravene the provisions of this Constitution or the principles contained there.”
Every court (judicial, administrative, and fiscal) is vested with jurisdiction to review complaints involving violation of the Constitution. Moreover, every single judge is, in itself, a sort of constitutional court, as he or she must control the constitutionality of the rules that are applicable to the matters that are brought before the judge. If the judge thinks that those rules contravene the provisions of the Constitution, then he or she must refuse to apply them. However, the decisions in constitutional issues of other courts are not definitive, as there is always the possibility to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court is the only authority vested with ultimate jurisdiction to review of constitutionality, so that Article 221 of the Portuguese Constitution states: “The Constitutional Court is the court that has the specific power to administer justice in matters involving questions of legal and constitutional nature.”
It must be mentioned that Portugal does not have mechanisms like the German Verfassunsgsbeschwerde or the Spanish recurso de amparo.