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Teresa Pizarro Beleza is a Full Professor at NOVA School of Law, NOVA University, Lisbon.

She graduated in Law from the University of Coimbra in 1976. She was admitted as an Assistant Professor by public tender in all areas at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon in 1977, being assigned to the group of Legal Sciences (Criminal Law). She taught in this area (Penal, Special Penal, Criminal Procedure, Criminology) for almost twenty years. She obtained the degree of MPhil in Criminology, Cantab. at Cambridge University in 1982, as a JNICT and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship holder. She obtained her PhD in Legal Sciences (Criminal Law) in 1993. Her PhD dissertation was a heterodox critical feminist opening to Criminal Law and the legal construction of gender social relations, a subject that would be taken up again in teaching at NOVA (discipline inaugurated in 1998-1999), in Venice (European Masters in Human Rights) and Coimbra (Post-graduation in Human Rights) and in many publications, including that which formed the basis of her ‘agregação’ exams, which took place in 2008. Many investigations within and outside the strict legal area have followed this academic path, referring to the pioneering work carried out in this context.

Since 1993 she has been an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon.

In 1998 she moved to the Faculty of Law of the NOVA University, then recently created by the initiative of Professor Freitas do Amaral, who invited her insistently to join the new school that set out to challenge the traditional stagnation of legal studies in Portugal. In 2000 she passed the competition for Associate Professor at NOVA and in 2010 for Full Professor.

Between 2009 and 2018 she served as Director and President of the Pedagogical Council of the Faculty of Law, where she was responsible for the Erasmus Programme and the PhD in Law for many years. Since 2000 she has represented NOVA University in the Global Campus of Human Rights (ex-EIUC). She has participated as representative of the European Union in Human Rights Dialogues with the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of Iran. She served a four-year term as a member elected by reference from Portugal in the CPT (Committee for the Prevention of Torture) of the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, carrying out missions to monitor the conditions of detention under public authority in several countries, under the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987).

In 2014 she joined several colleagues from other Organic Units of NOVA University to build a new PhD in Globalisation Studies, funded by FCT, which started in October 2015. In 2018 she took over the coordination of the new PhD in Gender Studies, a joint venture between Universidade NOVA and the University of Lisbon, together with Anália Torres (ISCSP) and Manuel Lisboa (NOVA-FCSH).


  • K Law (General)
  • Human Rights
  • Discrimination and Equality
  • Gender Relations
  • Penal Policies and Legislation
  • Criminal Punishment and Prison Issues

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