Measuring Legislation as a Tool for Better Laws: The example of the Portuguese Legislation Observatory

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As Ulrich Karpen points out, the main purpose of legisprudence is to monitor and improve the quality of laws and to reduce their quantity. Within the framework of the research project started in 2005 at the NOVA School of Law, Lisbon – the Portuguese Legislation Observatory – data from the years 1976-2020 were collected (since the approval of the Portuguese Constitution), referring in particular to the volume of legislative production, it’s distribution by types of legislative acts, the subjects addressed, the influence of European legislation in national legislation, as well as observing practices related to laws. The project aims, also, to provide public access to the Portuguese Legislation Observatory database. This database was conceived to allow an overall analysis of the law-making process. From the collection and observation of these data, it is possible to draw conclusions and bring forward proposals on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current legislative practice and its compliance with the constitutional rules. Portuguese policies to simplify the legislation have been executed and have had results on the quantity of legislation enacted and on the citizens’ access to the law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Province of Legislation
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical and Practical Perspectives in Legisprudence
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-87262-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-87261-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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