Itineraries of Portuguese Public Prosecutors in the social areas: profession, professionalism and functional (re)valorisation
Dias, Joao Paulo
Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra Coimbra, Portugal
Public Prosecutors in Portugal play an important role in the performance of justice. Besides their position within the judicial system, related with the competencies and its capacity to perform them with suitability and efficiency, Public Prosecutors seek to legitimate its activity through the construction of an autonomous professional project. In this sense, and having as a starting point the study of their role in the Labour and Family and Minors? Courts (the social areas of their intervention), it is possible to understand some of the professional strategies and itineraries developed, on the one hand, to ensure the socio-professional statute and, on the other hand, to preserve, or even increase, their legal competencies.
In spite of this process have been developed, for a long time, through an internal affirmation (within the judicial system), we can perceive, nowadays, the search for another way for an external legitimation (with society and its citizens). The main argument starts to question the actual collective professional itineraries, in a context of judicial reforms, higher social complexity, bigger professional competition and the implementation of new mechanisms of dispute resolution, trying to characterise the ?structuring? place in the system, through a new approach to the (re)valorisation project of Public Prosecutors in Portugal.