By Manuel Protásio, Catarina Coimbra
The Portuguese legal system is integrated in the civil/continental law system, which means that the majority of the legal provisions are comprised and enacted by statutes, written law being its primary source. The legal system is structured hierarchically and the Constitution is the leading legal instrument. The political bodies empowered to pass legislation are Parliament and the Government.
The Government has the power to legislate on all subjects that are not reserved for Parliament and enacts legislation under the form of Decree-Laws. Until 2015, Mining Law was regulated by the Decree-Law 90/90 of March 16, which established the General Regime for the Discovery and Use of Geological Resources and by specific Regulations for each type of mineral resource (Decree-Law 84/90, of March 16, which established the Spring Waters Regulation; Decree-Law 85/90, of March 16, which established the Heavy Waters Regulation; Decree- Law 86/90, of March 16, which established the Mineral Waters Regulation; Decree-Law 87/90, of March 16, which established the Geothermic Resources Regulation; Decree-Law 88/90 of March 16, which established the Mineral Deposits Regulation and Decree-Law 270/2001, of October 6, which established the Quarries Regulation).