The judge is the figure who has the power to judge and make decisions in relation to criminal proceedings in a court of law. The judge has the duty to judge according to the laws and the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
The judge may be a man or a woman. They are usually dressed in a black suit, called a gown, and sit on a platform in a central place, generally higher than others. Click here to identify the place where the judge will be seated.
Several judges may participate in the criminal proceedings:
• The investigating judge, who acts during the investigation phase of the criminal proceedings
• The court judge, who intervenes when, at the end of the investigation phase, the defendant is accused and brought to trial. This judge will decide whether to condemn or acquit the defendant. In the case of a conviction, the court judge decides what punishment should be handed down.
• The appeal judges hear and decide on the appeals presented to them.