Directorate-General of Justice Administration

The Directorate-General of Justice Administration (DGAJ, Direção-Geral da Administração da Justiça) is a service of the Ministry of Justice tasked with ensuring operational support to the courts. According to its Organic Law (Decree-Law 165/2012, of July 31st), DGAJ has the following responsibilities:

a) Supporting the Government member who is responsible in the area of Justice for the definition of the organization and management policy for the courts, as well as participating in the drafting of studies aiming to update them and to optimize the means, proposing and carrying out the appropriate measures, and collaborating with the Institute for Justice Financial Management and Infrastructures (IGFEJ) in the implementation, operation and evolution of the information systems of the courts;

b) Ensuring the criminal and disobedience identification services;

c) Programming and carrying out actions regarding the management and administration of the Justice staff, directing the activity of the court administrators and processing the remunerations for the Justice staff, judges and public prosecutors working at the courts without administrative autonomy;

d) Programming and carrying out the initial and subsequent training actions for Justice staff, as well as collaborating in the actions bestowed unto them;

e) Collaborating with the Directorate-General of Justice Policy (DGPJ) in the collection, treatment and sharing of information elements, namely statistical, concerning the courts;

f) Programming the needs of court facilities and collaborating with the Institute for Justice Financial Management and Infrastructures (IGFEJ) in the planning and carrying out of construction, refurbishing or maintenance works;

g) Ensuring the supply and maintenance of the court equipment, together with the IGFEJ, I.P., and the structure of the Ministry of Justice responsible for procurement;

h) Coordinating the drafting, execution and evaluation of the budget, financial and accounting management of the courts without administrative authority, as well as ensuring budget preparation and management for the courts of first instance, the magistracy and the Public Prosecution.

i) Act as a national authority in agreements for which it is determined by the Minister for Justice. The initial and ongoing training of court clerks, in particular, and of court staff in general, is a competence of the Directorate-General of Justice Administration (DGAJ) through its Training Centre.

The Training Centre not only holds training actions for court staff applicants admitted in the qualifying course mentioned in Article 8 of the Court Staff Statute but also cooperates in the planning of both technical and technological training at the course mentioned in Article 7 paragraph 2 of the said Statute. The Training Centre operates at the DGAJ facilities in Lisbon.

Nevertheless, there are also trainers/coordinators in different regions, to provide more direct support to court staff. The Training Centre features 25 training rooms throughout the national territory, in order to be closer to all trainees.

Besides organizing and providing local face-to-face training, the Training Centre also provides supporting texts regarding several procedural matters, published and available for all trainees, on its eLearning page (included on the DGAJ website). Moreover, an online service is also available for a more immediate response to urgent matters on a daily basis.

The Training Centre also has the support of the International Judicial Unit, which is the Central Authority for the most important international judicial instruments (service of documents and taking of evidence on civil and commercial matters, maintenance and, recently, civil aspects of international child abduction, co-operation on parental responsibility and child protection measures), to give training in these matters.