UNIFOJ - Legal and Judicial Training Unit

UNIFOJ is a training unit of the Permanent Observatory for Justice (OPJ) of the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, oriented to professional advanced training in the areas of Law and Justice. Established in 2012, the unit continued the training programme Justice XXI, developed in 2008 by OPJ, in partnership with the Association of Portuguese Judges and with the Union of Magistrates of the Public Prosecutor's Office. In 2014, e-UNIFOJ - Distance Learning Legal and Judicial Training Unit - was set up with the purpose of expanding its training offer to other professionals, therefore overcoming time and space constraints and providing training regardless of participants’ location and at the desired schedule.

In its on-site and distance training, UNIFOJ has already fostered hundreds of courses and provided training to thousands of professionals.

Certified Training – State Associate Laboratory | DL nr. 396/2007, of 31/12 | DL nr. 125/99, of 20/04 | CES Statutes

UNIFOJ Memo 2017

 Training objectives
UNIFOJ aims at developing a suitable professional training that will significantly contribute to the trainees’ technical qualification and to the development of good practices in different fields of law and justice, as well as to further the wide-ranging debate on the administration of justice, with an emphasis on the human and fundamental rights.
The concern with the high-quality training has led to a triple commitment: rigorous selection of trainers; diversity of training methodologies; and effective support of the technical secretariat.


UNIFOJ’s training programmes are conceived as advanced training spaces, focused on the professional competences and needs of its participants, considering the complexity of the reality at issue. The training courses seek to substantiate a practical approach of the subjects by crossing expository methodologies with an interactive and dynamic learning, in order to endow trainees with technical and reflexive tools enabling a critical and sustained interpretation of the theoretical or operational solutions and dilemmas.

The training offer stems from two educational proposals: on-site and distance training. On-site training derives from a direct and immediate interaction between trainers and trainees, in various locations, both in Portugal and in other countries, in appropriate facilities for that purpose. These training courses are held with a minimum number of 12 participants.

Distance learning comprises of the e-learning and b-learning formats. This training is directed to all Portuguese-speaking countries, facilitating the course attendance, regardless of the country in which trainees are and at the most opportune time to access the training contents. B-learning training combines the on-site and distance modalities and seeks to meet the specific training demand, combining theoretical and practical contents.


Given the specificity of the distance training courses, some of their operationalization features should be underlined. UNIFOJ’s courses are conducted in Portuguese, through Moodle platform, with no established timetable for accessing the courses. The same consist of successive modules, organised in a logical way and with specific objectives. The information and discussion on the training contents isn’t generally bound to any concrete legal framework. An active and autonomous attitude is expected from trainees during their training process. The learning material (texts, e-books, videos and digital presentations) that support the training is accessible during the term of the course, being available for up to 3 weeks after the conclusion of the same. Interaction between trainers and trainees is fostered, namely with the exchange of thoughts, placing questions and response spaces, through the participation in the forums’ virtual discussion rooms and chats that work synchronously. It is the trainees’ responsibility to provide the necessary computer equipment to attend the course.

The e-learning courses are also held with a minimum of 12 participants.

e-Unifoj Technical requirements

Having access to a computer with internet connection and with an updated Internet browser is a requirement to attend the e-UNIFOJ courses. The courses are held exclusively online through Moodle platform, being its proper functioning, maintenance and monitoring ensured by the Centre for Social Sciences of the University of Coimbra.
Please contact: e-unifoj@ces.uc.pt in case of doubt or in case technical assistance is required in the course of the training,


UNIFOJ is an integral part of the Permanent Observatory for Justice of the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and has its own coordination and advisory board. 

Conceição Gomes

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is coordinated by OPJ’s Scientific Director and is composed of OPJ’s Executive coordinator, of notables of renowned merit and representatives of UNIFOJ’s partner entities. The Advisory Board decides on UNIFOJ’s activity.

Members of the Advisory Board
Álvaro Laborinho Lúcio (Retired Councillor Judge)
Boaventura de Sousa Santos (CES Director and OPJ Scientific Director)
Carlos Pinho (Prosecutor of the Republic, - in representation of SMMP)
Conceição Gomes (CES Researcher and  OPJ Executive Coordinator)
Eduarda Gonçalves (Full Professor at the Higher Institute of Labour and Enterprise Studies)
João Carlos Trindade (Retired Councillor Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mozambique)
José Igreja Matos (Appeals Court Judge)
José Manuel Lourenço Quaresma (Judge of Law - representing ASJP)
José Mouraz Lopes (Judge Counselor to the Court of Auditors)
Madalena Duarte (CES Researcher and OPJ Project Coordinator)
Raul Araújo (Judge Counselor of the Constitutional Court of Republic of Angola)
Rui do Carmo Fernando (Retired Public Prosecutor)


UNIFOJ upholds a rigorous selection of its trainers, ensuring that its training courses are given by professionals of recognised intellectual, professional and scientific merit, with an academic profile (university professors and researchers), legal professionals (Judicial Magistrates and of Public Prosecution, lawyers and court clerks), conservatives, solicitors and other professionals holding specific and relevant knowledge in the scope of the formative themes.


UNIFOJ seeks to develop an advanced Legal and Judicial training network, including national and international institutions, aiming at sharing knowledge and experiences and at broadening the principles established in the international documents on professional training in the area of justice. The partners network should establish itself as a tool capable of endowing professionals with a global, multidisciplinary and exhaustive understanding on the application of law and on the realisation of justice. In order to extend this partner network, UNIFOJ seeks to establish protocols with official entities of a professional nature for the recognition of training actions, in order to enable professionals to acquire skills in accordance with the applicable rules for career advancement.

Centro de Estudos Sociais
da Universidade de Coimbra
Observatório Permanente da Justiça

Colégio da Graça
Rua da Sofia nº 136-138
3000-389 Coimbra,
Tel +351 239 855 570
(UNIFOJ) +351 239 855 572
Tlm +351 914 140 187
Colégio de S. Jerónimo
Apartado 3087
3000-995 Coimbra,
Tel +351 239 855 570
Picoas Plaza
Rua Viriato, 13 Lj 117/118
1050-227 Lisboa,
Tel +351 216 012 848
Formulário de Contacto
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