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Decree Law No. 53/2021

Publication: Republic Diary No. 115/2021, Series I of 2021-06-16
  • Issuer: Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 53/2021
  • Pages: 6 - 26

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law changes the scheme for carrying out medico-legal and forensic examinations.

What is going to change?

Access to clinical information, by the experts of the National Institute for Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF), will now preferably be done electronically and this information must be sent in the same way.

Until now, autopsies were only performed on business days. Autopsies will also be performed at weekends and on public holidays.

A medico-legal team for intervention in catastrophes has been created to act in exceptional situations.

The obligation to perform autopsies is strengthened, namely:

    • In situations of death in judicial custody or associated with police or military intervention;
    • In cases where there is suspicion of torture or inhumane treatment.
What advantages does it bring?

The changes foreseen aim to:

    • Improve and simplify access to clinical information needed for expert assessments;
    • Streamline and speed up procedures by performing autopsies at weekends and on public holidays;
    • Make human and material resources more profitable;
    • Improve the capacity and efficiency of the expert response by the INMLCF.
When does it enter into force?

This decree-law enters into force on 17 June 2021.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.