Translations of these materials into languages other than Portuguese are intended solely as a convenience to the non-Portuguese-reading public.

Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translations of the official Portuguese versions of these materials are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.

Decree Law No. 60/2011

Publication: Republic Diary No. 88/2011, Series I of 2011-05-06
  • Issuer: Ministry of Justice
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 60/2011
  • Pages: 2584 - 2586

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law creates the National Network of State Endorsed Arbitration Centers (RNCAI).

Arbitration is a way of resolving conflicts without having to go to court. One or more impartial arbitrators hear both sides and decide who is right. The decision has the same legal value as a court’s decision.

These arbitration centres are authorized and – some of them – financed by the Portuguese State.

What will change?
State endorsed arbitration centres will join the RNCAI

The RNCAI is made up of arbitration centers that:

  • receive more than 50% of their annual budget from the State
  • usually receive State funding, but less than 50% of their annual budget.

The former are automatically integrated into RNCAI. The latter have to establish a protocol with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (GRAL).

Standardizing the operation of RNCAI centres

RNCAI arbitration centres will operate the same way when:

  • providing information in writing, by telephone or in person
  • referring citizens to other organizations, preferably RNCAI centres or other conflict resolution agencies that provide an alternative to the courts
  • managing complaints
  • providing mediation and conciliation services
  • collecting and sharing statistics about their activities.
RNCAI centres’ funding

RNCAI arbitration centres will be evaluated annually by GRAL. The only centres that can receive funds from the State are the ones that meet the objectives laid out by the government regarding:

  • the services they provide
  • the way they manage their budget
  • the satisfaction of the people who use them
  • their areas of expertise.
Duties of RNCAI arbitration centres

These centres must publish the following information on the RNCAI website:

  • approved annual plan of activities
  • annual budget
  • annual report
  • summary of decisions made by the arbitration court.

They must also submit online to GRAL the following documents:

Documents Deadline

Balance sheet

Trial balance

Profit and loss statement

Cash-flow statement

Depreciation maps

Proposed distribution of earnings

Following April
Proposed budget for the following year December
Statistical data concerning its activity

The arbitration centres that deal with consumer disputes must also submit this information to the Directorate-General for Consumer Affairs.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to:

  • ensure that all RNCAI arbitration centres work the same way
  • channel public money to centres that have better results
  • make access to justice easier for citizens.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect five days after being published.

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.