Curriculum Vitae

José Manuel Santos Pais

A. Personal information

Birth: 1954

Nationality: Portuguese

Working languages: Portuguese, French, English, Spanish, Italian (conversation, reading), German (conversation, reading)

B. Current position/function

Assistant to the Prosecutor General, currently representing the Prosecutor General in the Portuguese Constitutional Court, since 2009

Areas covered in current position: human rights issues, constitutional law, civil and civil procedure law, criminal and criminal procedure law, administrative law, labour law, tax law

Member of the Portuguese Public Prosecution (Ministère Public), since 1977

C. Legal education:

• Dates: 1971-1976

• Title of qualification awarded: law degree

• Name and type of organisation: Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Lisboa (Faculty of Law - Lisbon University)

D. Former activities carried out within the Portuguese Public Prosecution Department

            D.1. Legal Counsellor to the Minister of Culture (2006-2009)

• Main activities:

(i) elaboration of legal opinions on Portuguese legislation concerning the activity of the Ministry of Culture; 

(ii) elaboration of replies to judicial authorities, namely administrative courts, in cases concerning the Ministry of Culture;

(iii) analysis of complaints lodged by civil servants belonging to the Ministry of Culture.

D.2. Head of the Documentation and Comparative Law Office of the Prosecutor-General’s Office (November 1978-February 2003)

• Main activities:

(i) assisting Portuguese experts in the field of cooperation with international organizations (Council of Europe, United Nations, European Union, Hague Conference on Private International Law, Unidroit, etc.);

(ii) dissemination of information on human rights issues (concerning the Council of Europe and the United Nations) among members of the legal professions, as well as the general public, not only in Portugal but also in Portuguese speaking countries, namely through the setting up of a specialized website, covering human rights issues and the activity of human rights treaty bodies (

(iii) cooperation with Portuguese Speaking Countries in the field of law;

(iv) setting up of a specialized library on international law, human rights, comparative law, law of the European Union and foreign law;

(v) preparation, since 1979, of several national reports, addressed to human rights treaty bodies and later participation, namely as head of Portuguese delegations, in the discussion of these reports before such bodies (UN Convention against torture, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, etc.).

E. Activities carried outside the Public Prosecution Department in Portugal

E.1. Bureau for International, European and Cooperation Affairs, Ministry of Justice (February 2003 – February 2006)

Position held: Director

Main activities:

(i) co-ordination of the participation of the Portuguese Ministry of Justice in the activities of several international organisations (Council of Europe, European Union, United Nations, Hague Conference on Private International, Unidroit, etc.);

(ii) co-ordination of the activity of cooperation, in the field of law, with Portuguese speaking countries;

(iii) involvement in the activities of the European Judicial Network, as well as in the activity leading to the setting up of the Ibero-american Judicial Network and the Lusophone Judicial Network.

F. Consultative Council of European Prosecutors (CCPE) (Council of Europe)

Member of CCPE since 2014

Vice-Chair (2017-2018)

Chair (2019)

G. Human Rights Committee (United Nations)

Elected as member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, set up under the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (2017-2020)