The Constitution is the country's supreme law. It enshrines the
fundamental rights that pertain to citizens, the essential
principles that govern the Portuguese State, and the major
political guidelines with which the latter's entities and organs
must comply. It also lays down the rules for organising political
In other words, it establishes the structure of the state and
defines the competences of the main entities that exercise
sovereign power (the President and the Assembly of the Republic,
the Government, and the Courts), and regulates the way in which
they relate to one another.
All the other laws must respect the Constitution - if they
don't, they are unconstitutional and thus invalid.
The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic was passed in 1976,
and since then has been amended several times.