A Document for the History of Europe

Objectives of the application

Our aim was to contribute to the promotion of the values of the European Citizenship, in particular Human Rights, by introducing the Law of the Abolition of the Death Penalty of 1867 to the European Heritage Label (EHL).

The objective is to contribute to the building of an identity based on the values of tolerance and respect for human life that, according to the European Convention on Human Rights, is a result of a historic process in which new concepts of crime, criminals and criminal justice were born. These concepts were based on philosophical and political doctrines of the European rationalist humanism in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The project that was proposed to the EHL aims to educate, in particular young people, to the fact that the abolition of the death penalty was the result of a historic process which involved:

  • European humanistic doctrines comprised in separate laws and legal reforms;
  • Abolitionist movements composed of individuals of various social backgrounds (writers, philosophers, legal and criminal experts, journalists);
  • Portuguese and European events and personalities that cleared the way and led to the achievement of the values favouring human dignity, democracy, rule of Law, and the respect for the Human Rights. Today, these are also fundamental principles of the European Union in the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms concerning the abolition of the death penalty (Strasbourg, 1983).