YEAR 2021 N.º 2

ISSN 2182-9845

Modification of the res judicata and “change of circunstancies” – A first approach based on the work of Isabel Alexandre

Fernando Silva Pereira / Tiago Azevedo Ramalho


Res judicata; change of circumstances; modification; temporal limits of res judicata; preclusion; civil procedure.


The object of this article is the modification, by alteration of the factual circumstances, of civil court decisions which constitute material res judicata (a possibility which is generically foreseen in article 619, no. 2 of the CPC). Starting from the analysis of this rule, we will try to identify which sentences may be, under the terms of the same, modified (object of the modification), and which are the grounds for the modification - which raises the problem of the relationship between the "new facts" and the object of the sentence being modified. After identifying the object and the grounds for modification, an attempt will be made to find the basis for the judge's binding commitment to the earlier decision - more specifically, to know whether this binding commitment constitutes a manifestation of the extension of the authority of res judicata to the grounds of the sentence - and, finally, to answer the question of whether the modification of the sentence operates a breach of res judicata, and whether it constitutes a reflection of the so-called temporal limits of res judicata.