Alberto Sampaio da Nóvoa. Ombudsman’s Office pays homage to the memory of one of its founders

The Ombudsman’s Office pays a heartfelt and grateful tribute to the memory of Alberto Manuel de Sequeira Leal Sampaio da Nóvoa, recalling the decisive role he played in the founding moment of this State institution for the defense of citizens’ rights.

Sampaio da Nóvoa was the author of the project that gave rise to Decree-Law 212/75, which established the creation of the Ombudsman Office, and was one of the closest collaborators to Colonel Costa Brás, the first Ombudsman, during the installation phase of the respective support services – the Ombudsman’s Office. Together, they visited similar institutions (in France and Denmark) to prepare the structure that would open its doors in 1976. Once the Ombudsman’s Office was created, Sampaio da Nóvoa was its first Legal Coordinator. Later, as Minister of the Republic in the Azores, his path once again crossed with that institution, through his collaboration in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Local Office of the Ombudsman in this Autonomous Region.

Alberto Manuel de Sequeira Leal Sampaio da Nóvoa was born on 4 August, 1927, and graduated in Law from the University of Coimbra, in 1949. He served as a delegate of the Attorney General and as a judge in several districts, as well as assistant to the Attorney General in Lisbon. In 1978, after serving on the Ombudsman’s Office, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court. In 1993, he was chosen vice president of the Supreme Administrative Court and, in the same year, he was also elected president of the court, where he remained until his retirement in 1997.

From that year until 2003, he was minister of the Republic for the Azores, and just recently, in 2020, he published a book about that period of his life and career: “Azores, an intimate connection”.

Alberto Sampaio da Nóvoa died in Oeiras on December 31, 2022. He was 95 years old.

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