The study “Working conditions, professional exhaustion, health and well-being of Portuguese judges”, by the Permanent Observatory of Justice of the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, coordinated by researchers João Paulo Dias and Paula Casaleiro, surveyed 684 judges from a universe of 2,043 in the country, between December 2022 and January 2023.

Among the main conclusions of the study, presented at the national meeting of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, in Covilhã, is the identification of 16.7% of judges at high risk of 'burnout', an average in which the levels detected in magistrates weigh mainly of the judicial courts, since in the administrative and tax areas the high risk does not exceed 10%.

On average, judges say they work 46 hours a week, but in some areas they work more than 50, referring, in the interviews cited in the study, to impacts on their personal lives, often taking work home, which continues into the weekend and affects their reconciliation with family life.

In terms of impact on health, risk levels were identified in 66.7% of participants in the difficulty sleeping criterion, in 35.9% in the 'stress' criterion and in 26.2% in depressive symptoms.

In the interviews cited in the study, judges refer to the anxiety caused by “a completely disproportionate workload” and the weight of dealing with the lives of third parties in each process.

The study also suggests a “regular assessment of working conditions” for judges, the creation of an occupational health office within the scope of occupational medicine and training in skills such as stress management.