José Pedro Aguiar-Branco graduated in Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra in 1980, the year in which he began practicing law in the first law firm established in Portugal.
He was Minister of Justice of the XVI Constitutional Government and Minister of National Defense of the XIX Constitutional Government.
Member of the Assembly of the Republic since 2005 (X and XI Legislatures), was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees in the X Legislature and President of the PSD Parliamentary Group in the XI Legislature.
Between April 2010 and June 2011 he was a member of the Higher Council for Internal Security.
He was President of the Porto Municipal Assembly between 2005 and 2009.
In the PSD, he chaired the Party Program Review Committee, coordinated the "Portugal Forum of Truth - From Ideas to Politics" held from February to May 2009 and Vice-President of the National Political Commission from April 2008 to March 2010.
He was Secretary General of the Unesco Center of Porto (1984-1985), Vice President of the National Association of Young Portuguese Lawyers (1988-1991), member (1992-1995) and President (2002-2004) of the Porto District Bar Association, elected by the Assembly of the Republic (2000) and Vice-President of the Francisco Sá Carneiro Institute (1999-2002).