He left Lisbon under the control of a regency, headed by the bishop of Oporto, who applied to Great Britain for help, promoted an insurrection against the French, and organized juntas (committees) of government in the larger towns.
The viceroys were chief magistrates, but in legal matters they had to consult the Audiencia of judges, in finance the Tribunal de Cuentas, in other branches of administration the Juntas de Gobierno and de Guerra.
The first appeared at Padua (1472); about fifty were published at Venice, the best-known being that by the Juntas (1552-1553) in ten volumes folio.
Unless countersigned by the juntas the decrees of Cortes and Spanish legislation or royal orders had no force in the Provinces.
Besides possessing competence in regard to local government elections, which previously came within the jurisdiction of the provincial deputations, the provincial administrative juntas discharge magisterial functions in administrative affairs, and deal with appeals presented by private persons against acts of the communal and provincial administrations.