Metadata is data about data. It is designed to help the interpretation of the results, including the methodological notes, conventional signs, nomenclatures, concepts, collection means and the methodological documents used in the Justice statistical area. The information here presented is, in the scope of the National Statistical System, complementary to that provided in the Integrated Metadata System of the National Statistical Institute.


Methodological notes

The methodological notes aim to clarify certain aspects related to the subjects processed by the Justice statistics, to data collection proceedings or to alterations in the statistical data resulting from corrections or updates. In order to facilitate the correct and accurate reading of the data, each data processing table is thus accompanied by the corresponding methodological notes, which are subdivided into explanatory notes, technical notes and data reviews, in the cases where they have occurred.

The data reviews follow the Data Peer Review Policy of the National Statistical Institute, whereby, without prejudice to the dynamics resulting from the data collected from the case management systems of the data providers, whenever the statistical information is subject to review, such is duly flagged.

Without prejudice to the notes that specifically accompany each data processing table, the following transversal aspects should be taken into account:

  1. 1.  Integration of data collected and processed in the previous systems: The statistical data presented include those collected over the years prior to the beginning of the project to reformulate the Justice Statistical Data System, which were subject to a migration process. Likewise, within the framework of the construction project of the current online processing and consultation system, all the data were re-processed. In the context of these cases, certain inconsistencies were detected, the processing methods were reviewed and some calculation criteria were redefined, in particular as there are now more rigorous methods and procedures available. For this reason, the results presented may differ from those initially published in the paper editions of the Justice Statistics, and more recently in the previous version of the online consultation system.

  3. 2.  Alteration of the collecting methods of the produced data and indicators: Until the aforementioned reformulation of the system, the collection of the statistical data was made through paper forms, in maps related to the quantification of the activity of the entities, and in bulletins containing a detailed characterization of the completed cases or of the acts performed. These two types of information articulated with each other in order to ensure their consistency, and to the total number of completed cases specified in the procedural flow corresponded the same number of characterization bulletins. In the courts, only  those cases which have had a final decision were characterized in detail. Out of this characterization were the ones which have been transferred to another court or entity to run their course, those which have been object of appeal before the trial, as well as those attached, incorporated or joined to other procedures still running. In the juvenile area, the cases which were preliminarily filed or those without a measure were also not characterized. With the change in the methods for collecting statistical data, the same structure of information was, in general, maintained, without prejudice to the bigger level of detail achieved, in particular at the level of the procedural species.


  4. 3. Alteration of data collection means and data dynamics: By starting to collect the data from the case processing systems of the data providers, which began in several areas, insofar as the entities had the required conditions, especially in the courts' area, the dynamism of the information has increased, through the corrections and updates that are being made in the data.

  5. 4. Presentation of the results from the perspective of the territory: As concerns the presentation of the information from the perspective of the organization of the territory, the statistical data on the judicial courts are organized according to the judicial division of the territory (county and, until 2014, judicial circuit and judicial district). The statistical data related to the registries and notary, to the police and support to investigation bodies are organized according to the administrative division (district, municipality).


Acronyms and conventional signs

The acronyms and conventional signs used in the data processing tables have the following meaning:

​N.E. Non-specified. The information, even though classifiable according to the table in question, does not match any of the possible values in that table or this match cannot be established.
N/A Not applicable. The information is not classifiable according to the table in question.
NUTS Nomenclature on Territorial Units for Statistical Purposes.
% Percentage.
R.A. Autonomous Regions.
.. Void result or under statistical confidentiality.
N.D. Not available. Data not collected or impossible to calculate.



The Justice statistics' nomenclatures are classifications or classification tables, used in this scope, to characterize the observed variables. They correspond to structured, discrete, exhaustive, and mutually exclusive lists of categories, which are composed of codes and corresponding designations.

Information only available in Portuguese. Acess the page in Portuguese.


Statistical concepts

The statistical concepts are terms used in the statistical operations performed in the scope of the Justice statistics and their corresponding definitions.

The statistical concepts in force in this area are those approved by the 113th Deliberation of the Statistical High Council, of 10 December 1996 and updated by the 257th Deliberation of the Statistical High Council, of 5 June 2003 and by the 316th Deliberation of the Statistical High Council, of 20 September 2006.

Access the library of statistical concepts in the area of Justice


Methodological documents and collection means

The methodological documents aim to give a framework of the statistical operation in force in the National Statistical System, describing and clarifying the methodologies used. A statistical operation corresponds to a statistical activity performed within a predefined methodology, comprising the collection, the processing, the analysis and the dissemination of data concerning the characteristics of a population.

Acess the library of Methodological documents.