The Justice Statistical Data System and the Hermes project on the restructuring of this system
The Justice statistics are one of the official statistics area produced by the Directorate General for Justice Policy (DGPJ), in the scope of the competences delegated to it by the National Statistical Institute.
The power of delegation for the production and dissemination of the official statistics, provided for in the Law on the National Statistical System (Law n.º 22/2008, of 13 May), was made through a
protocol agreed upon between the National Statistical Institute I.P. (INE) and the Directorate General for Justice Policy. It was homologated by the Minister of the Presidency and by the Minister of Justice. It was published in
Order n.º 17214/2010, of 16 November, and in the Official Journal, II series, n. 222, of 16 November 2010.
By law, the delegated competences are carried out under the exclusive technical orientation of INE, being DGPJ subject to the compliance of
national and community legislation in what concerns the official statistics, of the
European Statistics Code of Practice, of the Regulation on the Application of the Principle on Statistical Confidentiality and of INE
Policies on Dissemination and Peer Review.
The statistical production and dissemination, by the Ministry of Justice's services, dates from 1983, being a
sharing experience of responsibilities and competences, which has begun by delegation on the then so-called Studies and Planning Office, continued on the Legal Policy and Planning Office and nowadays on DGPJ.
The Justice statistics comprise data from several sources – most of them from the Ministry of Justice's services – and are traditionally organized in 4 thematic areas: courts, registry and notary services, law enforcement and support to investigation bodies, as well as other statistics.
Throughout the years the Justice statistics have tried to diverse and increase its contents, modernize the collection, processing and consultation methods of the Justice Statistical Data System (SIEJ), which supports these activities, and to bring information closer to the users.
Hence, the Hermes project (link to the presentation) is a milestone. This project, developed with the support of community funds, began at the end of 2003 and has taken advantage of existing potential computer means to support decision-making in order to overcome the limitations and insufficiencies of the methods of production, processing and dissemination of the Justice statistics. The objectives then established may be translated in the following lines:
1. Automation of the statistical data collection method;
2. Streamlining the search of statistical data;
3. On-line availability of statistical data.
These objectives remain in place, the Justice statistics trying to improve, in a continuous and successive way, the collection, production and dissemination methods of the statistical data, so that they can become, in an increasingly effective and efficient way and within a transparent framework, a planning, management and evaluation tool of the Justice system, able to also promote its quality.