40 years of delegating official justice statistics


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February 2, 2023 will mark 40 years since the delegation of powers to the Ministry of Justice to produce Justice Statistics.

To mark this date, DGPJ has prepared a commemorative image under the slogan “1983-2023 – 40 years … sharing knowledge”.
Throughout this year, the work developed by the Justice Statistics and the portal of the Information System of Justice Statistics (SIEJ), will have as reference the marking of this date.
Justice Statistics is one of the areas of official statistics, produced by the Directorate General for Justice Policy (DGPJ), under the powers delegated to it by the National Statistics Institute.
Integrating data from various sources – mostly from the services of the Ministry of Justice – they are organized into 4 thematic areas: courts, registries and notary, police and research support agencies and other statistics.
Throughout these 40 years, the Justice statistics have sought to diversify and increase its contents, modernize the methods of collection, processing and consultation of data from the Justice Statistics Information System (SIEJ), bringing the information closer to the users.
In this sense, the Hermes project is a milestone. This project began in late 2003 and was developed with the support of EU funds, with the following objectives
1. Automation of the statistical data collection method.
2. Streamlining the exploitation of statistical information;
3. Making statistical information available online.
These objectives remain current and are reflected in the Recovery and Resilience Plan projects underway, with Justice Statistics seeking to continuously and successively improve the process of collection, production and dissemination of statistical information.
Hermes Project

On the SIEJ portal you can consult statistical data about:
  • Sexual abuse of minors
  • Money laundering
  • Corruption
  • Sports-related crimes
  • Road crimes
  • Violent crimes
  • Economic crime
  • Dismissals
  • Average duration of proceedings – judicial courts (1st instance)
  • Forest fires
  • Insolvencies decreed
  • Economic justice
  • Overview of civil justice 2021
  • Criminal justice 2021
  • Justice professionals
  • Domestic Violence
  • SIEJ periodically provides statistical highlights on various topics, as well as Panoramas on Civil and Criminal Justice, which you may consult in the Highlights Library.

The theme of Justice in Statistics

In the first Statistical Yearbook of Portugal, there are some references to the topic of Justice, which is treated in a more detailed and specific way in its second issue, published in 1886. The topic that deserved special attention then was the activity of the courts, while the topic related to prison life, at the origin of the first statistics in this area, only begins to be part of this publication in the following issue.
The National Institute of Statistics (INE) was created in 1935 and in 1937 the first edition of Justice statistics was published, then and until 1968, under the title “Judicial Statistics”. With an annual or biannual periodicity, INE published 29 issues until 1982.

The delegation of powers

The reform of the National Statistical System, introduced by Decree-Law no. 427/73, of 25 August, states that “the functions of rating, calculation, coordination and publication of statistical data belong exclusively to Statistics Portugal and to those entities deemed to be delegated to carry out some of these tasks or to assist in the rating functions”.
It was on the basis of this provision that, in 1983, Executive Order no. 113/83, of 2 February 1983, attributed to the Studies and Planning Office of the Ministry of Justice (GEPMJ) the quality of delegated body of Statistics Portugal, a quality that was successively renewed.
As a result of the various restructurings of the services of the Ministry of Justice that took place in 2001 and 2007, the competences attributed by this Executive Order to the GEPMJ are today performed by the DGPJ.
This solution of sharing competences and responsibilities between Statistics Portugal and the Ministry of Justice, regarding statistical activity in the area of Justice, has been maintained uninterruptedly for 40 years.

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