The traditional study of law travels in a theoretical and abstract plan. Operators are trained to reason, taking as reference how the ideal world should be, without being concerned about functionally describing the system of laws as it is. Law studies the laws, their possible constructions and legal concepts, taken from a theoretical perspective, without a systematic concern about how conflicts are actually being solved, and especially about the practical consequences of these solutions. The law, however, is a theoretical aspiration of the lawmaker, whose interpretations are taken into consideration by the judge along with several other factors that interfere in the legal decision processes and therefore in the creation of specific norms. These factors include the expectations and values ??of the parties, the interaction between the parties and the judges and the interpretation of the narrative of events, to name just the most obvious. Moreover, the set of general and abstract rules show some degree of indeterminacy, either by natural plurivocity language, such as the existence of gaps or contradictions. Thus, the legal agents, whether judges, prosecutors or contracting parties, upon interpreting this set of rules according to various other factors of influence, play a role in creating the right that goes beyond the mere mechanical application of solutions priory and abstractly provided in the law.

Discuss ideas and proposals on how the world should be an important part of life in society. However, knowing the reality is the first step to transform it and if we are to transform the reality of law, the abstract study of the law is not enough.

Hence the importance of studying not only the law and its possible constructions, but also the concrete characteristics of the legal decision processes. To understand what real law is, we must use tools able to describe how the practical discouragement takes place in proceedings with conflicts of interest. For example, to know how damages are awarded in Brazil, it is not sufficient to study general provisions in the articles of the Civil Code. We have to check the profile of claimants and defendants who go to court and seek damages grasp at the understanding of judges about the narratives and pleas. Likewise, if we are to understand what is contract in Brazil, it is not sufficient to talk about the various legal provisions governing the typical and atypical legal business, legal status and their possible meanings. We must verify which contracts are agreed daily and specifically, how they're operated in practice, their purposes, parties, considerations, and guarantees, which ones are in default and under what conditions.

Jurimetrics serves as a tool for understanding this universe of legal facts and processes. When studying a single general and abstract norm, for example, an article of law, there are appropriate tools for its description, such as history, grammar or logic. Yet the study of populations requires the use of other areas of knowledge able to briefly describe its core trends and variability: statistics and probability. Unlike the abstract norms, legal facts and processes arise in large populations, but whose characteristics can be summarized. Jurimetrics is therefore the discipline resulting from the application of statistical models in the understanding of legal facts and processes.

The first colloquy on Jurimetrics was held on June 10, 2011 in São Paulo. Organized by a committee composed of members of the Brazilian Jurimetrics Association - ABJ, the Institute Victor Nunes Leal (IVNL), Brazilian Society of Public Law (SBDP) and the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics (IME-USP), and the National Council of Justice (CNJ), the Court of Justice of São Paulo, the São Paulo Bar Association and the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences (IBCCrim), the event gathered legal practitioners, statisticians, administrators, economists and computer science professionals to discuss ways to improve and promote Jurimetrics. The conclusion of the symposium was that Jurimetrics, upon describing the specific interests of legal practitioners, their conflicts and the solutions offered by the judges, can help citizens better understand what they can expect from the authorities and thus help the authorities make laws more adherent to social reality. In describing the concrete life of the law, Jurimetricsbecomes a fundamental tool to develop more equitable legal institutions capable of carrying out the political aspirations of the society.

Marcelo Guedes Nunes
Chairman of the Brazilian Jurimetrics Association (ABJ), attorney.