Thesaurus at Law

This post is the translated version of  “Tesauros no Direito“.

I share two documentary languages that I met on the day to day work in the legal field.


ICMS Paulista Thesaurus
The Tax Library provides this page on the Intranet, a test version for consultation, decisions of the Court of Taxes and the State of Sao Paulo – TIT.

Decisions were indexed using the terms of ICMS Paulista Thesaurus.
The Thesaurus system has been widely used in information management, for example, by the Senate, STF and STJ, by enabling more effective and efficient methods of information retrieval.

This is because it is not textual research, which finds only words expressed in the document, but also implied terms in the text, referred to as crawlers.
At this stage, approximately 15,000 are available TIT decisions related to ICMS and 500 decisions on property taxes, which are, in almost all, with their graven images.

This base, called TIT Decisions will be constantly updated with the goal of enabling interested parties to research the Court of Taxes and the State of São Paulo.

Available at: <>. Accessed on: 24 February 2012.

I unknow the rules of use and update frequency ICMS Paulista Thesaurus , which was developed by USP in 2000. Although I has contacted the Library of the Department of Finance of St. Paul for more information, the responsible for its maintenance is the Court of Taxes and Fees, to which I have not yet got in touch.


Legal Vocabulary (Thesaurus)
LEGALTHESAURUS – The legal vocabulary controlled adopted by the Secretary of Decisions by the Superior Court for development of further information from the judgment is made up of elements that ensure the retrieval of information with greater accuracy, flexibility and uniformity.

The Thesaurus is composed of descriptors, no descriptors and modifiers.

– KEYWORDS – simple or compound terms are allowed to represent the Thesaurus concepts and provide additional information in information retrieval. They are nouns or noun phrases that represent a single concept;

– NON-WORDS – are terms that, although representing the same concepts that the descriptors, are not authorized for use in the supplementary information document, avoiding the proliferation of synonyms, which makes the retrieval of information. Should be replaced by the corresponding authorized term, which is suggested by the notation “USE”;

– MODIFIERS – are authorized by Tesauro nouns used to modify or supplement the primary descriptor. Should always be accompanied by descriptors to clarify or limit its meaning, especially in the supplementary information which seeks to concatenate ideas as understanding, legal institute and factual context reasoning, which is only possible with the use of connectors or modifiers. The modifiers have taken on even greater importance, as the old index was evolving into structured abstract, and then for further information.

The thesaurus contains approximately 12,200 legal terms, constantly being maintained and revised, as the dynamics of Law requires.

The legal vocabulary controlled was based on the Thesaurus law prepared by the Technical Committee on Jurisprudence, established by Order / CJF No. 22/92, composed of representatives of the Federal Regional Courts, the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Justice of the Federal District, under coordination of the Federal Council of Justice.

Available at: <>. Accessed on: 24 February 2012.

The Legal Vocabulary (Thesaurus) STJ covers various areas of law and, therefore, has its restrictions on certain subjects. For example, the ICMS Paulista Thesaurus contains the term “undue credit”, the plaintiff in the case law of the TIT, however, the same term does not exist in the thesaurus in question. This makes it clears terminological diversity in Law and the importance of its standardization, necessary to avoid doctrine conflicts and even legislative! By being available online, can be used for any law library.

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