Court statistics (quarterly) – October to December 2012.
Earlier editions: Court statistics (quarterly)
This bulletin presents National Statistics on activity in the county, family, magistrates’ and Crown courts of England and Wales. The figures give a summary overview of the volume of cases dealt with by these courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved.
Please note we are proposing some changes to future publications of Court Statistics Quarterly and would welcome feedback on this. Please see Annex F of the publication for more details.
These statistics are used to monitor the type and volume of cases that are received and processed through the court system of England and Wales. Seasonal variations affecting the workload of the courts may impact on comparisons with other periods. Because the figures for the latest quarter are provisional, the numbers and trends highlighted in the commentary may be subject to revision in the future.
Civil (non-family) matters
There were 340,146 claims issued and 10,117 hearings or trials, a reduction of two and 18 per cent respectively from Q4 2011. This continues the downward trend since 2007.
Of claims issued at any point during 2012, 0.6 per cent have gone to hearing or trial as of March 2013. 2.6 per cent of claims issued between 2002 and 2010 have gone to hearing or trial as of March 2013. The bulk of the difference is due to claims issued in 2012 having had insufficient time to fully progress through the county court system.
The number of children involved in public law applications made by local authorities jumped in 2009 from around 5,000 per quarter to 6,500 per quarter following the publicity surrounding the Baby P case. Since then, this number has increased even further to nearly 7,500 per quarter. The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 45.1 weeks, continuing the drop seen since early 2012.
There were 418,316 criminal cases completed in magistrates’ courts and 33,137 completed in the Crown Court in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was a reduction of one per cent and nine per cent respectively when compared to the same quarter in 2011.
The magistrates’ courts recorded 37,949 trials during the fourth quarter of 2012, of which 44 per cent were recorded as effective. During the same period, 8,946 trials were recorded in the Crown Court, of which 50 per cent were recorded as effective.
The average (mean) time taken between the first listing of the criminal case in a magistrates’ court and the final completion in either a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court was 32 days. This has remained relatively stable since the second quarter of 2010.
Also being published are detailed breakdowns of the headline court caseload and timeliness statistics, broken down by court or Local Justice Area. More information can be found at open.justice.gov.uk
The bulletin is produced and handled by the ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff.
In addition to Ministry of Justice professional and production staff, pre-release access to the provisional court statistics of up to 24 hours is granted to the following postholders:
Ministry of Justice: Secretary of State, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister of State (Policing and Criminal Justice), Permanent Secretary, Director General of Finance and Public Services, Head of Legal Services Commission, Head of Analytical Services, Chief Executive, Chief Statistician, Policy Advisor (Civil Justice), Policy Advisor (Public Law), Policy Advisor (Private Law and Matrimonial Justice), five Press Officers and Relevant Special Advisers.
Her Majesty’s Court Service: Chief Executive, Director of Civil, Family and Tribunals, Deputy Director of Civil and Family, Director of Crime, Head of Civil Operations Branch, Head of Family Performance & Management Information , Head of Crown Court Improvement Branch, Head of Criminal Enforcement, and Jurisdictional and Operational Support Officer (Magistrates).