House of Commons Library

Court statistics for England and Wales

Published Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A guide to statistics on caseload, case outcomes, and court performance, covering Magistrates', Crown, and civil courts and tribunals. Also covers court closures since 2010, courts workforce, judicial diversity, and expenditure on courts.

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This briefing explains where to find and how to interpret statistics on criminal and civil courts in England and Wales. It covers Magistrates', Crown, and civil courts and tribunals.

In 2017/18:

  • The courts system received around 4.4 million cases.
  • More than half of cases were for civil courts, mainly consisting of claims for money.
  • The remainder were criminal cases. The large majority of criminal cases are resolved in Magistrates' courts.

The annual criminal court caseload has been steadily declining over the last ten years while the civil courts caseload has risen.

Court statistics for England and Wales are reported separately for different types of court: criminal, civil, and family. These statistics are published quarterly and annually and provide information about caseload and performance by tier of court. Tribunals statistics are also published separately, in a quarterly and annual release (by financial year).

This briefing summarises the statistics on:

  • Court caseload
  • Effectiveness of trials/ hearings
  • Waiting times for trials/ hearings
  • Legal representation of defendants and claimants
  • Court closures since 2010
  • Court workforce, including the number of Judges and Magistrates.
  • Judicial diversity
  • Courts expenditure.

An Excel file is provided containing the underlying data to charts.

Commons Briefing papers CBP-8372

Author: Georgina Sturge

Topic: Courts

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