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Average High Court criminal case takes 1.4 years for disposal

01 November 2018

At 30 September 2018 the average age at disposal for criminal trial cases in the High Court was 504 days, information released by Courts Minister Andrew Little shows.

This was down from the average of 548 days at the same time in 2017.

Mr Little has released the information in response to a series of written questions from National MP Chris Penk.

Average age of cases at disposal

Mr Penk asked questions on the average age of all cases in a number of categories and courts which were dispoed in the 12-month period to 30 September 2018 compared to the same time in 2017.

The information provided by Mr Little states that the age at disposal represents the active days between filing and disposal. This excludes any time that a case is "on hold" due to a warrant to arrest the defendant in criminal proceedings having been issued.

The data is based on the Ministry of Justice's Case Management System extracted on 5 October 2018. As this is an operational system, data for earlier months may have been updated since any previous publication.

Average age at disposal in the 12-month period ending 30 September
Proceeding20182017
District Court criminal114108
DC category 1 criminal7473
DC category 2 criminal7573
DC category 3 criminal188176
DC Judge-alone criminal10498
DC civil234216
High Court criminal504548
Substantive Family Court applications148147
Number of active cases

In another series of questions, Mr Penk asked for information on the total number of trial cases in the 12-month period ending 30 September 2018, compared to the same time in 2017.

The data provided interprets this to mean the total number of active trials.

Number of active cases at the end of the 12-month period ending 30 September
Proceeding20182017
District Court criminal32,44131,591
DC category 1 criminal1,8372,221
DC category 2 criminal11,62612,273
DC category 3 criminal18,97717,096
DC Judge-alone28,56028,097
DC civil9,0729,237
High Court criminal134137
Substantive Family Court applications24,86924,416

Last updated on the 16th September 2019