The Supreme Court of Victoria continues to perform strongly across all areas of the Court according to the latest Productivity Commission data on government services.
The figures, released today, show the Court continues to have the highest clearance rate for criminal cases among all Supreme Court jurisdictions in Australia. Additionally, the Court continues to meet or exceed demand in all Trial and Appeal divisions.
As a whole, the Court’s clearance rate was 105.3%. The clearance rate shows the number of cases finalised, expressed as a percentage of the number of cases initiated and is the strongest indicator of the efficiency of a court’s processes. In 2016-17, the Court had the second highest overall clearance rate among the country’s Supreme Courts.
In both the Criminal and Civil Trial Divisions, the clearance rate remained above 100%. In the Criminal Division this rate was achieved despite increases in the number of cases initiated into the Division.
The Court also maintained a clearance rate for Civil Appeals above 100%, the highest rate among Supreme Court jurisdictions in 2016-17. The clearance rate for Criminal Appeals fell to 83.3%, due to a 20% increase in lodgements late in the reporting period.
Overall, the number of pending matters has decreased in most divisions in 2016-17 from 2015-16:
- Civil Appeal matters decreased by 16%
- Criminal Trial Division matters decreased by 12%
- Civil Trial Division matters decreased by 6%
Chief Justice Ferguson said the Court’s program of reform has improved efficiency and access to justice. Investment in the Court’s Digital Strategy and, in particular, innovations in electronic filing and electronic case management are anticipated to further improve clearance rates and other indicators. Similarly, projects such as the continuing development of the Commercial Court, the Common Law Improvement Program and reform to the Court of Appeal’s processes have demonstrated the value in investment in the Court’s Divisions in reducing the cost and delay to litigants, the Court and society.