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Quarterly statistics on the family court published

Ministry of Justice statistics for July to September 2019

13 January 2020
Quarterly statistics on the family court published

The Ministry of Justice has published Family Court Statistics Quarterly for July to September 2019. The findings show:

  • Overall, 67,431 new cases were started, an increase of 1% on the equivalent period in 2018.
  • 14,196 private law cases were started, an increase of 5% on July-September 2018 and the highest number since mid-2013. Applications rose by 6%.
  • The average time for a care and supervision case to reach first disposal was 33 weeks, 3 weeks longer than in July-September 2018. This is the highest average time recorded since 2014.
  • 42% of these care proceedings were disposed of within the 26-week limit, 10% fewer than the same period in 2018.
  • 1,174 adoption applications were made, 6% fewer than in July-September 2018. However, the number of adoption orders made increased by 8%.
  • The proportion of disposals where neither party had legal representation was 39%, a 2% increase on July-September 2018 and an increase of 25% since January-March 2013.
  • The proportion of cases where both parties were legally represented has decreased 1% since the equivalent period in 2018.

Changes made in January 2018 to legal aid eligibility for alleged victims of domestic abuse may have had an impact on the number of domestic violence remedy order applications. In July-September 2019:

  • Domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 23% on the equivalent period in 2018.
  • Of a total 7,876 applications made for a domestic violence remedy order, 82% were for non-molestation orders and 18% for occupation orders. These proportions have remained fairly consistent in recent years.
  • Non-molestation order applications increased by 25% and occupation order applications by 16%.
  • In total, 8,839 domestic violence remedy orders were made. This is the highest number since the start of this time series in 2009, and an increase of 18% on the same quarter in 2018.
  • Of these, 93% were non-molestation orders and 7% were occupation orders, which increased by 19% and 9% respectively on July-September 2018.
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