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Civil Judicial Statistics Scotland, 2010-11. 8 December 2011. Contents. Background Current publication Results from current publication Dissemination Work going forward. Background. Publication suspended after Civil Judicial Statistics Scotland 2002

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  • Background

  • Current publication

  • Results from current publication

  • Dissemination

  • Work going forward


  • Publication suspended after Civil Judicial Statistics Scotland 2002

    • lack of precision in the definition of data items

    • inconsistent across the 49 sheriff courts

    • data unreliable and potentially misleading

  • Scottish Court Service and SG worked together to address data quality issues

  • Publication reinstated in December 2010

    • Improved data quality

    • Consistent data recording

    • 2010 publication contained 2008-09 and 2009-10 data

2010 11 publication what is different
2010-11 publication - What is different?

  • Thematic layout and improved sign posting

  • Increased use of contextual information:

    • Results from Scottish Crime and Justice Survey included

      • (2009-10 results, 2010-11 results published 1/11/10)

    • Scottish Legal Aid

    • Mid-year population estimates

    • Court structure diagram

  • Extra tables:

    • Supplementary time series tables (2008-09 to 2010-11) published alongside publication

    • Interactive dataset published

  • Consultation released with publication

Presentation issues addressed
Presentation issues addressed

  • Accessibility requirements

    • Colour scheme chosen to maximise accessibility

    • Text now left-aligned rather than justified

    • Publication made available as a Word file

  • Improved presentation

    • Shading added to tables

    • Charts and diagrams added

Court of session 2010 11
Court of Session – 2010-11

  • Court of Session

    • 5,176 cases initiated (down 16 per cent)

    • 4,291 cases disposed of

      (down 1 per cent)

Sheriff courts 2010 11
Sheriff courts – 2010-11

  • Sheriff Courts

    • 92,308 cases initiated (down 17 per cent)

    • 87,504 cases disposed of

      (down 17 per cent)

Legal aid 2010 11
Legal Aid: 2010-11

  • Civil legal aid spending in the Court of Session was £8.94m, an increase of 3 per cent since 2009-10

  • Civil legal aid spending in the sheriff courts was £29.8m, an increase of 15 per cent since 2009-10

  • The number of grants for legal aid has increased over the past three years due to the impact of the recession

Dissemination strategy
Dissemination strategy

  • E-mail notification went out to ScotStat users

  • Statistical news release published on SG website

  • Two twitter announcements on @SGJusticeAnalys went out with publication

  • Presenting to internal and external colleagues, including Justice Analytical Services user day

  • Picked up by various groups

Going forward
Going forward?

  • Collecting responses from users

  • More contextual information

  • Include results from other surveys and data collections

  • Improved data

    • Working with the SCS


Ordinary procedure cases
Ordinary procedure cases

  • The number of ordinary procedure cases has continued to fall in 2010-11

  • Largest drop in ordinary cause cases, but little change in the number of commercial and family cases initiated

Overview of civil courts
Overview of civil courts

  • Court of Session - highest civil court in Scotland

  • Sheriff Courts - local courts, dealing with both criminal and civil business, as well as commissary work

  • Justice of the Peace (JP) courts - local courts, dealing with lower-level criminal and civil cases

Differences across sheriffdoms1
Differences across sheriffdoms

  • Fewer cases were initiated and disposed in each sheriffdom in 2010-11

    • Largest fall in Lothian and Borders (24% fewer cases initiated, 24% fewer cases disposed)

    • Smallest change in cases initiated seen in Grampian, Highlands and Islands (down 12%)

    • Smallest change in cases disposed seen in North Strathclyde (down 9%)

  • Glasgow and Strathkelvin has dealt with the most cases per 1,000 population, with around 30% more than any other sheriffdom

Debt cases
Debt cases

  • The number of debt cases initiated and disposed of continued to fall across all procedural levels of the sheriff courts

  • One possible reason for this is the economic downturn

Repossession cases
Repossession cases

  • Ordinary cause cases initiated down by almost half - due to new legislation

  • Smaller fall in disposed cases partly due to RBS vs Wilson judgment

  • The fall in summary cause cases is thought to be due to a change in the way that some local authorities deal with rent arrears

Family cases 2010 11
Family cases 2010-11

  • Almost all family cases are raised in the sheriff courts

  • Family cases account for 16 per cent of cases initiated in the sheriff courts

  • Over three-quarters of cases initiated are for divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership

Personal injury
Personal Injury

  • Personal injury cases make up more than half of the cases processed in the Court of Session

    • New ruling on pleural plaques released after publication sent to publishers

  • Most personal injury cases are for something other than an asbestos-related condition or clinical negligence


  • Ordinary estate figures for 2010-11 similar to those for 2008-09

  • Number of small estates confirmed continues to fall

Scottish crime and justice survey
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey

  • 28% of respondents had experienced at least one civil law problem in the last three years

  • 49% of those who had experienced a problem had solved that problem - 7% had given up trying, while 6% were not doing anything towards solving the problem

2010 11 publication
2010-11 publication

  • Published on 25 October 2011

  • Based on the 2009-10 publication

  • Several changes and improvements...