HC Deb 27 January 1993 vol 217 cc702-3W
Mr. John Morris

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the current delay for trials in the commercial court, other courts of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, civil and criminal divisions, and as regards the latter, distinguishing between cases involving custody and non-custodial cases.

Mr. John M. Taylor

For longer cases the current waiting time in the commercial court is 10 to 11 months though urgent cases may be expedited. Shorter cases can be listed for hearing within three months. Cases are generally fixtures and a date for hearing is supplied to the parties, taking account of the time they need to prepare.

In the Queens Bench Division waiting times vary between one month for warned list cases and 13 months for fixtures likely to last over two months.

In the Family Division the average waiting time for cases likely to last between a half day and one day is six weeks in the High Court list. Cases of five days or more in duration can be heard within 20 weeks.

In the Chancery Division the waiting times vary between eight months for cases under three days in duration and 23 months for long cases in the part I list.

In the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) the average waiting time between set down and disposal is 7.7 months. At present there are no figures available to show the time between receipt of a case within the Criminal Appeal Office and final disposal in that court. However, from receipt in the list office to final disposal, the approximate waiting times for appellants in custody were, at the end of December 1992, 4.3 months for appeals against conviction and 2.3 months for appeals against sentence. For those not in custody, the waiting times were 6.6 months and 3.9 months respectively.

In the crown office the waiting times are available only from the date of entry into the warned list to the date of hearing. They are, for the divisional court list 8.3 months, for the single judge list 16.5 months and for the planning court list 9.3 months.