§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the size of the annual case load is in each type of court in Northern Ireland; and what her estimate of the annual case load based on the proposals contained in the Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill is. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
The annual case load for the years 1999 and 2000 for the various tiers of court in Northern Ireland are shown in the tables. The case load figures for the 2001 calendar year are currently being compiled.775W
It is not anticipated that the proposals contained in the Justice (Northern Ireland) Bill will result in significant variation in overall case load size. There will be a redistribution of business as between the magistrates courts and the youth court consequent on the proposal to bring 17-year-olds within the ambit of the youth court. It is estimated that the business of the youth court will increase by some 50 per cent.
However, it is also expected that, as the pre-court restorative justice diversionary conferences provided for come on line, there may be reductions in the numbers of cases appearing before the youth courts. It is not possible to estimate the numbers of such reductions at this time.
Magistrates courts business dealt with–1999 Case Load Civil applications1 38,664 Criminal defendants2 50,702 Total 89,366 1 Combines civil applications (33,562) and children order applications (5,102). 2 Combines criminal defendants (48,777) and youth defendants (1,925)
Business dealt with 1999–County courts, Crown courts, High Court Case Load County courts Civil busines 45,440 Criminal business 2,451 Total 47,891 Crown courts Civil busines 103 Criminal business 900 Total 1,003 High Court Civil busines 21,045 Criminal business 53 Total 21,098
Magistrates courts business dealt with–2000 Case Load Civil applications1 38,604 Criminal defendants2 50,034 Total 88,638 1 Combines civil applications (33,541) and children order applications (5,063). 2Combines criminal defendants (48,042) and youth defendants (1,992)
Business dealt with 2000–County courts, Crown courts, High Court Case Load County courts Civil busines 46,368 Criminal business 2,216 Total 48,584
Business dealt with 2000–County courts, Crown courts, High Court Case Load Crown courts Civil busines 215 Criminal business 963 Total 1,178 High Court Civil busines 21,410 Criminal business 69 Total 21,479