Lord Chancellor's Department: Planning and Communications Division and predecessors and The Court Service: Resources and Planning Division: Judicial Statistics Database
The Judicial Statistics datasets are a collection of workload statistics in the Crown and County courts of England and Wales dating from 1986. The datasets contain records from 1986 to early 1998. The data includes routine monthly returns from courts throughout England and Wales for which the Lord Chancellor is responsible, plus some sampler information taken at intervals throughout the time scale. The dataset is the latest method of storage and retrieval of the judicial statistics.
It was intended for the first accession (which took place in 1998) to contain only data from 1986-1996, the latter being the most recent 'closed' year (the department may make updates and corrections to the data during the year following the end of the reporting period). Subsequent annual accessions are for years in which processing by the department has been completed, commencing with 1997. In fact the tables in the first dataset also contain data input during 1997 and early 1998.
The datasets in this series are available to download. Links to individual datasets can be found at piece level.
Hardware: IBM compatible PC (486).
Operating system: MS-DOS Version 6.2.
Application software: Dataflex DBMS (Version 2.1).
Logical structure and schema: Apart from a number of lookup tables (court, fpclu, psdlu and, except for judgcode), each table contains the data collected from a specific form, cumulatively since the introduction of the database system, or the inception of the form, whichever is later.
How data was originally captured and validated: Data were collected by clerks or administrative officers within the courts using a series of forms and notes filled in on a regular basis, usually monthly.
The resulting printouts and reports, in the form of an Excel Spreadsheet were used to amalgamate figures and to monitor the performance of each court. These figures were checked by the Circuit Administrators as well as the Board of Senior Management of the Court Service.
Validation performed after transfer: Details of the content and transformation validation checks performed by NDAD staff on each Judicial Statistics dataset are contained in the catalogues of individual datasets.
The Court Service, 1995-2005
Civil and criminal judicial statistics were produced annually by the Home Office from 1856. In 1921 responsibility for the preparation of civil judicial statistics was passed to the Lord Chancellor; compilation of the statistics became the responsibility of the County Courts Branch. Preparation of criminal judicial statistics remained the responsibility of the home secretary. To save on costs the civil judicial statistics were pared down considerably from 1922. In 1968 a Committee on Civil Judicial Statistics recommended that the statistics needed to again be made more comprehensive so that they would have a wider use. To improve the method of collection, the committee also recommended that forms be produced upon which each court or office would record the relevant information. The committee suggested that a statistical unit be established to store and retrieve the data. In 1973, following the administrative changes introduced by the Courts Act 1971, a separate collection of Statistics on Judicial Administration was published in addition to the civil judicial statistics to provide information on the actual work of individual courts. In 1975, following the recommendations of a working party to consider the production of court statistics, the two publications were amalgamated to produce for the first time in one volume information on the whole of the business, criminal and civil, of those courts for which the Lord Chancellor was responsible.
Until 1995 data was collected annually by the Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD). The Court Service took over the function upon its establishment as an executive agency in 1995. This data forms the basis of all the business assessment and planning of both the LCD and the Court Service. Note that on 12 June 2003, the Lord Chancellor's Department was abolished and subsequently replaced by the creation of a new department known as the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA).
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