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Both parties represented in only 22 per cent of all private family law cases

Date:27 MAR 2015
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Journals Manager + Online Editor
The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for the fourth quarter of 2014 (October to December) showing that both parties are represented in only 22 per cent of all private family law cases.

The number of private law disposals where both parties were represented fell by 42 per cent in October to December 2014 compared to the same quarter the previous year. This continues the trend since the second quarter of 2013. According to figures, both parties are unrepresented in 29 per cent of all private family law cases.

Other key findings the report details include:

  • The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in October to December 2014 dropped 3% to 59,000 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2013. This is in line with the previous quarters of 2014 but lower than the average of 66,700 cases per quarter in 2011 to 2013. This is mainly due to falls in matrimonial and private law cases. 
  • The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application continued to drop to 28.7 weeks (down from 33.6 weeks in October to December 2013 and down from 45.4 weeks in October to December 2012). Fifty per cent of cases were disposed within 25.1 weeks. This is due to the Children and Families Act 2014, which introduced a 26 week time limit for completing these cases.
  • Nearly 60% of care or supervision proceedings were disposed of within 26 weeks.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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