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Family court statistics published for second quarter of 2015

Date:24 SEP 2015
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Journals Manager + Online Editor
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published its most recent statistical bulletin presenting statistics relating to family courts.

The bulletin presents statistics on activity in the family courts of England and Wales and provides provisional figures for the latest quarter (April to June 2015) with accompanying commentary and analysis. The figures give a summary overview of the volume of cases dealt with by these courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved.
  • The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in April to June 2015 rose 4% to 59,908 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2014, but the recent trend remains steadily flat. Nearly half of new cases are divorce cases.
  • The average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application made in April to June 2015 was 29 weeks, and the trend over the past year has remained stable at this level.
  • 56% of care or supervision proceedings were disposed of within 26 weeks, following on from the 26 week time limit for completing these cases introduced in the Children and Families Act 2014.
  • There has been a decrease in the timeliness for private law cases overall in the last year – trend seen post-LASPO reforms during 2013 and early 2014 now seems to be reversing with timeliness returning to pre-LASPO levels.
  • There has been a general upward trend in the number of applications for non-molestation domestic violence remedy orders since the end of 2012, but there has been a drop since the end of 2014 suggesting that the trend may be stabilising.
  • There has also been a general upward trend in the number of adoption orders issued since 2012 rising to an all-time high in July–September 2014, but in the most recent quarters, the number of orders has dropped.
  • There has been a gradual upward trend in the total number of applications and orders made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Applications relating to deprivation of liberty increased from 109 in 2013 to 525 in 2014. In the first six months of 2015, there have already been 624 applications. This follows the Supreme Court decision on 19 March 2014 (P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and P and Q v Surrey County Council [2014] UKSC 19) whereby it was considered a person could be deprived of their liberty in their own home, sheltered accommodation etc and not just the nursing homes and hospitals which were previously covered. 
  • There were 128,804 Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in April to June 2015, the highest quarterly figure since records began and an increase of 50% since the same quarter in 2014. This is largely due to increased publicity and new online forms which have been introduced to make it simpler and faster to apply for LPAs.
The full report is available to download here.