Adult criminal courts in Canada: Workload and case processing indicators

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Release date: March 5, 2020
Infographic: Adult criminal courts in Canada: Workload and case processing indicators
Description: Adult criminal courts in Canada: Workload and case processing indicators

Adult criminal courts in Canada: Workload and case processing indicators

Caseload in adult criminal courts has decreased since the JordanNote 1 decision


Table 1
Caseload in adult criminal courts has decreased since the Jordan decision
Table summary
This table displays the results of Caseload in adult criminal courts has decreased since the Jordan decision. The information is grouped by Fiscal year (appearing as row headers), Number of cases (appearing as column headers).
Fiscal year Number of cases
2008/2009 183,698
2009/2010 182,458
2010/2011 182,441
2011/2012 179,012
2012/2013 183,981
2013/2014 182,212
2014/2015 179,628
2015/2016 185,860
2016/2017 195,158
2017/2018 182,910

In 2016 the Supreme Court of Canada set out new time limits for completing court cases in the Jordan decision.

In 2017/2018, the median time to complete an adult criminal case was 121 days, and 6.4% of cases were at risk of exceeding the Jordan limits.


Table 2
In 2017/2018, the median time to complete an adult criminal case was 121 days, and 6.4% of cases were at risk of exceeding the Jordan limits
Table summary
This table displays the results of In 2017/2018. The information is grouped by Province/Territory (appearing as row headers), Percentage of cases potentially at risk of exceeding time limits (appearing as column headers).
Province/Territory Percentage of cases potentially at risk of exceeding time limits
Newfoundland and Labrador 7.7%
Prince Edward Island 1.8%
Nova Scotia 8.3%
New Brunswick 7.2%
Quebec 12.1%
Ontario 6.0%
Manitoba 7.9%
Saskatchewan 2.7%
Alberta 8.4%
British Columbia 5.5%
Yukon 3.6%
Northwest Territories 1.7%
Nunavut 3.9%

In 2017/2018, 84% of cases were less than one year old, well below Jordan time limits.

Cases involving homicide took the most time to complete (286 days) while cases of disturbing the peace took the least (63 days).

Case completion rates increased following the Jordan decision


Table 3
Case completion rates increased following the Jordan decision
Table summary
This table displays the results of Case completion rates increased following the Jordan decision. The information is grouped by Fiscal year (appearing as row headers), Completion rate (appearing as column headers).
Fiscal year Completion rate
2008/2009 97%
2009/2010 94%
2010/2011 98%
2011/2012 94%
2012/2013 92%
2013/2014 96%
2014/2015 92%
2015/2016 90%
2016/2017 92%
2017/2018 94%

The Backlog Index helps measure a court’s ability to keep up with its incoming caseload. Court backlog peaked in 2015/2016 and began to fall after the Jordan decision.

Note: Canada excluding Quebec. Data for Quebec are not available on the Integrated Criminal Court Survey Workload Time Series Database until the 2015/2016 reference period.

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, Integrated Criminal Court Survey Workload Time Series Database, 2017/2018.

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