Courts statistics: Interactive dashboard

Release date: November 19, 2019
Data

The data used to create this interactive web application is from the following listed data tables:

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Additional information

The Courts statistics interactive dashboard provides a overview of criminal court services, civil court services, and maintenance enforcement programs in Canada.

All the information presented in the Court statistics interactive dashboard is available on Statistics Canada's website. Please refer to the following documentation for more details:

Criminal court

The objective of the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS) is to develop and maintain a national database of statistical information on appearances, charges, and cases in youth courts and adult criminal courts. The survey is intended to be a census of pending and completed federal statute charges heard in provincial-territorial and superior courts in Canada. Appeal courts, federal courts (e.g., Tax Court of Canada) and the Supreme Court of Canada are not covered by the survey.

The survey includes information on the age and sex of the accused, case decisions, sentencing information regarding the length of prison and probation, and amount of fine, as well as case-processing indicators such as case elapsed time. These survey data are collected by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) in collaboration with provincial and territorial government departments responsible for criminal courts. The collection of data is from administrative records, in which data are derived from records originally kept for non-statistical purposes. The data are collected to respond to the needs of the provincial, territorial and federal departments of justice and attorneys-general, researchers and policy analysts, academics and the media, as well as to inform the public on how youths and adults appearing in provincial-territorial and superior criminal courts are dealt with in Canada.

The Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS) is an annual administrative data survey that was implemented to replace two previous micro-data surveys: the Adult Criminal Court Survey (ACCS, see legacy versions of record number 3312) and the Youth Court Survey (YCS, see record number 3309). The purpose of redevelopment was to collect new information related to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). At the same time, it was an opportunity to integrate data collection and processing, implement a snapshot data collection strategy (collect appearances as they occurred rather than once the case was completed), and change survey definitions to more closely reflect court processing.

  • Table 35-10-0027-01 Adult criminal courts, number of cases and charges by type of decision
  • Table 35-10-0029-01 Adult criminal courts, cases by median elapsed time in days
  • Table 35-10-0030-01 Adult criminal courts, guilty cases by type of sentence
  • Table 35-10-0038-01 Youth courts, number of cases and charges by type of decision
  • Table 35-10-0040-01 Youth courts, cases by median elapsed time in days
  • Table 35-10-0041-01 Youth courts, guilty cases by type of sentence
  • Survey 3312 Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS)
Civil court

The Civil Court Survey is a census survey and when fully implemented, it will collect data from all civil courts in Canada, including all the superior and provincial-territorial courts hearing civil matters including general civil, family, probate and small claims. Appeal courts, federal courts (e.g., Tax Court of Canada) and the Supreme Court of Canada are not covered by the survey. The collection of data is from administrative records, in which data are derived from records originally kept for non-statistical purposes. In particular, survey data are obtained from case files located in existing civil court automated information systems. Given that the data collection methodology requires the existence of detailed operational information systems that have not yet been developed in all jurisdictions it will take time for the survey to achieve full coverage.

  • Table 35-10-0112-01 Civil court cases, by level of court and type of case, Canada and selected provinces and territories
  • Table 35-10-0114-01 General civil court cases, by type of action, Canada and selected provinces and territories
  • Survey 5052 Civil Court Survey (CCS)
Maintenance enforcement programs

The Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs (SMEP) collects information on child and spousal support payments and cases from provincial and territorial maintenance enforcement programs (MEPs). These programs exist in each province and territory to assist in the collection and enforcement of child and spousal support payments.

The SMEP data provide information on the volume and type of cases enrolled, enforcement actions taken, support amounts due and compliance with support payments, among other measures. The data do not cover all support cases in Canada, as not all support orders are registered in MEPs.The SMEP is a microdata survey that provides more detailed information than the former aggregate Maintenance Enforcement Survey (MES) (see legacy version of record number 3324).

  • Table 35-10-0102-01 Maintenance enforcement programs, by annual caseload, Canada and selected provinces and territories
  • Table 35-10-0105-01 Maintenance enforcement programs, cases enrolled, by compliance with regular and total payments, arrears status and assignment status at March 31, Canada and selected provinces and territories
  • Survey 3324 Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs (SMEP)
Notes
  • A case is one or more charges against an accused person or company, which were processed by the courts at the same time (date of offence, date of initiation, date of first appearance, or date of decision), and received a final decision. The definition attempts to reflect court processing. All data have been processed using this case definition. The case definition changed for the 2006/2007 release of data. The former definition (used in releases prior to October 2007) combined all charges against the same person disposed of in court on the same day into a case. Consequently, comparisons should not be made with data tables and reports released before that time.
  • Cases are counted in the fiscal year in which they are completed. Every year, the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS) database is considered final at the end of March for the production of court statistics for the previous fiscal year. These counts do not include cases pending an outcome at the end of the reference period. If an outcome is reached in the next fiscal year, these cases are included in the completed case counts for that fiscal year. However, cases that are inactive for one year are deemed complete and the originally published counts for the previous fiscal year are updated and reported in the next fiscal year's data release. This approach is difficult to apply in Quebec where information from the Court of Quebec and the Superior Court is reported using the Adult Criminal Court Survey national data requirements (NDR) rather than the ICCS NDR. Inasmuch as possible, the data are converted to ICCS format during data processing; however, the conversion seems to have a negative impact on the number of annual updates. The methods that Quebec uses to send data, in contrast with the other provinces, may lead to overestimation of the median length of cases completed by Quebec courts.
  • A charge refers to a formal accusation against an accused person or company involving a federal statute offence that has been processed by the courts and received a final decision. A charge is considered to be completed under any of the following conditions: the accused is acquitted or found guilty and sentenced (if applicable); the accused is found unfit to stand trial; the charge is stayed, withdrawn, dismissed, or discharged at preliminary hearing; the charge has been waived out of the province or territory.
  • A decision is a judgment made by the court. The decision categories are as follows: Guilty; Acquittal; Stay, Withdrawn, Dismissed; and Other decisions.
  • Due to a change in the extraction methodology, median elapsed times from first appearance to final decision may be impacted in the first year of transition from the legacy Adult Criminal Court Survey to the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS), and to a smaller extent in the subsequent year. For this reason, caution should be used when using data on elapsed times for the first reporting year of ICCS. Please see the notes for each province and territory that provide information on the transition year.
  • Elapsed times are calculated based on the number of days it takes to complete a case, from first appearance to final decision. The median is the point at which half of all cases had longer case lengths and half had shorter case lengths. Excludes cases in which the case length was unknown.
  • Guilty findings include guilty of the charged offence, of an included offence, of an attempt of the charged offence, or of an attempt of an included offence. This category also includes guilty pleas, and cases where an absolute or conditional discharge has been imposed.
  • In Ontario, sentencing detail was not available for 17% of guilty decisions in the fourth quarter of 2001/2002. This data-reporting limitation affects 4% of all guilty decisions for this reference period.
  • Cases can have more than one sentence. Therefore, sanctions are not mutually exclusive and will not add to 100%. For all sentencing tables, data are for cases with a guilty finding only.
  • Youth Sentences may be one of the following types: Custody, Deferred Custody and Supervision, Intensive Support and Supervision, Probation, Attend a Non-residential Program, Fine, Community Service Order, Reprimand and Other Sentence. This Other Sentence category includes absolute discharge, restitution, prohibition, seizure, forfeiture, compensation, pay purchaser, essays, apologies, counseling programs and conditional discharge, deferred custody and supervision, intensive support and supervision, attendance at non-residential program and reprimand where sentencing data under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) are not available.
  • The Civil Court Survey (CCS) collects data on civil court events and cases at both the superior and provincial-territorial court levels. Appeal courts, federal courts (for example, Tax Court of Canada) and the Supreme Court of Canada are out of scope for this survey. Data are based on the fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st).
  • A general civil case is any civil action that is not a family-related action, such as contracts, torts, bankruptcy, probate matters and other claims involving money.
  • Family cases are cases involving family law-related issues, including child protection, divorce, separation, custody and access, division of property, support, and adoption.
  • The Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs (SMEP) collects information on child and spousal support payments and cases from provincial and territorial maintenance enforcement programs (MEPs). These programs exist in each province and territory to assist in the collection and enforcement of child and spousal support payments.
  • The compliance rate is the proportion of cases with an amount due that were in compliance in a given month. Full compliance is the percent of cases that made their payment in full and partial compliance is the percent of cases that made partial payment

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