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Appendix 5: Workload statistics

Workload statistics

The statistics in this appendix provide comparative historical information on the work of the Court, including in certain areas of the Court’s jurisdiction.

When considering the statistics it is important to note that matters vary according to the nature and complexity of the issues in dispute.

It should also be noted that the figures reported in this report may differ from figures reported in previous years. The variations have occurred through refinements or enhancements to the Casetrack database which required the checking or verification and possible variation of data previously entered.

Casetrack records matters in the Court classified according to 16 main categories, described as ‘causes of action’ (CoAs). The classification of matters in this way causes an under representation of the workload because it does not include filings of supplementary CoAs (cross appeals and cross claims), interlocutory applications or native title joinder of party applications.

In 2007–08 the Court started to count and report on interlocutory applications (including interim applications and notices of motion) in appellate proceedings in order to provide the most accurate picture possible of the Court’s appellate workload. From 2008–09 the Court has counted all forms of this additional workload in both its original and appellate jurisdictions.

Table A5.4 on page 132 provides a breakdown of these matters. At this stage it is not possible to obtain information about finalisations of interlocutory applications (because they are recorded in the Court’s case management system as a document filed rather than a specific CoA). Because of this, detailed reporting of these matters has been restricted to the information about appeals in Part 3 and Table A5.4.

The Court began reporting on matters by National Practice Areas (NPAs) in 2015–16. This information can be found in Figure A5.9 onwards.

Table A5.1: Summary of workload statistics – original and appellate jurisdictions – filings of major CoAs (including appellate and related actions)

CAUSE OF ACTION

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Total CoAs (including appeals and related actions)

Filed

6,001

5,715

5,925

6,034

4,469

Finalised

5,839

5,626

5,580

5,733

4,871

Current

3,092

3,181

3,526

3,827

3,425

Corporations (including appeals and related actions)

Filed

3,687

3,224

3,024

2,805

1,808

Finalised

3,495

3,387

2,996

2,861

2,106

Current

1,079

916

944

888

590

Bankruptcy (including appeals and related actions)

Filed

292

353

332

376

384

Finalised

267

326

319

358

363

Current

164

191

204

222

243

Native title (including appeals and related actions)

Filed

65

71

91

115

56

Finalised

134

95

99

78

88

Current

334

310

302

339

307

Total CoAs (including appeals and related actions excluding corporations, bankruptcy and native title)

Filed

1,957

2,067

2,478

2,738

2,221

Finalised

1,943

1,818

2,166

2,436

2,314

Current

1,515

1,764

2,076

2,378

2,285

Table A5.2: Summary of workload statistics – excluding appeals and related actions – filings of major CoAs (excluding appeals and related actions)

CAUSE OF ACTION

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Total CoAs (excluding appeals and related actions)

Filed

5,008

4,669

4,662

4,619

3,443

Finalised

4,894

4,759

4,438

4,398

3,753

Current

2,546

2,456

2,860

2,901

2,591

Corporations (excluding appeals and related actions)

Filed

3,652

3,202

2,989

2,769

1,788

Finalised

3,469

3,362

2,967

2,831

2,066

Current

1,051

891

913

851

573

Bankruptcy (excluding appeals and related actions)

Filed

231

289

304

342

343

Finalised

223

273

279

323

328

Current

123

139

164

183

198

Native title (excluding appeals and related actions)

Filed

58

54

78

112

54

Finalised

122

84

81

68

85

Current

326

296

293

337

306

Total CoAs (excluding appeals and related actions and excluding bankruptcy and native title)

Filed

1,067

1,124

1,291

1,396

1,258

Finalised

1,080

1,040

1,111

1,176

1,274

Current

1,046

1,130

1,310

1,530

1,514

Table A5.3: Summary of workload statistics – appeals and related actions only – filings of appeals and related actions

CAUSE OF ACTION

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Total appeals and related actions

Filed

993

1,046

1,263

1,415

1,026

Finalised

945

867

1,142

1,335

1,118

Current

546

725

846

926

834

Corporations appeals and related actions

Filed

35

22

35

36

20

Finalised

26

25

29

30

40

Current

28

25

31

37

17

Migration appeals and related actions

Filed

653

764

1,022

1,139

742

Finalised

680

583

840

1,096

857

Current

280

461

643

686

571

Native title appeals and related actions

Filed

7

17

13

3

2

Finalised

12

11

18

10

3

Current

8

14

9

2

1

Total appeals and related actions (excluding corporations, migration and native title appeals and related actions)

Filed

298

243

193

237

262

Finalised

227

248

255

199

218

Current

230

225

163

201

245

Table A5.4: Summary of supplementary workload statistics – filings of supplementary causes of action

CAUSE OF ACTION

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Total CoAs (excluding appeals and related actions)

Cross appeals (original jurisdiction)

19

20

17

26

15

Cross claims

135

146

116

148

133

Interlocutory applications

1,722

1,517

1,628

1,778

1,717

Native title joinder of party applications

628

405

982

781

346

Appeals and related actions

Cross appeals

19

20

17

26

15

Interlocutory applications

192

221

162

166

177

Total actions (including appeals and related actions)

Cross appeals

19

20

17

26

15

Cross claims

135

146

116

148

133

Interlocutory applications

1,722

1,738

1,790

1,944

1,894

Native title joinder of party applications

628

405

982

781

346

Totals

2,504

2,309

2,905

2,899

2,388

Figure A5.1: Matters filed over the last five years Bar chart showing matters filed in the Court over the last five years.

Figure A5.2: Matters filed and finalised over the last five years Bar chart showing the matters filed and finalised in the Court over the last five years.

The number finalised refers to those matters finalised in the relevant financial year, regardless of when they were originally filed.

Figure A5.3: Age and number of current matters at 30 June 2020 Bar chart showing the age and number of current matters as at 30 June 2020.

A total of 3,425 matters remain current at 30 June 2020. There were 181 applications still current relating to periods before 2015, of which 306 matters are native title matters (9 per cent).

Figure A5.4: Time span to complete – matters completed (excluding native title) over the last five years Bar chart showing the time span to complete – matters completed (excluding native title) over the last five years.

A total of 27,155 matters were completed during the five-year period ending 30 June 2020, excluding native title matters. The time span, from filing to disposition of these matters, is shown in Figure A5.4.

Figure A5.5: Time span to complete against the 85 per cent benchmark (excluding native title) over the last five years Bar chart showing the time span to complete against the 85 per cent benchmark (excluding native title) over the last five years.

The Court has a benchmark of 85 per cent of cases (excluding native title) being completed within 18 months of commencement. Figure A5.5 sets out the Court’s performance against this time goal over the last five years. The total number of matters (including appeals but excluding native title) completed for each of the last five years and the time spans for completion are shown in Table A5.5.

Table A5.5: Finalisation of major CoAs in accordance with 85 per cent benchmark (including appeals and related actions and excluding native title matters) over the last five years

PERCENTAGE COMPLETED

2015–16

2016–17

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Under 18 months

5,384

5,216

5,108

5,285

4,271

Percentage of total

94.2%

94.1%

93.3%

93.3%

89.2%

Over 18 months

333

326

391

380

515

Percentage of total

5.8%

5.9%

7.1%

6.7%

10.8%

Total CoAs

5,717

5,542

5,499

5,665

4,786

Figure A5.6: Bankruptcy Act matters (excluding appeals) filed over the last five years Bar chart showing bankruptcy matters (excluding appeals) filed over the last five years.

Figure A5.6.1: Current Bankruptcy Act matters (excluding appeals) by year of filing Bar chart showing the current Bankruptcy Act matters (excluding appeals) by year of filing.

Figure A5.7: Corporation Act matters (excluding appeals) filed over the last five years Bar chart showing the Corporation Act matters (excluding appeals) filed over the last five years.

Figure A5.7.1: Current corporation matters (excluding appeals) by year of filing Bar chart showing the current corporation matters (excluding appeals) by year of filing.

Figure A5.8: Consumer law matters (excluding competition law and appeals) filed over the last five years Bar chart showing the consumer law matters (excluding competition law and appeals) filed over the last five years.

Figure A5.8.1: Current consumer law matters (excluding competition law and appeals) by year of filing Bar chart showing the current consumer law matters (excluding competition law and appeals) by year of filing.

National Court framework

Figure A5.9: Filings, finalisations and pending Graph showing filings, finalisations and pending from 2015 to 2020.

Figure A5.9.1: All filings, finalisations and pending by Administrative and Constitutional Law and Human Rights National Practice Areas (NPA) Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Admiralty and Maritime National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.2: All filings, finalisation and pending by Admiralty and Maritime NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Admiralty and Maritime National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.3: All filings, finalisation and pending by Commercial and Corporations NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Commercial and Corporations National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.4: All filings, finalisation and pending by Employment and Industrial Relations NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Employment and Industrial Relations National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.5: All filings, finalisation and pending by Intellectual Property NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Intellectual Property National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.6: All filings, finalisation and pending by Native Title NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Native Title National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.7: All filings, finalisation and pending by Taxation NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisation and pending by Taxation National Practice Area.

In 2016–17 the Court introduced two new NPAs: Other Federal Jurisdiction NPA and Federal Crime and Related Proceedings NPA.

Figure A5.9.8: All filings, finalisations and pending, Other Federal Jurisdiction NPA Graph showing all filings, finalisations and pending, Other Federal Jurisdiction National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.9: All filings, finalisations and pending, Federal Crime and Related Proceeding NPA All filings, finalisations and pending, Federal Crime and Related Proceeding National Practice Area.

Figure A5.9.10: All filings, finalisation and pending, Migration NPA All filings, finalisation and pending, Migration National Practice Area.