My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor has made the following written ministerial statement:
“The following list of Key Performance Indicators have been set for Her Majesty's Courts Service for 2007-08.
1. Improve the percentage of defendants' cases that commence within a specific time in the Crown Court, so that:
a) 78 per cent. committed for trial commence within 16 weeks of committal
b) 78 per cent. sent for trial commence within 26 weeks of sending
2. Simplify and speed up criminal cases in the magistrates' courts so by the end of 2008: most guilty plea cases are dealt with at the first hearing; most contested cases have no more than two hearings; the majority of simple charged cases take from a day to six weeks (on average) from charge to disposal.
3. To ensure that 95 per cent. of court registers in the magistrates' court are produced and despatched within three days and all cases cleared within six days.
4. To reduce the proportion of disputed civil claims in the courts that are ultimately resolved by a hearing to 38.5 per cent.
5. To ensure that 81.5 per cent. of small claims cases are heard within 15 weeks.
6. To ensure that 48 per cent. of Public Law Care Cases in the county court and 56 per cent. in the magistrates' court are completed within 40 weeks.
Copies of the HM Courts Service Business Plan for 2007-08 have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.”
* More information on these and other key supporting targets are published in the Strategic and Business Plans, which includes how HMCS helps deliver PSA1 and 2 (joint Criminal Justice System targets).