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Family Courts

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average time was to complete a (a) private law and (b) public law case in the family courts in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average cost was of each. (176157)

I have been asked to reply.

In the county court, for the period April to November 2007, it took on average 33.12 weeks to complete a private law case and 55.02 weeks for a public law case. There are no data currently collected in the Family Proceedings Court (FPCs) on the average length of private law cases. In the FPCs the average duration of cases where a care or supervision order was made (April 2007 to November 2007) was 44.3 weeks. Between April and November 2007, 51 per cent. of care and supervision cases in FPCs and 39.6 per cent. of care and supervision cases in care centres were completed within 40 weeks.

The unit cost for private law applications (judicial and administrative costs) for financial year 2006-07 is £996 in the county courts and £1,232 in the Family Proceedings Courts. The equivalent figures for public law applications are £4,286 and £4,014. The average legal aid cost of private law matters is £2,790 and for public law matters is £5,961. No information is held centrally on average local authority costs.