4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Apr 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/1999   
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Civil Courts Statistics

During recent months the civil courts project has undertaken a comprehensive review of Australian civil court case flow management practices and information technology infrastructure. The national review, completed following initial surveys of the Commonwealth Courts by the Australian Law Reform Commission, has identified an on-going priority amongst state and territory jurisdictions for system improvement.

For example, South Australia has recently completed a comprehensive information technology upgrade for courts which should yield a significant improvement in civil court statistical reporting capabilities. In Western Australia, the data warehouse has significantly enhanced data analysis capabilities, particularly of state-wide issues.

The Centre will continue to monitor developments and encourage the adoption of national statistical standards and classifications in new information technology systems. It is anticipated that this will occur in conjunction with improvements to existing civil court data reporting requirements, in particular the national Court Administration Data Collection of the Court Administration Working Group.

The emphasis is on a long term strategy to improve data quality, reduce respondent burden, increase detail through unit record extraction, improve cross-jurisdictional information dissemination and meet some of the statistical requirements of non-court data users.

A final report, enunciating a strategy for achieving these objectives, is currently being prepared by Christian Klettner who can be contacted by Email at crime.justice@abs.gov.au. The report will be tabled to ABS management, Advisory Groups and Working Groups in June 1999.