Publication - Statistics publication

Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2011-12

Published: 5 Dec 2012
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781782562443

Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2011-12 provides

information about cases which have gone through the civil courts in Scotland.

together with some wider, contextual information about the extent of civil

problems in Scotland.

81 page PDF

7.5 MB

81 page PDF

7.5 MB

Contents
Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2011-12
8. Damages

81 page PDF

7.5 MB

8. Damages

Summary of Damages

  • The number of damages cases initiated in the civil courts during 2011- 12 decreased by 11 per cent to 3,684. This is a decrease of 20 per cent since 2008-09.
  • The majority of damages cases (64 per cent) were initiated under small claims procedure.
  • A decree of absolvitor was the most common disposal type across all procedural types, apart from small claims procedure.

Introduction to damages in Scotland

8.1 Damages are a legal remedy that an individual can seek as compensation for harmful action they have experienced through the fault of another party. This can include (but is not limited to): defamation, breach of contract, damage to moveable property, negligence, breach of warranty or guarantee, breach of trust, wrongful diligence, wrongful interdict, malicious prosecution, wrongful apprehension or false imprisonment or fraudulent representation.

Damages in the context of the courts

Table 20: Damages cases initiated and disposed of1 in the civil courts2, by case type, 2008-09 to 2011-12

Procedure 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 % change on 2010-11
Initiated
Court of Session 337 527 299 304 2
Ordinary cause 738 791 630 491 -22
Commercial 38 54 163 37 -77
Summary cause 434 561 453 488 8
Small claim 3,080 2,918 2,586 2,364 -9
Total 4,627 4,851 4,131 3,684 -11
Disposed
Court of Session 206 198 292 291 0
Ordinary cause 1,415 666 595 675 13
Commercial 29 26 18 30 67
Summary cause 410 450 457 452 -1
Small claim 2,409 2,710 2,397 2,149 -10
Total 4,469 4,050 3,759 3,597 -4

1 Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases. See paragraph 11.9 for further details
2 Includes Court of Session and Sheriff Court

8.2 There were 3,684 damages cases initiated during 2011-12 across all levels of the Scottish courts, an 11 per cent decrease on 2010-11. The majority of damages cases (64 per cent) were raised using small claims procedure. The total number of damages cases initiated has exhibited a decreasing trend since 2008-09 (down 20 per cent), which is driven by a decrease in the number of small claims cases initiated (down 23 per cent). There has been some fluctuation in the number of cases initiated using other procedures, with a peak in 2009-10. [Table 20]. Cases seeking damages accounted for nine per cent of all cases initiated in the General Department of the Court of Session during 2011-12.

8.3 The number of damages cases disposed of during 2011-12 decreased by four per cent to 3,597. The number of disposals of ordinary cause cases increased by 13 per cent compared to ordinary cause cases initiated which decreased by one fifth. [Table 20].

8.4 Eighty six per cent of damages cases disposed of in both the Court of Session and under ordinary procedure were defended, whereas 61 per cent of summary cause cases were defended and 42 per cent of small claim cases. [Table 21].

Figure 11: Proportion of damages cases disposed of in the civil courts by final disposal type, 2011-12

Figure 11: Proportion of damages cases disposed of in the civil courts by final disposal type, 2011-12

8.5 Apart from in small claim cases, the majority of cases disposed of were granted a decree of absolvitor. Sixty two per cent of cases disposed of in the Court of Session and 72 per cent of ordinary cause cases received this disposal type. The proportion of cases dismissed is greater for the less formal court procedures, namely small claims (43 per cent) and summary cause (20 per cent). The proportion of cases disposed of in favour of the pursuer is approximately one fifth for all courts/procedures, except commercial procedure. [Table 21].

Table 21: Number of damages cases initiated and disposed of1 in the civil courts2, by case type and final disposal, 2011-12

Case Type Initiated Disposed
Absolvitor Dismissed For Pursuer Expenses Only Other Total
Defended Undefended Defended Undefended Defended Undefended
Court of Session 304 180 14 1 53 7 2 - 34 291
Ordinary Cause 491 486 38 15 53 73 4 1 5 675
Commercial 37 15 1 2 6 3 3 - - 30
Summary Cause 488 254 7 85 10 79 4 1 12 452
Small Claim 2,364 788 79 846 31 377 3 12 13 2,149
Total 3,684 1,723 139 949 153 539 16 14 64 3,597

1. Figures for initiations and disposals do not necessarily refer to the same cases. See paragraph 11.9 for further details.
2. Includes Court of Session and Sheriff Court data.


Contact

Email: Howard Hooper