Publication - Statistics publication

Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2012-13

Published: 24 Mar 2014
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781784123703

Civil law is concerned with the rights and obligations of people and organisations. One way of resolving civil law disputes between people and organisations is for a case to be brought to court. In Scotland civil law cases are usually conducted in a sheriff court or the Court of Session. Common types of cases where civil law is used include debt, divorce and claims for personal injury.

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Contents
Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2012-13
1. Main points

1. Main points

The Civil Law Statistics in Scotland tables for 2012-13 are available from the crime and justice statistics pages of the Scottish Government website.

General Trends

  • There were 77,453 civil cases initiated across both the Court of Session and the sheriff courts in 2012-13 (not including summary applications), a drop of 9 per cent since 2011-12 and 41 per cent since 2008-09. (Table 1) (Table 2).
  • Personal injury cases accounted for nearly four out of five initiated cases in the Court of Session General Department (79 per cent). (Table 1) (Table 13).
  • Debt cases accounted for half of all initiated cases in the sheriff courts (50 per cent), as in previous years. (Table 2) (Table 10).

Family

  • There were 13,862 family cases raised in Scottish courts in 2012-13, a drop of 7 per cent since 2008-09. More than 99 per cent of these were raised in sheriff courts, with only very few family cases raised in the Court of Session. (Table 5) (Table 6) (Table 7).
  • Three in four family cases raised in the civil courts related to divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership (75 per cent). 10,282 divorce and 73 dissolution cases were initiated in civil courts in 2012-13. (Table 6) (Table 7).
  • In 2012-13 the number of dissolutions of civil partnerships granted was 67, up from 46 in 2011-12. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005, and the number of dissolutions has been rising steadily since the first two granted cases in 2007-08 (Table 1 of the Supplementary Tables on Divorces and Dissolutions[1]).
  • In 2012-13 the number of divorces granted was 9,684, a drop of 2 per cent since 2011-12 and 14 per cent since 2008-09. (Table 1 of the Supplementary Tables on Divorces and Dissolutions[1]1).
  • The number of cases initiated relating to parental responsibilities and rights was 2,751, returning to similar levels as in the two financial years covering 2009-11, following a drop in 2011-12. Nearly two in three cases were decreed for the pursuer (62 per cent) while nearly one in three were dismissed (30 per cent). (Table 6)(Table 7).

Debt

  • The number of debt cases initiated in the civil courts decreased by 11 per cent during 2012-13 to 35,899. This was a decrease of 45 per cent since 2008-09. The vast majority of these were raised in sheriff courts, with only 6 cases in the Court of Session. (Table 9).
  • Three in four debt cases initiated (75 per cent) were raised using the small claims procedure which carries an upper limit of £3,000, up from two in three in 2008-09 (66 per cent). (Table 9) (Table 10).
  • The main disposals of debt cases were for the pursuer (61 per cent) and dismissed (32 per cent). (Table 10).
  • The vast majority of disposed debt cases were undefended (90 per cent). (Table 10).
  • The rate of debt cases initiated across all Scottish sheriffdoms was 7 cases per 1,000 population. Glasgow and Strathkelvin Sheriffdom had the highest rate at 11 cases per 1,000 population, followed by South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway Sheriffdom with 7 initiations per 1,000 population. (Table 11).

Personal Injury

  • Overall, 8,725 personal injury cases were initiated in the civil courts during 2012-13, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2011-12. Compared to 2010-11 however, initiations of personal injury cases were still lower, by 4 per cent. (Table 12).
  • Over half of these related to road traffic accidents (59 per cent) and a further one in five related to accidents at work (20 per cent). (Table 12).
  • The main disposals of personal injury cases were absolvitor (60 per cent) and for the pursuer (29 per cent). (Table 13) (Table 14) (Table 15).

Damages

  • The number of damages cases initiated in the civil courts during 2012-13 decreased by 11 per cent to 3,278. This was a decrease of 29 per cent since 2008-09. (Table 16).
  • Nearly nine out of ten damages cases (89 per cent) were initiated in sheriff courts. (Table 16).
  • Over half (61 per cent) of damages cases were initiated as a small claims procedure. (Table 16) (Table 17).
  • The main disposals of damages cases brought to court as small claims procedures were dismissed (46 per cent), absolvitor (34 per cent) and for pursuer (19 per cent). The main disposals of damage cases in other procedures were absolvitor (67 per cent), for pursuer (18 per cent) and dismissed (13 per cent). (Table 17).

Repossession and Eviction

  • 5,385 repossession and 10,532 eviction cases were initiated in sheriff courts in 2012-13, down by 20 per cent and 25 per cent respectively since 2011-12 and both down by 47 per cent since 2008-09. (Table 18).
  • Nearly all repossession cases were initiated as summary application procedures (99 per cent) and all eviction cases were initiated as summary cause procedures. (Table 18).
  • Nearly four in five summary application repossession cases were granted (79 per cent) while one in five was dismissed (20 per cent). (Table 19).
  • Nearly half of eviction cases resulted in a decree for pursuer (49 per cent) while around one in three was dismissed (34 per cent). (Table 19).

Contact

Email: Howard Hooper