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Case clearance rate tops 103% in parish courts during first quarter

Published:Monday | June 17, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Performance in Jamaica's parish courts has now exceeded the international benchmark for the first time.

That's according to figures compiled by the Court's Statistical Unit (CSU), which show that the clearance rate between January and March was 103.46 per cent.

"This is the highest overall rate recorded since the Unit commenced producing statistics on the performance of courts islandwide in 2016," the Court Management Service stated in a release.

In explaining the significance of the figures, the CMS said for every 100 new cases filed in the parish courts, approximately 103 were disposed of or completed. The case clearance rate, which is an index of productivity in the courts, is used to measure the number of cases disposed of for every new case filed in a particular period. It also takes into account cases which could have originated before the review period.

According to the CSU, parish courts have to achieve a performance rate of 130 per cent in order to clear the current backlog of criminal cases.

The St Mary Parish Court emerged with the highest clearance rate at 162.12 per cent, followed by the Portland Parish Court with 137.01 per cent and the St Catherine Parish Court with 129.82 per cent.