THE WESTERN Australian Supreme Court was the least effective superior court in the country at keeping up with its case load, according to the only nationally comparable measure of efficiency produced by the productivity commission's report into government services.
But the pending caseload of all supreme and federal courts except Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory was increasing in the 2004-05 financial year.
The clearance rate index is recorded as a percentage based on the number of cases finalised divided by the number lodged. A score of one hundred indicates a court is keeping up with its caseload, below that and the caseload is increasing, above and it is decreasing.
The WA Supreme Court scored an aggregate of 85.2 per cent for criminal and civil matters, followed closely by the South Australian Supreme Court on 88.1 per cent and the Queensland Supreme Court on 88.5 per cent.
The South Australian Supreme Court would have had the lowest clearance rate except for 320 civil cases that weren’t counted in the Productivity Commission’s main report.
In civil matters, SA just pipped WA with an 85.2 per cent clearance rate, compared to 84.6 per cent for WA.