Reserved Judgments - Timeliness Benchmarks
May 2020

Supreme Court 

The judges have resolved to publish the following timeliness benchmarks:
 
Full Court – 85% of judgments delivered within 4 months
 
Court of Criminal Appeal:
Sentence – 85% of judgments delivered within 3 months
Conviction – 85% of judgments delivered within 4 months
 
Magistrates appeals – 85% of judgments delivered within 3 months
 
Criminal trials by judge alone – 100% of judgments delivered within 2 months
 
Civil trials:
Lasting less than 5 sitting days - 85% of judgments delivered within 3 months
Lasting longer than 5 days - 85% of judgments delivered within 6 months
 
Miscellaneous matters – 85% of judgments delivered within 2 months
 
All matters – 100% of judgments delivered within 6 months
 
In order to address exceptional circumstances in which a longer period of time may be required to deliver a judgment, either because of the matter’s complexity or because of workload pressures, the Judges have adopted a judgment delivery protocol which is calculated to give the Chief Justice early notice of any apprehended difficulty in meeting the relevant timeliness benchmark so that time may be made available to the Judge to expedite delivery of the relevant judgment.
 
 
District Court
 
The Court aims to deliver all judgments within six months.

However, there will be particular cases in which that target is not appropriate and other cases in which, due to workloads and other matters, it will not be practicable for a judge to observe the target. The Court has adopted an internal judgment delivery protocol which is calculated to give the Chief Judge early notice of any apprehended difficulty in meeting the timeliness benchmark so that time may be made available to the Judge to expedite delivery of the relevant judgment.

Rule 181.1 of the Uniform Civil Rules provides a mechanism for a party to make an enquiry to the Court concerning the delivery of a reserved judgment.
 
Magistrates Court 

BENCHMARK 
Civil
Minor Civil Trials General  Civil Trials
90% within  3 months
80% within 3 months 

Criminal
Criminal Trials 85% within  3 months

100% of civil and criminal judgments are to be delivered within six months of the reservation of judgment unless an extension of time has been given by the Chief Magistrate.

DELIVERY PROTOCOL

Civil and  Criminal jurisdiction

1. All reserved judgments in civil and criminal trials shall be delivered to the parties no later than six months following the date of the reservation of the judgment.

2. If the presiding magistrate at any time up to the expiry of four months from the reservation date, considers that the judgment will not be delivered within the six-month period, the magistrate must approach the Chief Magistrate and,

       a. seek an extension of time for the delivery of that judgment and/
       b. deliver the judgment before the extended date.