Jury Trial Statistics

 The right to trial by jury is protected in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.  Jury trials are reserved for more serious crimes, and a defendant has the right to elect a jury trial when he or she is charged with an offence punishable by a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment or more. In a jury trial, 12 members of the community rather than a judge decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. The jury trial caseload is made up almost entirely of cases brought under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. 

Jury trial statistics are recorded by number of cases rather than people because each case may involve several charges or people. The figures do not capture the underlying complexity and time taken to deal with jury trials.

Greater complexity in category 3 cases than has historically been the norm is impacting both the length of time individual cases remain active and the time hearings are taking. The complicating factors include more court events before a case reaches trial or sentencing.

At a national level, comparing the 2017/2018 fiscal year with 2016/2017, there has been a:  

  • 3% increase in new business to 3,374 cases
  • 4% increase in disposals to 2,936 cases
  • 8% increase in active cases to 2,534 cases

Statistics by Court Location

The following table shows the number of cases by location. A case is counted as new business when it first comes into the system, when charges are filed.  It is counted as a disposal only when all charges within the case reach a final outcome.  Since July 2013 transfers between courts have been included in the count. Therefore, the “Cases In” category covers both new business and transfers in to a court from another court, while “Cases Out” includes disposals and transfers out.

Definitions:

  • "Cases In" is the sum of:
    • new business such as cases filed;
    • cases where a retrial has been directed;
    • split cases and cases transferred into the court.
  • It excludes cases reactivated in the court due to the execution or withdrawal of a warrant to arrest. 
  • "Cases Out" is the sum of:
    • disposed cases where sentencing or other final outcomes are established on all charges;
    • cases where all the charges are joined into another case;
    • and cases transferred out of the court.
  • This includes cases where the defendant was convicted and sentenced or discharged, or the case dismissed, withdrawn, or stayed.
  • It excludes cases put on hold due to the issuing of a warrant to arrest the defendant. 
  • Active cases are those which are awaiting trial, sentencing or other final outcome, and are not on hold due to the issuing of a warrant to arrest the defendant.
  • This includes where the case is in the review process, or the case is awaiting a pre-trial decision.

 

Court Location

 

Cases In 

Cases out  

Totals 

Active cases as at 30/06/18 

 

New Business

Transfers In

Disposals

Transfers Out

Cases In

Cases Out

Auckland 652 16 536 26 668 562 467
Blenheim 41 3 41 4 44 45 22
Christchurch 241 7 185 11 248 196 219
Dunedin 133 3 118 6 136 124 88
Gisborne 59 2 75 1 61 76 27
Greymouth 30 1 18 4 31 22 28
Hamilton 259 18 252 7 277 259 204
Invercargill 100 3 86 2 103 88 68
Kaikohe 83 4 56 9 87 65 68
Manukau 503 18 445 31 521 476 370
Napier 130 6 119 9 136 128 79
Nelson 105 6 93 7 111 100 74
New Plymouth 78 3 75 1 81 76 62
Palmerston North 151 6 106 5 157 111 115
Rotorua 158 8 130 9 166 139 110
Tauranga 135 11 130 4 146 134 117
Timaru 41 6 39 5 47 44 36
Wanganui 128 4 100 5 132 105 108
Wellington 251 16 221 16 267 237 192
Whangarei 96 9 111 6 105 117 80
               
National Total 3,374   2,936       2,534

Jury Trial statistics for the 2018 fiscal year (ending 30 June 2018) as a spreadsheet: