The vast majority of criminal cases in New Zealand come before District Court judges, and the criminal jurisdiction accounts for most of the District Court’s work.
The workload includes cases across the spectrum and a steady diet of complex and serious cases which have the most impact on the workload of judges working in the criminal jurisdiction.
The business of the District Court was affected markedly by the COVID-19 crisis. For example, as a result of lockdown periods the court was unable to conduct all scheduled hearings to advance criminal cases, and considerable backlog resulted.
Comparing the current Fiscal year to the previous Fiscal year has seen:
• New business decrease by 8,204 cases (-6%)
• Disposals decrease by 7,571 cases (-6%)
• Active cases increase by 1,346 cases (+4%)