The Principles and Practices of Case Classification and Counting: Lessons from the Civil and Criminal Jurisdictions of the Jamaican Court System
32 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 12, 2021
This study makes a seminal contribution to the evolution of court statistics as one of the first to propose a comprehensive set of case classification categories and associated theoretical and mathematical rules of case counting. The study is based on a three-year mixed-methods analysis into the criminal and civil case processes in the Jamaican court system. From this investigation, it proposes the use of six case status states - active, inactive, reopened, reactivated, pending/pre-judicial filings, and disposed. These classifications can be used to seamlessly organize cases and their constituent matters in a manner that avoids the common problems of miscounting, misclassification, and double counting of cases in many judiciaries around the world. The study further proposes the logic which may be applied in counting and arranging cases and their associated matters into the set of main, mutually exclusive classification categories of active, inactive, disposed, and pending/pre-judicial filings. Taken together, the findings of the study create the basis for court systems to collect and maintain reliable judicial statistics and to therefore make better decisions in planning and policy design and to more effectively marshal scarce resources.
Keywords: Cases, Counting, Rules, Classifications
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