Hub 7 : Justice statistics


The virtual total absence of reliable statistics on the functioning of the court system creates immense problems when we have to reflect on the future of the justice system. Very few institutional reforms can be envisaged without the support of reliable statistics. Working groups strove for several years to reform the Ministry of Justice’s information system (SIIJ), but their efforts came to an end in 2012 without achieving the goal. A form of confusion seems to have interfered between justice computerization needs and the need for reliable statistical data, and this led the latter to be subsumed under the umbrella of the former. Moreover, while data useful to justice concern all justice activities, resources invested in court houses and justice employees, we also need to be able to count on data concerning court activities themselves: the number of cases heard, the nature of cases, waiting times, etc. The data have to be able to meet the needs of both the justice and research communities. Today still, the courts have to depend on “homemade” statistical databases when writing their annual reports. A model of stable indicators must now be established and a pilot project has to be set up in a specific court district to evaluate its functionality before implementation. (The Law Foundation of Ontario* has established software for compiling statistics on court activities (concerning class actions).)


Pierre Noreau

Director of ADAJ
Centre de recherche en droit public
Faculté de droit
Université de Montréal

Web site
Moktar Lamari

Moktar Lamari

Centre de recherche et d'expertise en évaluation (CREXE)
École nationale d'administration publique

Web site