Notes on waiting times
Waiting times are calculated for the subset of active cases which are awaiting a substantive hearing, and for which the hearing date has been decided. Waiting times (in days including weekends) are calculated from the date the hearing is requested until the future scheduled date.
Reasons for long waiting times
There are a number of factors that impact on time to hearing, even although the court can provide a judge and courtroom. These include how quickly parties are able to prepare for hearing, the availability of counsel, witnesses (particularly expert witnesses), and parties, and the assessment (and if need be) treatment of defendants with mental health issues. Also, the number of parties involved in a case, late disclosure, and sometimes the need to wait for outcomes of related cases. Other significant factors include resource constraints and the effect of long cases.
The capacity of the smaller regional courts and some of the busiest largest courts to hear cases can be constrained by the availability of courtrooms and judges.
Cases with long estimates of hearing time increase waiting times because they can only be scheduled when a long block of hearing time is available, and can't easily be brought forward if hearing time becomes available at short notice. Similarly, when a case with a long estimate of hearing time has been scheduled but does not proceed to hearing, it is not always possible to schedule other matters in to fill the vacated time.