The number of appeals heard in the Court of Appeal's civil division has dropped by 14 per cent in the last year, following a general trend that is seeing fewer cases coming to trial.
The finding was published in the court's review of 2003-04. Applications for appeal have also dropped, from 3,182 in 2002-03 to 3,143 last year.
According to the report, the average waiting time between the filing and disposal of an appeal has also dropped substantially, from 345 days in 2000 to just 255 days last year.
Most appeals in 2004 came from the Queen's Bench Division, as in previous years. However, the proportion of Queen's Bench appeals has dropped from 42.5 per cent of all appeals in 2001 to 32.6 per cent last year. Appeals from the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Immigration Appeal Tribunal have risen and now account for 7.1 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.
The court also reported success in its new mediation scheme. Out of 63 cases referred to the scheme between 1 April 2003 and 31 July 2004, 38 were mediated and 23 of those settled. A further six cases settled before mediation, while 14 did not proceed.
Appeals set down from 2000 to year ending September 2004