By Inês Gomes da Cruz

According to statistics released in August 2018 by the Portuguese Directorate-General for Justice Policy (DGJP) , pending civil actions decreased 13.8% in the first quarter of 2018 when compared with the same period in 2017. The cumulative reduction in the number of pending lawsuits between the first quarter of 2007 and the same period in 2018 amounts to a total of 42.4%.

The clearance rate, which refers to the ratio between the number of resolved cases and the number of incoming cases, exceeded 100%, reaching 116.5%, and this figure corresponds to the fifth consecutive quarter with a clearance rate above 100%, except for the third quarter of 2017 when the court holidays took place. This means that the number of resolved cases has consistently been higher than the number of incoming cases. With numbers like these, we have to agree with the Ministry of Justice that “the balance, in the first quarter of 2018 was favourable”, corresponding to 7,715 fewer cases in the courts. This figure is the sixth most favourable result in the last 11 years.