SCC Numbers at the Half

In a post written this past February, I noted the downward trend in the number of decisions rendered by the SCC in recent years and, in particular, of the especially small output in 2006. The end of June marks the midway point of 2007 and it may be interesting to track the SCC’s progress thus far.

The SCC released 31 decisions by the end of June, putting it on pace to decide approximately 62 cases in 2007. This is slightly above the modest figure of 59 last year but still well below the average of 83 decisions per year in the past decade.

Of these decisions, four of them were styled “the Court”. One judgment was delivered orally by Chief Justice McLachlin. Justice Lebel was the most collaborative, co-writing five joint reasons for judgments. Justice Abella wrote the most judgments that did not have the support of the majority, writing three concurring reasons and three dissenting reasons. Neither Justice Charron nor Justice LeBel wrote a single dissenting judgment while Justice Fish was the only one who did not write a single majority judgment. Including concurring and dissenting judgments (with joint judgments counting as 0.5), Justices Bastarache and Abella wrote the most judgments with 7.5 each while Justice Fish was at the low end with 4.5.

In the first half of 2007, the SCC also granted leave to appeal in 44 cases while dismissing 260. This works out to a 14.5% conversion rate, which is slightly above the steady average of 13%. However, it is a vast increase over the 9% rate last year. It will be interesting to see if this increasing caseload results in a larger number of decisions in the future.

We will take another look at the figures at year’s end to see how they stack up.

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