New South Wales’ new Premier must act to increase access to justice and remedy the State’s deteriorated legal infrastructure, a leader of the profession has said.
NSW Law Society president, John McIntyre, last week called on Premier Morris Iemma to place access to justice firmly on the political agenda. “Our court system is chronically under-resourced despite increased court fees. We continue to see court closures and legal aid is now unavailable for the vast majority of people in this State,” he said.
The Government had announced a “worthwhile initiative” earlier this year to reduce the “unnecessary waste of time and resources in criminal trials”, but it had disappeared from the political agenda and should be pursued, he said. Balance must also be restored to the personal injury compensation system, he said, so it was “fairer to people injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness” and the State’s workers.