find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Vic courts unfairly judged

Vic courts unfairly judged

Damning figures which show growing inefficiency in the Victorian courts fail to take into account the fact litigation has increased while the number of judges has not, said the head of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).

Michael Holcroft, the president of the LIV, said data released yesterday (31 January) in a report by the Productivity Commission, which ranked Victoria last in a national survey of civil cases cleared, reflected an increase in the number of cases being litigated and was not necessarily indicative of increased inefficiency.

“Our courts cannot control the number of proceedings issued. There is an ebb and flow which is out of the control of the courts. The number of proceedings has increased substantially in recent years,” said Holcroft.

“For example, since 2006/07, County Court commencements have gone from 4,909 to 6,675. Finalisations have gone from 4,830 to 5,775. At the same time, there has been no real increase in judges. Anecdotally, Work Cover and [the Transport Accident Commission] are requiring determination of more serious injury applications. These require judges to write very detailed judgments, which take time.”

Holcroft said the Supreme Court actively promoted Victoria as a preferred litigation venue and the increase in matters lodged with the court could be a direct result of that promotion.

“Supreme Court civil initiations increased by 1.5 per cent in the past year,” said Holcroft. “An increase in defended and complex trials has slowed the finalisation rate [and] Victoria has had a large number of class action litigation, including the bushfire and Thalidomide litigation.”

While Holcroft did not directly question the accuracy of the Productivity Commission’s data, he noted that the Commission had, in previous years, been criticised as being inadequate and failing to take into account the number of judges, the complexity and length of cases, and government funding for the justice system.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Vic courts unfairly judged
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...