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Coalition to review rural court funding
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Coalition to review rural court funding

The Law Society of NSW has welcomed the Coalition's promise to review funding and staffing levels of rural and regional courts following the upcoming NSW election. Law Society president Stuart…

The Law Society of NSW has welcomed the Coalition's promise to review funding and staffing levels of rural and regional courts following the upcoming NSW election.

Law Society president Stuart Westgarth said it is crucial that a newly elected state government urgently identify those areas where court services are under resourced.

Westgarth said there has been a marked decline in staffing levels in Local Courts in rural and regional NSW, resulting in significant delays in the hearing and filing of matters.

"Adequate funding for the courts is essential to ensure that they work effectively and provide appropriate service to litigants. More must be done to ensure that unreasonable delay is eliminated," he said.

"There are particular issues in country areas where court houses have been closed or ceased to sit over the past decade."

Westgarth added that in recent years, courts have been subject to staff reductions in numerous registries, leading to delays in processing.

In the lead-up to the 26 March election, the Law Society has sought a commitment from all major parties to ensure adequate funding for courts and to address issues in those areas which are poorly served by courthouse facilities.

"The Law Society will be [holding] an elected government to account on its commitments, including in relation to ensuring appropriate funding and staffing for rural and regional courts," Westgarth said.

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