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New judges hired to speed up courts

New judges hired to speed up courts

Four new judges have been appointed to Victorian courts just days after the release of a Productivity Commission report that ranked the state last in terms of civil cases cleared.

FOUR new judges have been appointed to Victorian courts just days after the release of a Productivity Commission report that ranked the state last in terms of civil cases cleared. 

The Law Institute of Victoria said the newly released figures do not take into account issues such as number of judges, the complexity and length of cases, and government funding or the justice system. 
But the LIV today confirmed four new judges have been appointed to the state's "slow" courts. 
Supreme Court Justice Robert Osborn has been appointed to the Court of Appeal. Michael Macnamara and Bill Stuart SC have been appointed County Court judges. Judge Barbara Cotterell has been appointed as a tenured judge of the County Court, having been originally appointed as a judge for five years. Simon Cooper has been appointed to the Magistrates Court.
“The LIV congratulates each of the new judges on their appointments and thanks them for accepting these important public offices,” said Michael Holcroft, President of the Law Institute of Victoria. 
An increase in litigation in the County Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria is behind a perceived slowdown in the number of cases processed in Victorian courts, 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."
It remains to be seen whether the new judges will help expedite the courts' case clearing rates. 
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