Government commits $20m to ease ‘crushing workload’ in courts

By Felicity Nelson|07 December 2015
noel. hutley

The NSW State Government has announced a $20 million increase in funding to address the backlog of criminal trials in the NSW District Court.

The decision was welcomed by Noel Hutley SC (pictured), the NSW Bar Association president, who said the court’s resources have been “stretched beyond capacity”.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The package aims to reduce the case backlog by 600 criminal trials over the next two years. The NSW District Court had a backlog of 2,055 criminal cases as of September this year.

The number of days taken for a matter to be finalised increased 28 per cent between 2007 and 2014 to an average of 358 days.

SPONSORED CONTENT

The package takes a number of approaches including: additional sittings; encouraging early guilty pleas; pre-trial conferencing for long trials; and appointing additional judges and public defenders.

The increase in police funding and, thus, the number of arrests, has resulted in a “crushing workload for judges, the DPP and defence counsel”, according to the NSW Bar.

Mr Hutley said the government’s package is a “step in the right direction” and will go some way towards alleviating pressures in the short term.

“However, significant funding is required to clear the disturbing backlog, which impacts not only on accused persons, but also victims of crime and potential witnesses,” he said.


Government commits $20m to ease ‘crushing workload’ in courts
Intro image
lawyersweekly logo
The Bar

latest

Tribunal passes down lighter penalty to solicitor

Tribunal passes down lighter penalty to solicitor due to COVID-19 restrictions

The key data governance concerns for Aussie corporates

The key data governance concerns for Aussie corporates

Ministers not exempt from hotel quarantine questions

Ministers not exempt from hotel quarantine questions, judge says

Existing laws fail to grapple with family violence offences

Existing laws fail to grapple with family violence offences

FROM THE WEB
Recommended by Spike Native Network