find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
A-G answers to budget concerns

A-G answers to budget concerns

The South Australian Attorney-General has answered questions about the 2016-17 state budget, which recently came under fire from the Law Society of South Australia.

The Law Society of South Australia president David Caruso recently described the state court system as “chronically under-funded” and blasted the government’s failure to address the issue in the budget.

Last week the South Australian Attorney-General, the Honourable John Rau MP, appeared before Budget Estimates to answer questions about the 2016-17 state budget as it applies to his portfolio.

He addressed multiple issues, including the Courts Administration Authority (CAA), the appointment of new judges, justice reinvestment and the Legal Services Commission (LSC).

The budget included an allocation of $1 million to “develop a strategic approach to future accommodation needs of court facilities in the CBD”.

Mr Rau MP described this strategy as a “property and asset study”, which will involve the CAA identifying accommodation needs in the CBD's court buildings. The CAA has established a committee to investigate accommodation options for the courts, with the study expected to commence shortly.

“Given that [court accommodation upgrades are] an inescapable necessity, the best way I can see it going forward is for me to ensure this study covers every possible angle about this and makes an absolutely irresistible case about not only the fact that it must happen, but certainly how it can and should happen,” Mr Rau MP said.

The budget also allocated $4,198,000 in 2016-17 for minor capital works and equipment, with Mr Rau MP advising he will provide a list of works to be conducted on court buildings shortly.

The budget included no immediate plans to appoint additional judges in the District Court.

Despite the Chief Justice suggesting consideration be given to appointing an additional judge to help deal with the significant increase in backlogs affecting the courts, Mr Rau MP indicated that consideration of increasing the number of judicial officers should be deferred until an assessment of reforms relating to major indictable matters is undertaken to determine if they are reducing backlogs.

Mr Caruso said another major issue is the reduction in funding for the LSC, which was cut by $1.3 million in the 2016-17 state budget.

This follows a cut of $975,000 in the previous financial year, with further cuts expected in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

“I’m confident, that [the LSC] will be able to, through efficiencies and changes in the way they do things, deliver the saving and continue to offer good services,” Mr Rau MP said.

Mr Caruso said: “This is a continuing culture of expecting the same (or even more) with less”.

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

A-G answers to budget concerns
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
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'...
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...
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 & ...