Law Society welcomes funding boost for eight new magistrates
The Law Society of NSW has welcomed news of a $56.1 million funding boost over four years to appoint eight new magistrates and increase resources for prosecutors and Legal Aid.
In welcoming the additional funding slated in the 2021-22 State Budget, President of the Law Society of NSW, Juliana Warner, praised the Attorney General, Mark Speakman SC MP, for increasing resources to one of the country’s hardest working jurisdictions.
Ms Warner has been calling on the Attorney General to provide additional magistrates for the state’s Coroner’s Court, Sydney’s Downing Centre and Local Courts at Albury, Coffs Harbour, the Central West (Orange), Illawarra (Port Kembla), and Wagga Wagga.
“The Local Court of NSW has been called the ‘frontline’ of the state’s justice system,” Ms Warner said.
“The current workload of magistrates is ferocious – the Local Court deals with more than 94 per cent of all criminal prosecutions and almost all domestic and family violence matters in NSW.
“While our courts and tribunals have proved agile in the public health crisis of COVID-19, the need for additional resources of the ‘human kind’ to reduce the unacceptable delays in the courts did not disappear.
“The shortfall in magistrates in the Local Courts during the past three years placed an enormous strain on the workload of our judiciary and court staff, impacting on everyone who came into contact with our courts.
“The Attorney General’s announcement brings in some much-needed resources to reduce the delays in the Local Court and is welcomed by the state’s solicitors, especially those in our regions.”
/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length.