Labor has welcomed moves by the government to introduce judge only criminal trials.
Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Minister for Justice Ella Haddad said it’s appropriate for Tasmania to follow the precedent established in other states.
“The legal profession and prisoner advocates have been calling on the government to act, and we’re pleased to see that happen.
“This is an important change to the legal system, but must be the choice of the defendant, not imposed by the prosecution or court.
“This is one way to reduce the backlog in our overburdened criminal justice system. COVID restrictions, which have led to suspension of jury trials, have only made that backlog worse.
“I urge Elise Archer to consult thoroughly to ensure this legislation does everything it can to increase access to justice and the right to a fair trial for the accused.
“While today’s announcement is welcome, it’s not a silver bullet for the problems in Tasmania’s criminal justice system. Backlogs are also affected by lack of access to legal assistance, an increasing prison population and unmet legal need across the community.
“The Liberals must act to ensure all these issues are addressed.”
Shadow Attorney General
Shadow Minister for Justice