Par­ra­matta could save our slow jus­tice

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

CRIM­I­NAL cases should be heard in Par­ra­matta to ease the mas­sive back­log, the NSW Bar As­so­ci­a­tion said.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Arthur Moses SC said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had re­ceived com­plaints from bar­ris­ters about tri­als be­ing de­layed by a lack of avail­abil­ity of court rooms at the Down­ing Cen­tre District Court.

Mr Moses said the gov­ern­ment should find more space in the Syd­ney CBD and “also con­sider ad­di­tional op­tions such as ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial to hear more cases be­ing heard in ar­eas such as Par­ra­matta,” he said.

Fig­ures from the Bu­reau of Crime Sta­tis­tics and Re­search from 2017 show the district court crim­i­nal caseload was 2042 crim­i­nal tri­als with 1195 sen­tenc­ing mat­ters out­stand­ing. The me­dian time be­tween ar­rest and trial fi­nal­i­sa­tion is now 714 days, up from 512 days in 2012.

How­ever, NSW At­tor­ney- Gen­eral Mark Speak­man said his of­fice was not aware of de­lays be­ing caused by lack of court­rooms and said the build­ing’s ca­pac­ity had been in­creased last year.

A spokesman for Mr Speak­man said the gov­ern­ment has in­vested $39 mil­lion to ap­point ex­tra judges and de­fend­ers.

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