Page 385 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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management or docket system in the courts. These measures were agreed to by the courts late last year and put into implementation late last year. So we are yet to see one full year’s effect of a full-blown and effective case management or docket system. The government’s view is that it is prudent to wait upon the outcome of the proper and full deployment of a case management system before considering other steps that need to be taken.

The work of the Supreme Court in the ACT, and indeed the Magistrates Court, is not of a level that would suggest that the court is the busiest in the country when it comes to the number of lodgements it receives. That is on a per capita basis. In other jurisdictions we see more lodgements per capita than we do here in the ACT. So really issues around case management, issues around the effective use of the court’s time, are central to addressing the issues that are still outstanding in relation to delay.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: In addition, when will you commit ongoing additional resources to the courts to address some of these backlogs?

MR CORBELL: The government is providing ongoing resources right now, including the deployment of additional IT resources at a cost of several million dollars, to assist the court in this work. We will continue to do that as necessary.

MS BERRY: Supplementary, please.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question.

MS BERRY: Why does the government believe that it is important to take action to reduce the backlog of cases?

MR CORBELL: Delay is unsatisfactory for any litigant, and it is a matter that must be addressed. It must be addressed, though, in a partnership between the executive and the judiciary. The executive has a role to play in relation to resources; the judiciary has a role to play in the effective deployment of those resources, to make the most of them and to ensure that delay is minimised. The government takes the issue of delay very seriously.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Yes. Could the minister inform the Assembly about other measures that the government has taken to improve outcomes in Justice and Community Safety?

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Porter, I think that the question would have to be limited to within the courts rather than the whole portfolio.

MS PORTER: In the area of the courts.

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