Page 3909 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 29 October 2013
MR CORBELL: I am sorry; I have actually lost track of the supplementary question. Can I ask that it be repeated?
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes.
MR HANSON: Certainly. The question, Attorney, is: what consultation have you had with lawyers who are calling for a fifth judge?
MR CORBELL: Numerous.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, is justice delayed justice denied?
MR CORBELL: Justice delayed can be justice denied. However, it will depend on the individual circumstances. I note that the courts are able to take this matter into consideration at this time, and there have been, rarely, circumstances where the courts have accepted an argument that some level of delay has unfairly impacted on the interests of the accused. Courts are able to take these matters into account now, and whilst the arguments are made frequently, the courts have determined otherwise.
We have seen numerous applications made under the Human Rights Act for prosecutions to be stayed or to be effectively cancelled, and they have not been upheld by the courts on this very argument. Whilst it is an argument often made, in practice it is not often agreed to by the courts. I think the number of instances that it has been agreed to has been very small indeed.
The second comment I would make is that the government is confident that the measures that have been put in place to improve timeliness in the Supreme Court are having a very significant effect. We have seen waiting times for hearing dates slashed by over half in the last 12 months alone. We have seen improvements in court process, significant reform through the docket system that has now been implemented. I was encouraged to hear the comments—(Time expired.)
MR WALL: My question is for the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, why does the head of Capital Metro deserve a higher salary than the head of Health?
MS GALLAGHER: I am not getting drawn into individual comparisons, because I am not sure that that is fair or accurate. What I will say is that the government took—
Mr Coe interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: What I would say is that the government took advice, as required under the Public Sector Management Standards, around scoping the size for the job. That was sized at 3.7, although the Mercer report did acknowledge that there is justifiable scope for negotiation of a remuneration package up to $420,000. There