Resources for our trial courts must be maintained to reduce chronic delays that are hampering access to justice.

The NSW Government’s recent $200 million investment into justice and $6 million for community legal centres will assist in plugging holes in an ailing system.

Funding for the trial courts, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) and Legal Aid NSW must be maintained to reduce the severe backlogs and delays that have built up over the past four years.

 “Record numbers of people are clogging our jails because of an increase in accused persons refused bail and offenders handed prison sentences,” Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of NSW Michael Tidball said.

“Police are bringing more alleged offenders before the courts, but victims of crime and accused persons are waiting significantly longer for cases to be resolved because judicial officers and courts do not have sufficient means to manage backlogs.”

Greater investment into early intervention, crime prevention and diversionary programs particularly in regional areas, where these options are often unavailable, could reduce recidivism and help ease the prison population, Mr Tidball said.

The expansion of the NSW Drug Court must also be a government priority.

“The NSW Drug Court has proven to be a more cost effective and successful solution to lowering recidivism rates for offenders than prison,” Mr Tidball said.

Media Contact: NSW Law Society, Marianna Papadakis 02 9926 0288 or 0413 440 699