26 September 2023

More magistrates to Local Courts

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Eight additional magistrates are to be appointed to the Local Court under the 2021-22 State Budget, along with a boost in resources for prosecutors and Legal Aid.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said the additional appointments would bring the total number of Local Court magistrates up to a record 149 and would deliver more efficient justice in both regional and metropolitan NSW.

“The extra magistrates will help to reduce the trauma of waiting for hearing dates and attending court on victims, witnesses and families,” Mr Speakman said.

“The vast majority (96 per cent) of all criminal cases in NSW are finalised in the Local Court, with 139 locations across NSW,” he said.

Mr Speakman said the increase in magistrates would also enable the Coronial Case Management Unit (CCMU) pilot to become permanent, a program to help ensure grieving families could lay their loved ones to rest sooner and receive better and more timely information.

“Led by coroners, the unit is a successful collaboration between police, forensic pathologists, medical specialists and counsellors,” the Attorney General said.

NSW Chief Magistrate Judge Graeme Henson said the additional magistrates would further improve Australia’s most efficient Court.

“These additions to the Local Court bench will be invaluable for boosting the capacity of NSW’s busiest jurisdiction, particularly in larger regional areas,” Judge Henson said.

“Increased access to timely justice will benefit all court users and indeed the whole community,” he said.

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