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Justice denied, expect further delays

By Skidbladnir - 2 September 2009 15

The idea that “Justice delayed is justice denied” is something of a keystone of modern legal practice. In fact, it goes back to the very foundations of the modern legal system, being part of the Magna Carta.

To no one …will we refuse, or delay, right nor justice.
Clause 40, The Magna Carta

So back in May, Chief Justice Terrence Higgins called for a more efficient Supreme Court building, and requested a fifth Supreme Court judge to speed up court process.

Last week, in addition to denying the ACT its fifth Supreme Court judge, our Attorney-General went on to say unflattering things about his own courts system, in this statement hosted by the Chief Minister.
Choice phrases include calling for ‘more effective utilisation‘ of resources, ‘changing the practice of the court‘ to reduce delays, and ‘that a working group be established… to improve the ability of the court to provide timely consideration of matters‘.

Today, Higgins has hit back by going directly to the media with his response, labelling Corbell’s request as being based on ‘false and demeaning assumptions about the Supreme Court’s working practices’.

Higgins is further quoted as saying “I only saw the press release and the letter,… The letter … was in effect published before [Corbell] talked about any of the matters with me and if he had done, it would have been possible to correct some misapprehensions which he seems to have been labouring under.

So it would seem their relationship has broken down to the point that that either they can’t use email, are unwilling to talk to eachother directly by telephone, or don’t want to have meetings and deal with their problems.
If the Chief Justice himself is too busy with Court processes to meet with his Attorney-General, or our Attorney-General can’t find time to meet with his Chief Justice, its probably a sign that there are significant issues with the current system.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The ceremony of innocence is drowned…

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Justice denied, expect further delays
Ozi 10:35 am 03 Sep 09

Anna Key said :

maybe the courts wouldn’t be so clogged if Higgins actually sent people to jail for any length of time.

Everyone deserves their 28 chances to make a turn for the better, and their obligatory 8 failed attempts to comply with Good Behaviour Orders. It’s called justice, Anna.

Anna Key 8:25 am 03 Sep 09

maybe the courts wouldn’t be so clogged if Higgins actually sent people to jail for any length of time.

vg 9:49 pm 02 Sep 09

Funny how certain Justices ‘busyness’ doesn’t interrupt the occasional 2 or 3 hr lunch. Oh to be that ‘busy’

Gerry-Built 9:42 pm 02 Sep 09

Forgive my (possible) ignorance, but I was under the impression that the Attorney-General was *responsible* for the ACT court system… He is the “go to” man… right?

Perhaps a compromise could be to appoint a ‘non-ongoing’ wig wearer…

As far as I’m concerned – he owes it to the community he represents, to sort out the mess out. What is it with this Government and its failure to engage in good will negotiation??? As an elected official “my way or the highway”* is not a legitimate negotiation strategy…

* Yeats, Donne, and now Limp Bizkit 😀

imhotep 9:34 pm 02 Sep 09

Thumper said :

No, Hemmingway..

…Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. (No man is an island, John Donne)

Depends how old you are Thumper!

Thumper 9:21 pm 02 Sep 09

No, Hemmingway..

imhotep 8:51 pm 02 Sep 09

Jerry Atric said :

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Toad.

Yeats, and now Donne! The RiotAct is going upmarket these days!

.

Jerry Atric 8:10 pm 02 Sep 09

barking toad said :

There is a simple solution to this involving a compromise.

Higgins the ditherer resigns and Simon The Sad accepts the appointment of two new judges

Barking Toad obviously thinks that Judge Jeffries would put a cracker under the tail of the ACT justice system (if they were not banned) and if he wasn’t one of the parties. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, Toad.

barking toad 3:09 pm 02 Sep 09

There is a simple solution to this involving a compromise.

Higgins the ditherer resigns and Simon The Sad accepts the appointment of two new judges

Jerry Atric 2:27 pm 02 Sep 09

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,”

Not sure that Yeats was particularly referring to ACT but nice to know that somebody still reads him 🙂

Justice is not delayed when careful and lengthy considered judgments are made. These take time, and effort and are always made with the thought that lengthy appeals made on errors of judgment will further delay justice. Haste is for politicians not the Courts.

astrojax 2:13 pm 02 Sep 09

some misapprehensions which he seems to have been labouring under.

tch, i thought these folks was edumacatered – “some misapprehensions under which he seems to have been labouring.” ending with a preposition today, failing to give appropriate sentences tomorrow…

poptop 1:50 pm 02 Sep 09

It can only because on Monday, Attorney General Corbell proudly announced six new lawyers, most of them at the junior level, and two paralegals had just started in the office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Bummer that the ACT Law Society’s president, Rod Barnett, noted that this would increase the backlog of the Supreme Court.

Clown Killer 1:41 pm 02 Sep 09

Corbell is an incompetent twit.

caf 1:07 pm 02 Sep 09

As a further data point for the debate, the last time the number of permanent justices was increased seems to have been in 1997, when it went from three to four.

(There’s also scope for Federal Court justices to sit part time in the Supreme Court of the ACT as “Additional Judges”).

caf 12:57 pm 02 Sep 09

Look on the bright side… at least it shows that the independence of the judicial branch from the executive branch still holds.

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