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…