I’ll take this moment to remind you of the High Court’s opinion of the ACT Supreme Court:
The presentation and adjudication of the case in the courts below do cause it to merit a place in the precedent books. The reasons for placing it there turn on the numerous examples it affords of how litigation should not be conducted or dealt with. The proceedings reveal a strange alliance. A party which has a duty to assist the court in achieving certain objectives fails to do so. A court which has a duty to achieve those objectives does not achieve them. The torpid languor of one hand washes the drowsy procrastination of the other. Are these phenomena indications of something chronic in the modern state of litigation? Or are they merely acute and atypical breakdowns in an otherwise functional system? Are they signs of a trend, or do they reveal only an anomaly? One hopes for one set of answers. One fears that, in reality, there must be another.
With that in mind, Simon Corbell has announced that he’s trying to move more criminal matters to the Magistrate’s Court:
More than 60 offences currently heard in the ACT Supreme Court would be heard in the Magistrates Court as part of a suite of reforms to reduce pressure on the Supreme Court, Attorney General, Simon Corbell said today.
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Mr Corbell tabled the Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 which comes after the introduction of the Bail Amendment Bill 2010 in the November sitting.
“These two Bills will act together to reform the way the two different courts are administered in the ACT, and are designed specifically to reduce case pressure in the Supreme Court,” Mr Corbell said.
“The Courts Legislation Bill sets out an increase to the jurisdiction of the ACT Magistrates Court, which will allow the court to hear criminal matters up to or including a maximum penalty of five years and civil matters up to $250,000.
“This moves a significant amount of offences, that currently can be heard in the Supreme Court, to the Magistrates Court where they can be dealt with appropriately while untying resources in the Supreme Court.”
Perhaps burying the lead Simon has also announced he’s setting up a “Galambany Court” whereby indigenous Canberrans have a difference justice system involving circle sentencing.
UPDATE: The Greens have expressed disappointment at a lack of human rights analysis.