The government has tabled legislation aimed at reducing case backlogs in the state’s courts.
Some of the reforms in the bill include amendments to laws to implement changes to preliminary proceedings and minimising unnecessary inefficiencies in the movement of matters between the Magistrates Court and the Supreme Court.
There are amendments to bail provisions to avoid unnecessary hearings for bail in the Supreme Court.
In other news:
New minor summary offences will be introduced to enable the prosecution to exercise more discretion over how a matter is dealt with, appropriate to the nature and scale of the crime.
These relate to property, drug and stealing offences.
Attorney-General Elise Archer said the changes would ensure the Supreme Court’s time was not unnecessarily used to deal with matters that could be more quickly and efficiently dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
The Tasmanian Supreme Court’s pending caseload had grown to 701 cases in 2018-19.
This is from 542 case the year before.
The court’s pending caseload has grown each year since 2012-13 when it was 330 cases.
This means the backlog of Supreme Court cases has more than doubled in seven years.
Chief Justice Alan Blow last year criticised the government for failing to expand the types of cases the Magistrates Court could deal with in a justice-related bill.
He said Ms Archer took little advantage of a chance to make meaningful changes to the operations of the Magistrates Court.
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