Budget submission calls for serious investment in justice
06 April 2017
The Law Society of SA has called for a serious investment in justice with the release of its 2017-18 State Budget submission.
“The justice system has been weighed down by continued under-investment,” said Law Society President Tony Rossi.
“Recent multi-million and billion dollar projects commissioned by the Government prove that the money is there – it’s just that improving our justice system has not been a priority.”
The submission’s number one priority in the State Budget is the construction of a new courts precinct.
“The planned construction of a $500 million courts precinct to replace the State’s antiquated infrastructure was unceremoniously abandoned in 2015, in what was a missed opportunity to bring justice into the 21st century,” Mr Rossi said.
“In the meantime, our existing court buildings are crumbling and, embarrassingly, still lack basic facilities such as disability access and parent rooms.”
The submission also calls on the State Government to contribute its fair share of legal aid funding and:
- Immediately restore $6 million to the Legal Services Commission
- Provide $1.85 million to Community Legal Centres to reflect the fact that 40% of the work of CLCs involve State-based laws.
- Provide $300,000 in funding to the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement
Other key asks include:
- More District Court Judges
- Adequate funding for Courts Administration Authority
- More resources to protect at-risk children
- Greater investment prisoner rehabilitation programs and mental health services
- Preserving State ownership of Land Services Group
- Upgrades to Probate Registry
“A civilised, prosperous society is underpinned by a healthy, independent and well-resourced justice system. It is time that the State recognised the need for greater and wiser investment in our justice system,” Mr Rossi said.
Read the Law Society’s 2017-18 State Budget Submission