Law Society supports Chief Justice's warning on court funding
10 May 2019
The Law Society agrees with comments attributed to Chief Justice Kourakis in the 10th May edition of The Advertiser, in which His Honour warned of the impact on further budget cuts and articulated the need for more resources in the Youth Court.
As noted in the Law Society’s State Budget submission, recent changes to child protection legislation have caused a considerable increase in youth justice matters coming before the Court.
It is unacceptable that laws designed to improve child safety and wellbeing have caused significant delays in care and protection matters that involve vulnerable and troubled children because no extra funding had been allocated to ensure the Youth Court can adequately deal with its duties under the new legislation,” Law Society President Amy Nikolovski said.
Ms Nikolovski said she was pleased to read the Chief Justice’s comments that no funding to regional court services should be cut. The concerns raised by the Chief Justice are consistent with those made to the Society at meetings recently held with country practitioners.
“Regional areas are already under-serviced with regards to courts and legal services,” Ms Nikolovski said. “It would be deeply regrettable if these communities had to bear the brunt of any future cuts.”
“It is concerning that we are facing the possibility of more cuts, when the justice system is in dire need of greater investment,” Ms Nikolovski said.
“As the Chief Justice pointed out, any further cuts would exacerbate the chronic delays plaguing our courts system.”
The Law Society has called for greater investment in the State’s courts, particularly the Youth Court, and more resources for at risk families and children in its State Budget submission, which was submitted to the Treasurer and Attorney General last month.
Read the State Budget Submission.