Need for extra Judges in Southport District Court

Bill Potts comments to the Gold Coast Bulletin about the increasing need for extra Judges in the Southport District Court. (Gold Coast Bulletin – 13/11/12)

Distric Court Under Stress

Southport District Court judges cleared a whopping 448 criminal cases in 2011-12 but still have 192 matters outstanding, a scenario which plagues the justice system across the state, according to a report.

In the 2011-12 District Courts of Queensland annual report, Chief Judge Patricia Wolfe revealed the system was under significant stress due to a lack of judges and funding.

The Gold Coast’s backlog of cases is one of the worst in Queensland, with 20.8 per cent of outstanding cases older than 12 months and 8.3 per cent more than two years old.

The chief judge said the district court had only seen one judge appointed since 2009.

But Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie remains unmoved, confirming there were no plans to increase the number of judges.

Queensland Law Society councillor Bill Potts backed the calls from the chief judge. “The coalface of justice is being eroded by a lack of resourcing,”he said.

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