Law Society responds to court backlog claims

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The Law Society of New South Wales has responded to media claims that court backlogs are responsible for the release of potentially dangerous people, accused of criminal activity.

Following a report by The Daily Telegraph this week, Law Society president Gary Ulman said funding cuts to the court system are compromising the systems integrity, stressing that those awaiting an outcome have not been found guilty.

“The bottom line is that you cannot keep cutting funding for the judicial system without compromising its integrity,” he said.
“It’s important to remember that these people have not yet been found guilty of a crime.

“This is particularly concerning when we see examples of an accused being held in custody awaiting trial for an average of 300 days or almost ten months.”

Ulman warned that long term funding solutions are paramount in addressing the problem properly.

“There needs to be sufficient recurrent funding available for the courts, the office of the DPP and Legal Aid to ensure that these severe backlogs can be avoided,” Ulman said.

“One off court funding like that announced by the NSW Government in December is a step in the right direction, but provides only a short term fix.

“We must have sufficient permanent judicial officers and court resources available at all levels of the judiciary.”

The Telegraph blamed court backlogs for the 2-year-release of a man on sexual assault charges on Tuesday.