Legal Aid NSW will appoint more in-house criminal lawyers in regional areas following an announcement by attorney general Gabrielle Upton and parliamentary secretary for the North Coast, Chris Gulaptis.
In a bid to make access to justice faster in areas across New South Wales, the number of lawyers undertaking committals in serious indicatable matters like robberies and sexual assault charges at local courts across the state will be increased.
“Appointing more Legal Aid NSW lawyers is a practical solution that will help encourage early guilty pleas, cut the backlog and ensure people get access to justice faster,” Upton said.
According to a report by The Northern Star, additional positions will be located in eight regional offices including Campbelltown, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Gosford, Lismore, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. The additional lawyers will service more than 20 additional local courts.
Matters dealt with by in-house Legal Aid lawyers are more likely to be resolved at an early stage, compared to those legally aided matters by panel lawyers, analysis of case outcomes indicates.