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Give Courts The Tools To Deal With 'P' - Ryall

Give Courts The Tools To Deal With 'P' - Ryall

The National Party is releasing papers that show the judge in charge of our judges has 'expressed her concern to the Minister of Justice' about the new workload created by Labour's under-resourced plan to crack down on 'P'.

"You would have thought the Government would have gone out of its way to find out from the Chief Justice what effect this would have on the country's justice system," says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

The warning comes in briefing papers looking at the impact on the High Court of the reclassification of methamphetamine as a Class A drug.

"The same papers show the Department for Courts was not consulted before the Government agreed to the much needed toughening up of the law.

"It's clear from these notes that our system will struggle to keep pace with the demand for more High Court trials involving 'P'. There's a demand for more judges to cope, with conservative estimates of up to 40 extra jury trials per year," says Mr Ryall.

"The documents say it's 'likely to require a reprioritisation of existing funding as well as workload in the High Court'... 'any initial impacts are likely to be reflected as longer delays in processing cases in the High Court, until such time as resources are reprioritised or additional resources made available'.

"National says justice delayed is justice denied - these delays are in nobody's interests. Already a growing number of court cases are being thrown out of court because of lengthy delays," Mr Ryall says.

"National wants the use of new technology to help beat the back-log. Recording equipment makes sense, seeing many trials move only as fast as the stenographer's typing.

"Drug dealers should be prosecuted and in prison as swiftly as possible. If we do not have enough judges then it takes longer and longer to get drug dealers off the streets and behind bars.

"There's no point in changing the laws if there are not the judges to enforce them.

"Longer court delays penalise the innocent and the victims. It's time the Government got serious on this," says Mr Ryall.

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