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Court scheduling changes will speed up justice

Hon Chester Borrows
Minister for Courts

3 December 2013

Court scheduling changes will speed up justice

Greater certainty around court scheduling will give parties more clarity as to their court dates and improve the way we use our court and judicial resources, says Courts Minister Chester Borrows.

“A court case can’t proceed without everyone present – lawyers, defendants, witnesses and a judge – and too often this results in delays in cases getting to court and courtrooms sitting idle,” says Mr Borrows.

“It takes too long to get a case through our criminal courts, and any unnecessary delay should not go unchecked.”

In response, Mr Borrows has instructed the Ministry of Justice to move to set district court schedules twelve months in advance nationwide. Current practice sees schedules set court by court ranging from three to six months out.

“The current situation, where judges’ tell us their availability and court staff schedule cases around this, is not letting us deliver justice in a timely manner.

“By moving to a twelve month schedule, everyone working in the justice sector - whether judges, lawyers or Police - will know well in advance when they are needed in court, and will then be able to fit their leave, professional and learning commitments around their duty to our justice system.

“Combined with the many other steps we are taking to speed up the court system, such as increased use of audio-visual links and our wide-ranging criminal procedure reforms, this change will help our courts deliver the timely justice system that New Zealanders want and deserve,” says Mr Borrows.

ENDS

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