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​Parramatta - A Supreme Destination

Issued: Friday, 7 March 2014

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The Supreme Court is planning to return to Parramatta for a sitting of the Court of Criminal Appeal, Attorney General Greg Smith SC and Member for Parramatta, Geoff Lee have announced.

“The Chief Justice will bring the CCA with three judges to sit at the Parramatta Justice Precinct for two weeks in July and August,” Mr Smith told a Sydney Business Chamber luncheon in Parramatta today.

“This is an important first step, and the fact that Chief Justice Bathurst himself is coming to preside over part of the sittings shows how important he thinks this move is.”

“We already have a strong presence for the District and Local Court, especially in hearing criminal matters, in Sydney’s West, and I would like to see more civil cases heard there.”

“Chief Justice Bathurst will be meeting with members of the local legal profession later this month to discuss the need for court services in Sydney West, and how to make it work.”

“A permanent, full time Supreme Court presence in the West will not happen overnight, given the cost, logistics and current temporary space limitations, with all existing 9 trial courts currently fully used by the District Court and State Parole Authority most days. But I have the commitment of the Chief Justice to examine the need for the court’s presence in Parramatta.”

“Currently, cases from Penrith and Wollongong courts are diverted to Parramatta and Campbelltown because of renovations, stretching existing court space in Western Sydney. Once renovations are complete, it should be easier to find available space for the Supreme Court.”

Dr Lee said: “Parramatta is the second biggest city in NSW, which is expected to grow from 2 million to 3 million people in the next 25 years. It also services 250,000 businesses, including legal professionals.”

“The growth in the public sector and in business with headquarters in Western Sydney, and specifically Parramatta, has increased the demand for legal cases being held locally,” he said.

“There are three main benefits of having more Supreme Court cases heard in Parramatta: it helps decentralise government services and support jobs in Western Sydney; it reduces costs for individuals and businesses who would otherwise have to travel to Sydney for court; and it could be the catalyst for the growth of Parramatta’s legal profession.”

“The absence of a regular sitting of the Supreme Court has been seen as the missing link, and I am delighted that the Chief Justice has agreed to examine the possibility of regular sittings here,” he said.

“The new NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal also services the needs of Western Sydney, with a registry at Liverpool and regular sitting at Campbelltown, as well as hearings on demand at Penrith and Katoomba. The tribunal hears hundreds of civil cases, including commercial disputes, a day.”

Mr Smith said the heads of the Supreme Court, District Court, State Parole Authority had been working with the Department of Attorney General and Justice to enable the Supreme Court sitting.

“I thank Chief Justice Bathurst, Chief Judge Blanch and Robert Cosman at the State Parole Authority for their commitment to tackling this challenging issue,” Mr Smith said.
“This government is committed to boosting the economy of Western Sydney and providing services to its residents and businesses.”

In recent years two large and lengthy Supreme Court criminals trials were held at the Parramatta Justice Precinct.

The Court of Criminal Appeal will initially be sitting for two weeks, from 28 July, with Chief Justice Bathurst presiding in the first week, and the Chief Judge at Common Law, Justice Hoeben, presiding in the second week.