Issued: 30 January 2015
NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard has thanked the thousands of hard working staff in our courts and corrective services for delivering efficient, quality services.
Their hard work was highlighted in a report released today by the Productivity Commission which found NSW's Local Court the most efficient court in Australia, with the lowest backlog and the highest percentage of cases finalised within 12 months.
"The Local Court is the engine room of the NSW justice system, handling more than 90 per cent of the state's criminal and civil cases from start to finish," Mr Hazzard said.
"According to the Commission's Report on Government Services 2015, 99.5 per cent of its civil cases and 98.3 per cent of its criminal cases were less than 12 months old in 2013-14.
"Over the same period, the Local Court increased its clearance rate from 99 per cent to 102 per cent, which means it is not only finalising new cases efficiently but also clearing old matters."
The Supreme, District, Children's and Coroner's Courts also recorded clearance rates of above 100 per cent. It is the fourth year in a row the Coroner's Court has achieved this result.
Along with other states, NSW has seen a rise in the prison population and Corrective Services NSW is mobilising additional capacity to meet the demand.
"A rising prison population is not indicative of the rate of crime in the community – under the Liberal & Nationals Government, NSW has seen its best crime statistics on record with all major crimes having fallen or remained stable," Mr Hazzard said.
"The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research says prison numbers are due to a number of factors, including changes in policing and additional resources and changes in sentencing, with longer sentences being handed out by the courts.
"The Government invests heavily in the security of the NSW community – more than $1 billion was spent last financial year running prisons, supervising offenders in the community and running offender programs to end the revolving door of crime.
"The NSW Government is monitoring closely the demands on our justice system and will do all that is required to ensure it continues to be an efficient deliverer of quality services," he said.