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​Budget delivers faster, fairer,​ accessible justice

 Issued: Tuesday, 21 June 2016   

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The NSW Government will make justice faster, fairer and more accessible with $39 million over two years to tackle the District Court backlog in this year's Budget, NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced today.

The Budget provides funding for three new District Court judges – including one based at Wagga Wagga - and two new public defenders. 

There is also investment in Legal Aid, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and a range of initiatives to help reduce the criminal case backlog such as targeted trial call-overs to bring parties together to resolve matters earlier, and initial plea discussions to identify early guilty pleas. 

Ms Upton said the NSW Budget 2016-17 will make access to justice in NSW faster, fairer and easier.

"This investment will see a full time permanent District Court judge in Wagga Wagga, which is great news for the Wagga community and regional justice services," Ms Upton said.  "The NSW Government is continuing to work closely with the District Court to reduce the criminal caseload and deliver fast, fair and accessible justice right across NSW." 

The funding is part of a $570 million investment over four years to support comprehensive reform of the justice system, including immediate measures to reduce demand on courts and systemic reforms to reduce reoffending.

The 2016-17 NSW Budget also includes significant investment in services and support for victims and investment to address reoffending.

Key highlights include:

  • $34 million over four years for the Women's Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, plus an additional $6.3 million over four years to meet unmet demand to respond to police referrals
  • $19.5 million over two years for the creation of behaviour change interventions for higher risk domestic violence offenders, as part of the $44 million whole-of-government priority to address and reduce domestic violence reoffending
  • $9.6 million in 2016-17 for the relocation and upgrade of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal facilities
  • $5.2 million in 2016-17 to continue the provision of an additional 40 sheriff's officers at NSW courthouses