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​New judges to ease pressure on District Court

Issued: Monday, 21 March 2016

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A $20 million package of funding, including the appointment of two new judges, will deliver a total 256 sitting weeks for the District Court to address the criminal trial backlog, Attorney General Gabrielle Upton announced today. 

This announcement is part of the NSW Government's $20 million package to fund immediate measures to stem the growing backlog of criminal trials in the District Court over 18 months.

"Siobhan Herbert and John Pickering SC were appointed to enable the District Court to schedule 126 additional sitting weeks to provide much needed relief for courts experiencing delays in regional and metropolitan areas," Ms Upton said.

"The funding package also delivers 130 sitting weeks over an 18 month period, which will be allocated based on need."

Some of the locations to benefit from the increase in sitting weeks include:

  • Parramatta – 20 weeks
  • Goulburn – four weeks
  • Albury – three weeks
  • Bega – two weeks
  • Griffith – two weeks
  • Queanbeyan – two weeks

The NSW Government is working closely with the District Court to reduce the criminal caseload and deliver fast, fair and accessible justice across NSW.

The package will also fund a range of other initiatives such as targeted trial call-overs to bring parties together to resolve matters earlier, additional public defenders and initial plea discussions to identify early guilty pleas.

The NSW Government will track the benefit of these emergency measures and make sure the extra resources continue to be targeted appropriately to address pressures in the District Court.


CV for John Pickering SC and Siobhan Herbert.