Malvern Electorate

Andrews’ expensive, backlogged justice system failing Victorians

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Victoria’s justice system is failing to deliver timely, affordable justice under the Andrews Labor Government.

Today’s Report on Government Services released by the Productivity Commission has confirmed Victoria’s courts have the worst backlogs in the nation, delaying justice and exacerbating trauma for thousands of Victorians.

The Report confirmed:

  • Victoria has the worst criminal case backlogs for all court jurisdictions, of all the mainland states.
  • Victoria’s Magistrates Court has the highest pending case load of any state or territory Magistrates’ Court, with more than 83,000 cases outstanding and a 475 per cent increase in cases pending for over 12 months compared to 2018-19.
  • Supreme Court backlog of cases of more than 12 months has increased by 40.7 per cent from 2020-21.
  • Supreme Court backlog of cases of more than 24 months has increased by 107 per cent from 2020-21.
  • Victoria is operating the most expensive court system of any state in the nation, with $2,371 spent per criminal case finalisation – 35 per cent higher than New South Wales.
  • Around 1 in 3 cases in the Magistrates, Supreme and County Courts have been pending for more than 12 months.

Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said the delays in Victoria’s court system were unsustainable and leaving too many Victorians waiting for the justice they deserve.

“Victorians continue to pay too much, yet get too little from their criminal justice system,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Under Daniel Andrews, Victorians are waiting longer than other Australians for courts to hear cases.”

“Labor’s backlogged court system means far too many Victorians’ lives are on hold waiting for their day in court.”

“Too many Victorians are being held on remand for too long because Labor has failed to deliver an efficient or effective justice system.”

“The Liberals and Nationals stand ready to work constructively with the State Government to cut court backlogs and help deliver better outcomes for those involved in the criminal justice system.”

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