The Law Society of NSW and the Macarthur Law Society are jointly calling for a new multi-jurisdiction justice precinct to address an urgent need for court resources in the Macarthur region.
It follows a recent forum on Access to Justice at Campbelltown where residents, legal practitioners and community organisations gathered to discuss the critical infrastructure needs of the region for the future administration of justice.
President of The Law Society of NSW President Doug Humphreys said justice facilities in the Macarthur region were overloaded and this was causing unmanageable delays and costs for residents.
Mr Humphreys said increasing demand for court resources and legal services arose from significant population growth in the region.
“The three local court complexes at Campbelltown; Camden and Picton are overflowing with matters and are unable to keep up with increased demand,” Mr Humphreys said.
“Residents and court users must also travel long distances to Wollongong, Parramatta or Sydney to resolve family disputes as there is no Federal Circuit Court in the region. This adds significant stress and cost to families.”
President of Macarthur Law Society Brett McGrath said current court facilities could no longer cope with the high number of criminal offences heard at Campbelltown District Court, which also covers Liverpool and Cabramatta.
“These areas are among the state’s hot spots for domestic violence incidents,” Mr McGrath said. “They also have high rates of serious drug and robbery offences.”
Mr McGrath said restricted sitting hours and inadequate security facilities at Camden and Picton Local Courts meant these courts could not assist in addressing a backlog in criminal and civil cases.
“Both these courts lack a permanent police presence and do not have security checkpoints that are sufficient to deal with many matters, which is a safety concerns for all Court users and victims of crime,” he said.
Mr McGrath said there was also an urgent need for investment in court facilities.
“The court facilities we have are unable to keep up with demand of the current population, which is why we require urgent and priority investment in new Court facilities to keep up with future demand”.
The Law Society of NSW, Marianna Papadakis T: 02 9926 0288 | M: 0413 440 699 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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