Empty Bench, Let's Reconvene
Posted on 9th November 2022
In recent weeks, we have started to see a rarity in court become a daily occurrence. McKenzie Picave, as a small legal support practice has had 3 hearings adjourned in the last 10 days because....
There is no judge or magistrate available to take the hearing. Now, if we have had 3 hearings adjourned, how many are actually being adjourned each day?
The reason is twofold - there is an inadequate of magistrates in the system because sitting magistrates are retiring and not being replaced. Magistrates are unpaid so that immediately limits the number of people who can afford to be in the role. The second reason is that judges are limited by budget constraints on how many days they can 'sit' (be in court).
The result? No magistrates available and no judges available, so the hearing gets adjourned and added to what is already a massive backlog.
The impact of that backlog? Well, if we focus on family court which is one of the primary arenas of McKenzie Picave, it means the time periods between hearings are extended and the length of proceedings can run to many months or even years.
And the impact of that delay? Parents who are locked in dispute may find themselves restricted or even blocked from seeing their own children for months and months until the court decides it is permitted.
So, let's not worry about the extreme backlog in the family law system, let's worry about the parents who are losing the fabric of their relationship with their own children.
If we can assist you in Family Court, contact us today.
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