“The Judicial Conference of Australia (JCA) welcomes the announcement by the New South Wales Attorney General that seven new judges are to be appointed to the District Court of New South Wales and significant additional funding made available to that Court as part of a $150 million package,” the President of the JCA, Justice Judith Kelly said today.
“Judge Robyn Tupman of that Court recently expressed serious concerns about the possibility that judges of that Court may be driven to suicide by the unrelenting work load. These comments followed the tragic suicide of 2 Victorian magistrates within the past 12 months.”
Justice Kelly said that the JCA had noted Judge Tupman’s observations with a good deal of concern and strongly supported calls to adequately resource courts at all levels and in particular to appoint a sufficient number of judges to properly administer justice within a reasonable time and without imposing an unreasonable workload on judges which may compromise their physical and mental health.
“Inadequate resourcing of courts not only leads to overwork but can produce other pressures as well, including backlogs and delays,” Justice Kelly commented. “These in turn can lead to public criticism further increasing stress and risks to the health of judges – including their mental health. In recent times a number of courts have been subjected to some unfair criticism from a number of sources which has not taken into account the pressures many courts are under from lack of adequate resources. It is gratifying to see a government heeding the concerns which have been expressed and providing more resources to enable the courts to effectively serve the community.”
The Judicial Conference of Australia is the professional association of judges and magistrates in Australia.
For further information, contact the Judicial Conference of Australia Secretariat.