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Access to John Maddison Tower and availability of Downing Centre courtrooms

Fri May 11 2018
A Message from President Arthur Moses SC

Over the last few days members have raised issues regarding access to John Maddision Tower and availability of courtrooms in the Downing Centre for District Court trials.

First, a number of members have brought my attention to the substantial delays regularly experienced by practitioners in gaining access to courts in JMT. The delays result from the fact that there is only one security scanning lane in the foyer of the building. I have written this week to the chief judge of the District Court and the attorney general to suggest that consideration be given to the addition of a second security lane in the JMT foyer area.

Secondly, I have been informed by members that there have been recent instances of trials set down for the Downing Centre which have not been reached due to the lack of available court rooms rather than issues related to the availability of a judge or practitioners. The inability to hear matters due to lack of courtrooms will add to the already substantial trial case backlog in the District Court. Such delays of course lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety for the victims, witnesses and the accused, as well as increased costs for both Legal Aid NSW and the DPP. The Bar Association considers it imperative that the government allocate more resources to court facilities in Sydney to address this issue and I have written to the attorney general urging that the government make additional funds available for this purpose.

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