A report on the Tasmanian Magistrates Court has been released, recommending police, rather than the court, issue all family violence orders.
KPMG’s Review of the Magistrates Court of Tasmania, which was commissioned by Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin, makes a number of suggestions to improve the efficiency of the Magistrates Court.
It recommends the Department of Justice streamline court processes, implement a single registry for all courts and “consolidate” the Burnie and Devonport court houses.
Acting Attorney-General Matthew Groom said the government would now “closely consider” the report’s recommendations.
But he stressed the government would not consolidate the North-West courts, saying the current arrangement was “appropriate”.
Mr Groom said “priority action” would be taken to “revise” remand in custody procedures, seeking to encourage the sharing of information between the Magistrates Court, the Supreme Court, Tasmania Prison Service and Tasmania Police.
Law Society of Tasmania president Rohan Foon said he had “significant concerns” regarding the prospect of giving police sole responsibility for issuing FVOs.
He did, however, echo the report’s assertion that the waiting rooms in the Launceston and Burnie courts were too small, bringing witnesses into close proximity with defendants.
“It’s clear that the courts in Burnie and Launceston need redevelopment,” he said.