The state government has reappointed three acting Supreme Court judges for a further two years to reduce a substantial backlog of cases and improve access to justice.
The reappointments accompany increased funding for the Department of Public Prosecutions and the appointment of a new Supreme Court judge in July.
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The backlog of 626 cases, 43 per cent of which are older than 12 months, has prompted members of the judiciary to grant bail to alleged offenders citing the likelihood of extended delays until trial.
Attorney-General Elise Archer announced the reappointments saying it complemented other changes including reforms to administrative and procedural matters delivered by the passage of both the Magistrates Court reforms and the Justice Miscellaneous (Court Backlog and Related Matters) Bill 2020.
"The Tasmanian government is well progressed in the process of appointing a seventh Supreme Court judge and has committed to providing $1.1 million per annum from 1 July 2021," Ms Archer said.
Annual funding to the DPP increased from $9 million in 2019-20 to $11 million in 2020-21 in addition to a increase from $248 million to $276 million in the budget of the Department of Justice.
Legal Aid funding increased from $16.4 million to $23.6 million in the 2020-21 Budget.
The three acting judges were first appointed for two years in 2017 and reappointed in 2019 until January 24 this year.
Ms Archer said the trio were reappointed to the Supreme Court for a further two years.
"Justice [David] Porter is a former full-time judge of the Supreme Court who was in office between May 2008 and May 2016," she said.
"Justice [Shane] Marshall was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the Industrial Relations Court of Australia until November 2015.
"Justice [Brian] Martin AO is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory and has been an acting Judge in the Supreme Courts of Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory."
DPP Daryl Coates SC said in his 2019-20 annual report that every case awaiting determination comprised victims, witnesses and accused in a highly stressed situation. Backlog increased despite the best finalisation rate of 594 cases in nine years.