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COURTS: Chief Justice criticises cut in judges

COURTS: Chief Justice criticises cut in judges

THE Chief Justice Anthony Dudley has hit out at the Government’s decision not to fund a fourth Supreme Court post in future and to refuse to renew the contract of Judge Adrian Jack (pictured).

In his first public statement in a decade in office, the Chief Justice accepted that the fourth appointment had been made to tackle a backlog of work in civil and commercial cases over a fixed term and was not a permanent appointment.

He also accepted that the number of civil cases had fallen significantly over the past three years he believed that there remained good reasons to retain three judges to work alongside him.

“The workload of the court cannot be measured exclusively by relying upon statistics,” Mr Justice Dudley said. “It is also dependent upon the complexity of matters coming before the courts.” 

“Therefore, whilst I understand the decision not to fund the post of a third puisne judge at this stage, it is one that I will seek to persuade the government to reconsider.”

The GSD has expressed its concern at the decision described it as a U-turn that they say is out of sync with the legal profession and that also appears to be at odds with the Appropriation bill passed in June that made provision for four judges.

The Government replied that the temporary fixed term appointment of a fourth judge was made by the GSD government in 2011 to meet a backlog of criminal cases. That arrangement ended with the backlog cleared.



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