The Attorney-General has released the final report prepared by the Hon Brian Martin AO QC into reforms into the way serious criminal charges are handled.
This review was commissioned by the Attorney-General in March 2019.
Recommendations in the report include:
- prescribed time limits for disclosing and determining charges
- a progress check before a judicial registrar in some circumstances
- mandatory conferences
- legal officers from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to appear at second appearances and thereafter, not SA Police
- sexual assault cases involving child complainants to be prioritised
- more flexibility in the timetable between committal and arraignment in a superior court.
The report’s recommendations are currently being considered by government.
About the reforms
The major indictable reforms were designed to help resolve major criminal matters earlier and improve the flow of matters through the courts. However, members of the legal community were concerned that the scheme had the opposite effect.
Mr Martin reviewed these reforms and concluded that while it was too early to draw conclusions or discern trends, improvements could be made. Mr Martin also said he expected the reforms will improve the flow of matters through the Magistrates Court.
Major Indictable Reform Review