Sometimes the simplest of changes can have big impacts on efficiency. No single piece of legislation will overcome the challenges facing the criminal justice system and not all of the solutions will be legislative. To create a more efficient and effective system will require change across all relevant agencies. These changes are incremental steps, pieces of a much larger puzzle designed to increase the efficiency and speed of the criminal justice system.
Reducing paperwork duplication
State Parliament passed the Summary Procedure (Abolition of Complaints) Amendment Act in September 2016. While the Act has been passed, it has not yet commenced.
When the Act commences, it will makes changes to the Summary Procedure Act 1921. The changes aim to reduce delays for police, witnesses and victims by removing the duplication of paperwork when criminal charges are upgraded or downgraded.
The changes allow the use of a single document for both indictable and summary offences. It will also see greater use of affidavit evidence, replacing written statements of evidence that currently need to be verified by declaration at the preliminary examination of an indictable offence.
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