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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Queensland courts record impressive clearance rates

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Queensland courts record impressive clearance rates

    Queensland’s courts have recorded impressive clearance rates for 2009-10, highlighting the effectiveness of the state’s justice system.

    The figures were outlined in 2009-10 Department of Justice and Attorney-General annual report, which Attorney-General Cameron Dick tabled in Parliament today.

    “This year’s annual report shows that the Supreme, District and Magistrates courts recorded a combined average clearance rate last financial year of more than 100 per cent,” Mr Dick said.

    “The combined clearance rate for civil cases was 109.7 per cent while the combined rate for criminal cases was 101.4 per cent.

    “Breaking down the criminal figure, the combined clearance rate for the criminal jurisdiction in the Supreme and District courts was 97.3 per cent while the Magistrates Court clearance rate for criminal matters was 101.6 per cent.

    “These impressive clearance rates are an indication of the professionalism and efficiency of our judiciary and demonstrate that Queenslanders are well served by their justice system.”

    A clearance rate above 100 per cent means that the courts are clearing their pending caseloads.

    Mr Dick said 2009-10 had been a year of significant change for the justice portfolio with the establishment of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and Victim Assist Queensland, the record collection of fines by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) and the establishment of three new Murri Courts.

    “The Bligh Government is committed to providing a justice system that is both fair and accessible to everyone, and this is reflected by the advances and improvements made by the department in 2009-10,” he said.

    Among the other highlights in the department’s annual report:
    • Queensland was rated as the most cost-effective state in both criminal and civil jurisdictions by the Commonwealth Report on Government Services 2010
    • SPER collected a record $166.4 million in fines, an increase of $22.6 million on the previous financial year.
    • Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors issued 12,371 enforcement notices.
    • 2500 Justices of the Peace contributed 60,816 volunteer hours to their communities at 140 community sites across the state.
    • 121,914 births, deaths and marriages were registered.
    • More than 46,000 clients were assisted by community justice groups.
    • 1621 electrical safety audits were conducted.
    • 408 criminal matters were mediated with a 99 per cent agreement rate.
    • QCAT finalised 14,443 matters in its first seven months of operation, achieving an 87 per cent clearance rate.

    Mr Dick said the department also supported the government’s significant justice reform program by:
    • Implementing anti-criminal organisation laws that seek to disrupt and restrict the activities of organisations involved in serious criminal activity
    • Developing laws to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy
    • Implementing the battered-persons defence which may operate in circumstances where victims of seriously abusive domestic relationships kill their abusers
    • Developed the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009, which helps victims of crime by providing them with more assistance sooner.

    Media contact: Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations 3239 3487