Local JPs have heard over 2,600 minor matters since the commencement of the State Government’s JP QCAT Trial almost 12 months ago, saving taxpayers’ money and valuable Queensland court time.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the success of the trial was a testament to the professionalism and experience of JPs across Queensland.
“It’s a common sense approach that is taking a lot of pressure off the court system while allowing our JPs to be more involved with the community, so everybody wins,” Mr Bleijie said.
“The overall time to hear civil matters has almost halved, from six weeks to 3.2 weeks, helping us to get through the backlog left by Labor and its mismanagement of the Queensland court system.
Mr Bleijie said 110 legally and non-legally qualified JPs have heard 2685 matters in trial sites across Ipswich, Brisbane, Townsville, Maroochydore and Southport.
“Every participant received specialist training to ensure they were properly prepared to adjudicate appropriate minor civil disputes of up to $5000, which helps free adjudicators to deal with more complex legal matters.
“I’ve been pleased to hear such positive feedback from JPs participating in the trial, many of whom have said the program has had a positive impact on them both personally and professionally.
Mr Bleijie said the $3.5 million pilot program plays an integral part in delivering swift and fair justice in Queensland and thanked all involved for their continued contribution.
“The initial idea was to see if we could find a practical way to reduce the cost of hearing disputes and ease the burden on our court system and by all reports, we’re achieving that.
“We are committed to making our courts system the best in the nation and I look forward to hearing more positive outcomes in the coming months when the review process is completed.”