The Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus joined Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon in Newcastle today to lead a round-table discussion with senior members of Newcastle’s legal community.

It’s in response to new data which shows Newcastle Federal Circuit Court Judges faced a case load of 770 matters this year, compared to the national average of 376.

Attorney-General George Brandis has been blamed for the situation, which has resulted in cases sometimes taking One and a half years before they reach a trial in a Newcastle court.

Mr Brandis is being accused of negligence and failing in his position after failing to appoint a new judge to Newcastle after Judge Matthew Myers left in February this year, leaving the two remaining judges with a mountain of backlogged cases to work through.

Cracks began to show back in 2015 when Judge Giles Coakes retired, and it took the Attorney-General four months to find a replacement.

This time however, it has already been five months and there’s been no word of a new replacement.

“It is inexcusable, it’s utterly reckless on his behalf”, Ms Claydon said. “It’s his failure not to do his job which is having dreadful social consequences for the people of Newcastle”.

George Brandis


The Australian