Chief Justice wants more judges

WA’s top judge claims the state’s highest court needs more resources if it is to deal with cases in a timely manner.

Welcoming the appointment of former Law Reform Commission of WA member Robert Mitchell to the bench yesterday, Chief Justice Martin said the number of judicial officers was still too low.

“I’m grateful and relieved that a new judge has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, and one of such high calibre,” Mr Martin said.

“Regrettably, it won’t solve our listings problems as it simply restores our judicial resources to the level in February 2006.

“With a 25 per cent growth in the state’s population since then, more complex civil litigation, the introduction of [new] legislation, and longer criminal trials, we still need additional judicial resources to pull our lists back to a reasonable and fair timeframe.”

Mr Mitchell was appointed to repace Justice Christopher Pullin, who  retired in May.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin said in a media release that Mr Mitchell had been a lawyer since 1991, and was well qualified.

“Mr Mitchell is a highly regarded legal practitioner and has appeared on a number of occasions on behalf of the State, intervening in matters before the High Court,” Mr Mishin said.

Mr Mitchell also previously acted as WA’s solicitor-general.