Swamped Karratha court lists soon to ease with additional magistrate allocation

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Karratha courthouse.
Camera IconKarratha courthouse. Credit: Alicia Perera/Pilbara News

Karratha is set to receive an additional Magistrate, who will reside in the town, in the hopes of decreasing listing delays across the Pilbara.

The placement was announced on September 30, with the Magistrate to be a resident of Karratha and takes effect on October 3.

Karratha is currently serviced by the South Hedland Magistrate on circuit one week each month, and a Magistrate from Perth on circuit one week every month

The placement by the Chief Magistrate follows a review of court services in the Pilbara and will provide additional court sittings in Karratha and South Hedland with the aim of decreasing listing delays.

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The Magistrate will preside predominantly in Karratha, and circuit to South Hedland in November and December.

Arrangements are being finalised for a circuit roster in 2023 from Karratha to Exmouth, Onslow and Tom Price for one week each month.

Attorney General John Quigley said the placement came on the back of strong advocacy.

“This development will considerably improve access to justice services in the region, which is a critical right for all Western Australians,” he said.

“Thanks to the Justice Pipeline Model, the McGowan Government is able to direct funds to where they’re needed most in the justice system.”

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said he welcomed the news that a new Magistrate will be based in Karratha and service the Pilbara community.

“Court delays can place additional stress on victims of crime, witnesses, and the accused,” he said.

“This is a big win for the Pilbara community, one that will help to relieve the pressure on the court and assist in reducing backlogs and delays.”

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