BLEIJIE PRAISES JP TRIAL
6 May 2014,
ATTORNEY-GENERAL Jarrod Bleijie has praised the JP QCAT trial that sees local JPs authorised to hear minor matters under $5000, as it approaches the end of its review process.
Local Justices of the Peace (JPs) have heard over 2600 minor matters since the beginning of the trial last year, in sites across the state.
The trial was launched in an attempt to address the backlog of cases in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. According to Bleijie, the overall time to hear civil matters has almost halved, from six weeks to just over three weeks.
“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,” says Bleijie.
“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.
“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.”
The announcement of the trial was initially met with concerns by many in the legal industry that minor civil disputes were often some of the most legally challenging and JPs may not have the adequate legal experience or knowledge to hear them.