The Guardian Reports That Australian Courts Need To Get Their Shit Together

Great piece by Richard Ackland (he’s a bit more polite than us!).

Essentially the courts in Australia have been caught napping on technology.

The judge couldn’t see anyone; lines dropped out regularly; witnesses didn’t know where to go; … subpoenaed material could not be accessed by anyone; feedback [from computers] made it impossible to proceed.”


Anybody with half a brain knew this would happen.

The over bureaucratic management part of the courts have too many apparachiks at decision level who are either on holiday, about to go on holiday or just about to return from holiday and have to be home at 5pm and thus nothing is ever achieved.

It’s a shame really because we believe that thos at the top of the ladder have been wanting to engage with technology and change but the support to help them understand these changes has not been forthcoming from those whose job it is suggest, push and cajole for change.

The essential conservatism evident in Australian society and running through the Australian legal system when it comes to these issues, “she’ll be right mate”. means that too much time and money will now be spent on catch up with the sort of companies they shouldn’t be spending the Australian taxpayers dollar and that money will be heading towards the US  rather than the plethora of young and inventive Australian legal tech companies out there.


Here’s the introduction to Ackland’s piece

The upshot was that a two day case would likely spin out to six days with the plaintiff charged fees for extra hearing allocations. He ended: “It’s not anyone’s fault and one day it will be sorted out, but for now … my view … try and stay away.”

Another barrister told colleagues of his experience at Campbelltown court: the telephone dial-in for a criminal listing ….

“is something of a fiasco”

and communicating with clients is impossible as a significant number are in custody and can only give instructions electronically.

Because it is impossible to obtain instructions in a “rapidly evolving situation” this is akin to “playing ethical roulette”. Already there is an anticipated wave of “corona appeals”.

Read the full article at