New Zealand Law Society - Time-blocking judicial lists supported where appropriate

Time-blocking judicial lists supported where appropriate

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The New Zealand Law Society says it supports extending time-blocking of Judge and Community Magistrates lists across District Courts, where the particular court considers it appropriate for its size and nature.

The Law Society has provided the Ministry of Justice with feedback from criminal practitioners following a ministry request about the possibility of time-blocking Judge and Community Magistrate lists across District Courts.

At present there is time-blocking of lists in a number of District Courts. Lists are booked into time-blocks of no longer than a few hours and courts book two or three blocks in a day, depending on their size and needs.

Commenting on the feedback it received, the Law Society says waiting time can be disruptive to clients, their employers and support parties, and also for lawyers - particularly legal aid providers who do not get paid for waiting time.

"However, time-blocking lists may be counter-productive in courts with insufficient volume," the Law Society says. "Some courts have alternative methods for delivering efficiencies, such as grouping counsel's matters together."