Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Justice delayed is justice denied

This news item raises an interesting question.
Daljit Singh who was a Labour Party candidate and seven other "men accused of an alleged Auckland Super City voter scam have had their trial shifted to the High Court. Police allege that the scam involved people from throughout the North Island falsely enrolled to vote in the 2010 Auckland Super City elections.[...]It has been set down for up to eight weeks and is due to begin in October - three years after the men were arrested." NZ Herald News
Why are our courts so slow? Three years after being arrested seems a ridiculous time to wait for a trial but every day there are reports of people being sentenced for minor offences they were arrested for six months to two years ago.

 Aside from the negative effects having charges pending for so long have on the accused, this means that the victims of crime don't see justice in a timely manner.

There is a legal maxim "Justice delayed is justice denied" meaning that if legal redress is available for an injured party but is not delivered in a timely way it is effectively the same as getting no redress. This is the basis for the right to a speedy trial, so what is happening in our courts to deny that right?

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