Justification: See the Rationale above. The judiciary needs to be served by an administrative staff that is not under the control of the Executive or Legislature and is answerable to the Head of the Judiciary.
Action: Review and codify the Procedural Rules of all the Courts.
Justification: Such an attempt was made with the Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court. It has developed major difficulties which are currently being worked on. However, the problems also exist throughout the system and require fundamental overhaul. This needs to be undertaken as a matter of urgency in order to bring the operational rules of the Court into line with the overall reforms that are being proposed.
Action: Improve the technology for the preparation of transcripts.
Justification: For too long, some Judges have been unwilling to record verbatim what transpires in Court. Too much of the actual time and attention of the Judges at all levels is taken up in clerical functions of recording evidence or submissions when modern technology has made this reliance quite unnecessary. The Judges’ and Magistrates’ attention should be focused on observing the witness and thinking about/considering what is being said by either the witness or the lawyers. Modern technology also would substantially improve the speed with which the record of the trial is available for the Appeal stages. We also feel that the cost of this reform would result in considerable savings of other economic costs which may be far greater than the costs of the reform. At some stage such a study should be implemented as a guide for further action.
Action: Make the DPP and Chief Justice account to Parliament on performance standards and in the context of a code of ethics and ethics committee.
Justification: Like all other public servants, judges should be accountable.
3.8.5. Measures of success to be applied include:
Average turn-around time for civil matters
Average turn-around time for criminal matters
Client satisfaction rating relative to access, speed, service quality etc.
Disposal rate for Court cases.