New Victorian legislation is to provide more flexible working arrangements for judges and allow courts to make better use of experienced judges.
The Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Officers) Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last week, will enable judges and magistrates to work on a part time basis, with the consent of the court’s chief justice.
The Attorney-General was previously responsible for appointing reserve judicial officers to fill short-term vacancies, but the Bill transfers this function to the head of the each court, and increases the maximum age of reserve judicial officers from 75 years to 78 years.
Roles of reserve associate judge and reserve coroner have also been created.
“This Bill will allow courts to engage and deploy reserve and part time judges and magistrates on a flexible basis in accordance with the court’s needs and to meet peaks in demand or to cover unexpected vacancies and absences,” Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark explained.
“It will also reinforce the independence of the courts by giving the head of each jurisdiction, rather than the Attorney-General, the authority to decide how and when reserve judges and part time judges will be used.”
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