Delay in the Administration of Criminal Justice

Commonwealth Developments and Experience

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Courts Administration

Running a criminal court in the days of small caseloads presented relatively few difficulties. The judge, on his own or with the aid of a clerk of court, could arrange a rough schedule according to which cases could be heard; both sides would appear in court on the allocated day and the case would proceed. Nowadays, the picture is substantially different: in urban centres, several courts and judges are operating at the same time; lawyers may have prior commitments in other courts and have to seek an adjournment in any other cases in which they are scheduled to appear; heavy workloads may prevent counsel from being prepared to proceed with a case on the scheduled date, forcing them to seek an adjournment.


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