Secretary for Justice Andrew Kibblewhite has provided some heartfelt thanks in his message to the New Zealand legal profession in the latest LawTalk, adopting the Americanism for the profession’s disruption by “Turning the Titanic on a Dime”.
“The past weeks have been challenging, to say the least, but I thank the Heads of Bench for their leadership, the Law Society and legal profession for their patience and of course the ministry itself, all whom have navigated these unsettled waters,” he said.
“Making such disruptive changes to the justice system in a very short space of time is like asking the Titanic to turn on a dime – but I feel that together we have made some significant achievements in keeping essential justice services operating, while ensuring public safety.”
He noted the challenges the Ministry faced in equipping staff with the latest technology to continue their work from home and also noted the need to resolve the issue of outstanding – and mounting – cases that need early resolution.
“Like you, we have all found ourselves discovering any number of new technologies as our work and socialising has gone to Zoom and our lives ever more online.
“The extensive use of virtual meeting rooms for hearings, along with other technical and non-technical developments has given us a taste of what things could look like when we emerge from COVID-19. Working closely with the judiciary, we will be looking, where possible, to keep measures that have improved accessibility and efficiency for the justice system.”
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